Browsing by Issue Date

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 41-60 of 27150
  • Punkka, Ari-Juhani (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are common in Finland and nearby regions. These conglomerates of cumulonimbus clouds have a diameter in excess of 100 km and lifetime of at least four hours. About 200 MCSs are detected every year out of which roughly 80 are classified as intense MCSs (maximum radar reflectivity exceeding 50 dBZ for two consecutive hours). MCSs occur most frequently during the afternoon hours in July and August, whereas in the wintertime, they are very few in number. Also the most extreme forms of MCSs such as derechos occur in Finland but only infrequently. The average duration of the MCSs is 10.8 hours in Finland and the most common direction of movement is toward the northeast. In the light of earlier MCS research a local peculiarity is the limited population of MCSs which has a motion component towards the west. The synoptic-scale weather pattern affects the MCS motion direction. An area of low pressure and upper-level trough are located west of Finland during many MCS situations which leads to the onset of southern air flow and the increase of low-tropospheric temperature and humidity. Based on the case studies in this thesis, the area of low pressure occasionally travels to the southwest of Finland enabling southeasterly air flow and further, the MCS motion component towards the west. During the thunderstorms days with sub-MCS deep moist convection, a northwesterly air flow and a ridge of high pressure west of Finland are frequently observed. As opposed to many earlier MCS studies, mid-level lapse rate does not distinguish between the MCS and sub-MCS environments in Finland. Instead, convective available potential energy (CAPE), low-tropospheric water vapour mixing ratio and deep-layer mean wind are able to distinguish between the aforementioned environments. Moreover, mean wind parameters are among the best discriminators between the days with significant and insignificant wind damage. Unlike in many earlier investigations, no evidence is found that cases with dry low- or mid-troposphere air would be more prone to the occurrence of significant convective winds than cases with moister environments. These results and the case studies propose that in the presence of low instability dry air dampens deep moist convection and convective downdrafts. However, in the presence of high instability the effect of dry air may be reverse, as the derecho case of 5 July 2002 (Unto) suggests.
  • Zhao, Xiang (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Vertebrate brain is one of the most complex and mysterious objects for biological research. Embryonic brain development involves stereotypic brain structure formation, and a vast number of precise intercellular connections are established for the generation of the highly complex circuitry of the brain. This work aims at explaining HMGB1 and AMIGO1 function in modulating vertebrate brain development. Hmgb1 knockdown zebrafish morphants produced by injection of morpholino oligonucleotides display severe defects in the forebrain and gross deteriorated catecholaminergic system. The morphant is also deficient in survival and proliferation of neural progenitors. Similar central nervous system (CNS) developmental defects have been observed in HMGB1 knockout mouse embryo. The HMGB1 null mouse embryonic brain cells showed much lower proliferating and differentiating activities compared to wild type animals. HMGB1 knockdown and knockout model respectively from zebrafish and mouse have confirmed that AMIGO1 expression is directly regulated by HMGB1. AMIGO1 regulates expression of Kv2.1 potassium channel during development, but the colocalization of AMIGO1 and Kv2.1 has only been observed in mouse and zebrafish adult brain. Furthermore, knockdown of amigo1 expression using morpholino oligonucleotides impairs the formation of fasciculated tracts in early fiber scaffolds of brain. The same defect can be also induced by mRNA-mediated expression of the Amigo1 ectodomain that inhibits adhesion mediated by the full-length protein. The impaired formation of neural circuitry is reflected in enhanced locomotor activity and attenuated escape responses. Our data demonstrate that HMGB1 is a critical factor for embryonic CNS development involved in many important developmental events. HMGB1 is essential for the neurogenesis and differentiation occurring at the developmental stage when forebrain structures are forming. Amigo1 is required for the development of neural circuits under the regulation of HMGB1. The mechanism involves homophilic interactions within the developing fiber tracts and regulation of the Kv2.1 potassium channel to form functional neural circuitry that controls locomotion. HMGB1 and AMIGO1 are both crucial for embryonic brain development and neural circuit formation.
  • Kyöstilä, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Inherited diseases occur across different species. This thesis work has provided insights into the molecular genetic background of three autosomal recessive diseases that affect specific dog breeds. The studied phenotypes comprised two neurodegenerative diseases and a type of skeletal dysplasia. Genome-wide methods, such as SNP chip genotyping, were used to identify disease-associated gene variants. In all three disease phenotypes, the likely causative variant was found in a gene that had not been previously associated with a monogenic disorder. The Norwegian Elkhound and Karelian Bear Dog breeds are affected with inherited chondrodysplasia that causes short-stature dwarfism of varying severity. A genome-wide association study in Norwegian Elkhounds revealed a disease-associated locus on canine chromosome 17 and a nonsense mutation in the ITGA10 gene. The identified mutation was homozygous in all affected dogs from both breeds, and may have been introduced to Karelian Bear Dogs from Norwegian Elkhounds. The ITGA10 gene encodes an α10-integrin protein that assembles into a collagen-binding α10β1 integrin. The α10β1 integrin is a cell surface receptor, found in growth plate chondrocytes, where it mediates the cell s attachments with the surrounding matrix. Due to the mutation, a full-length α10-protein is not produced, disturbing the growth of long bones. Early-onset cerebellar degeneration occurs in the Finnish Hound dog breed. Neurological examination of affected dogs revealed quickly progressing cerebellar ataxia and failure to thrive. Genome-wide association analyses mapped the disease to a 1.5-Mb locus on canine chromosome 8. Sequencing of the SEL1L gene from the locus identified a homozygous missense mutation in all affected dogs. The mutation causes a serine to proline amino acid change within a highly conserved functional domain of the encoded SEL1L protein. The SEL1L protein is found in the endoplasmic reticulum, where it functions within a protein quality control and degradation pathway. Cerebellar tissue samples from affected dogs showed signs of endoplasmic reticulum stress, which may be the cause of premature cell death. A novel neurological disease, characterized by juvenile to adult onset cerebellar ataxia, was recognized in the Lagotto Romagnolo breed. Through linkage analysis, homozygosity mapping and whole-genome sequencing, the disease was associated with a homozygous missense change in the autophagy-related ATG4D gene. Pathological examination of affected dogs revealed progressive cerebellar degeneration, and intracellular vacuolar changes both in neuronal and extraneuronal tissues. The ATG4D gene encodes a cysteine protease, which is thought to function in the macroautophagy pathway. The autophagy process degrades and recycles damaged or obsolete cellular materials via membrane-enclosed autophagosomes. In line with this, the neuronal tissues of affected dogs showed signs of altered autophagic flow. Overall, this study has revealed three new disease-linked genes in dogs, which may be associated to similar disorders in other species. On the basis of the results, DNA-tests have been developed for veterinary diagnostic and breeding purposes. Importantly, by shedding light into disease-causing pathways, the results of this study could prove beneficial not just for canine health but for human medicine as well.
  • Rämä, Irene (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This three-part thesis explores the interaction of a teacher and pupils in a Finnish comprehensive school. The studied class is a special education class with six pupils with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals with ASD have challenges in interaction, communication and social behaviour. The interactional acts of the study participants are examined from varying perspectives. The theoretic framework of this study focuses on the structural elements of the interaction in educational situations. These elements are the mutual co-regulation of the participants (the interaction theory of Alan Fogel), the teacher s tacit knowledge and the pupils communicative spontaneity with the supporting prompts. Moreover, the pupils educational goals linked to interaction, communication and social behaviour are analysed. Through this analysis, the reciprocal relationships between the goals and the relationship with the educational goals presented in the general curriculum of the school are explored. The data is aggregated from a larger data set of the ISE Research Group in the University of Helsinki. The data mainly consists of video recordings from authentic educational situations and individual IEP documents of the pupils. The time span of the data covers the years from 2006 to 2014. The video clips were analysed through applied conversation analysis, and the educational goals were analysed by systematically comparing the goals to the categorization classes found in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The results of the study are seamlessly intertwined with the activity of the teacher and stress the significance of quality and a pupil-sensitive teaching style in the special education context. The pedagogically sensitive activity of the teacher is described with the construct of dynamic sensitivity, which consists of the teacher s personal and professional attributes, teaching experience and tacit knowledge. The shared interaction environment, which is formed by mutual co-regulation with the pupils, is an integral part of generating this dynamic sensitivity.
  • Käyhkö, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    New learning environments have opened the boundaries of schools by connecting them with different societal agencies outside schools. In European and national education policies and systematic curriculum contents, entrepreneurship education has been given increasingly significant attention, and entrepreneurship has become a social context or environment of learning. In entrepreneurship education research, only few studies have been conducted in the educational sciences. Researchers have pointed out the need for holistic educational science to act as a complement for business and a non-axiological ´neutral´ emphasis in approaching entrepreneurship and its theory. The present study focuses on entrepreneurship education as a boundary zone between school and society where traditional pedagogical practice is reconsidered as a question of learning theory. The study draws from cultural-historical activity theory and its theories about learning. As they have largely been focused on the classroom teaching and teaching methods, analyses of pedagogical practice have lacked the societal bond and historicity of the relationship between education and societal practice. To investigate the theoretical foundations of the relationship between school and society, the study addresses two theoretical orientations: John Dewey s philosophy of school and Engeström s theory of expansive learning. Based on their critiques of the theory of education the study contains a case study on entrepreneurship education. The case study was used as a window for context exploration, and it underlines the challenge of educational and learning theory. The case study material has been collected from the entrepreneurship education course of a high school specializing in entrepreneurship. The material contains both the ethnographic course implementation and interviews, documentary material and an intervention. The data analysis aimed to determine the internal dynamics, mechanisms and contradictions in the relationship between school and society in learning. A learning environment is conceptualized as an activity system. The implementation of its methodological solutions in the research was to investigate the socially mediated pedagogical practice, to explore the boundary object of people who are members of different communities and have a variety of interests, and to explore the school activity by tracing its local origin and by designing its future. The results of the study are summarized into four theses which direct attention to: (1) the dualist conceptualization of entrepreneurship, (2) the ontology of knowledge in entrepreneurship education, (3) diversity and multivoicedness as contexts of learning in the boundary between school and society, and (4) teachers as agency of pedagogical development. From the epistemological point of view school faces a new paradox in entrepreneurship education: the opening of the school to society carries a risk that society is understood as detached from the practices of societal life and treated as abstract, value-free and ahistorical reality. Keywords: activity system, entrepreneurship education, boundary-object, expansive learning, dialogical knowledge, co-configuration, partnership and learning environment
  • Ylä-Anttila, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-bound organelles to carry out specialized cellular functions. These organelles are inherited in cell division as templates and are augmented by proliferation through production of protein and lipid components by the cell, and the trafficking of these components within the cell. Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved degradation pathway for cells to maintain homeostasis, produce nutrients for energy production, degrade misfolded proteins or damaged whole organelles, and fight against intruding pathogens. The process of autophagy entails the isolation of cargo by a specialized organelle, called the phagophore, which closes to form a sealed double membrane bound autophagosome. This organelle then undergoes maturation by fusion with endosomes and lysosomes to obtain its degradation capacity. Hence, there are many dynamic membrane modifications that need to take place during the autophagic process. The origin of the autophagic limiting membrane, as well as the clearance of the degradative structures, are yet to be defined. This study utilized high resolution electron microscopic methods and three dimensional modeling to reveal nanometer scale interactions of phagophores and autophagosomes with other organelles. Immunolabeling techniques at both light and electron microscopy level were utilized to determine which organelles should be sampled at an ultrastructural level. Direct membrane communication was detected between the phagophore and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), (putative) ER exit sites, mitochondria, the Golgi complex, as well as late endosomes or lysosomes. ER was the most frequent proximal organelle to phagophores and autophagosomes and this suggests an involvement of ER in the nucleation process of phagophores. This study also reveales a role of the small GTP-binding protein RAB24 in the clearance of autophagic structures in cells. Biochemical and microscopic methods in combination showed that RAB24 is needed in the clearance of autophagic structures in nutrient rich conditions i.e. during basal autophagy. RAB24 was confirmed to localize in both of the autophagosome limiting membranes. GTP binding and prenylation of RAB24 were found to be necessary for the targeting of the protein to LC3 positive autophagic structures, whereas tyrosine phosphorylation was less important for this targeting. Electron microscopy revealed that autolysosome-like structures accumulate in cells when RAB24 is silenced, suggesting that it has a role in the clearance of autolysosomes.
  • Franchin, Alessandro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This thesis focuses on the experimental characterization of secondary atmospheric nanoparticles and ions during their formation. This work was developed in two distinct and complementary levels: a scientific level, aimed to advance the understanding of particle formation and a more technical level, dedicated to instrument development and characterization. Understanding and characterizing aerosol formation, is important, as formation of aerosol particles from precursor gases is one of the main sources of atmospheric aerosols. Elucidating how aerosol formation proceeds in detail is critical to better quantify aerosol contribution to the Earth's radiation budget. Experimentally characterizing the first steps of aerosol formation is the key to understanding this phenomenon. Developing and characterizing suitable instrumentation to measure clusters and ions in the sub 3 nm range, where aerosol formation starts, is necessary to clarify the processes that lead to aerosol formation. This thesis presents the results of a series of experimental studies of sub 3 nm aerosol particles and ions. It also shows the results of the technical characterization and instrument development that were made in the process. Specifically, we describe three scientific results achieved from chamber experiments. Firstly the relative contributions of sulfuric acid, ammonia and ions in nucleation processes was quantified experimentally, supporting that sulfuric acid alone cannot explain atmospheric observation of nucleation rates. Secondly, the chemical composition of cluster ions was directly measured for a ternary system, where sulfuric acid, ammonia and water were the condensable vapors. In these measurements we observed a decreasing acidity of the clusters with increasing concentration of gas phase ammonia, with the ratio of sulfuric acid/ammonia staying closer to that of ammonium bisulfate than to that of ammonium sulfate. Finally, in a series of chamber experiments the ion ion recombination coefficient was quantified at different conditions. The ion ion recombination coefficient is a basic physical quantity for modeling ion induced and ion mediated nucleation. We observed a steep increase in the ion ion recombination coefficient with decreasing temperatures and with decreasing relative humidity. This thesis also reviews technical results of: 1) laboratory verification, characterization and testing of different aerosol and ion instruments measuring in the sub 3 nm range; 2) the development of new inlets for such instruments to improve the detection of sub-3 nm particles and ions.
  • Saksi, Jani (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Carotid artery disease is a common cause of stroke, with approximately one in five ischemic strokes in the carotid artery distribution stemming from thromboembolisms caused by an unstable atherosclerotic carotid plaque (CP). Despite the fact that carotid atherosclerosis can lead to cerebrovascular complications, some patients afflicted by a high-grade carotid stenosis (>70%) remain asymptomatic. This divergence in clinical courses captures one of the most pressing questions in cardiovascular medicine: what are the key molecules and pathways decisive to local atheroma vulnerability and connected with disabling clinical outcomes? In the first paper, we utilized a genome-wide approach to screen for gene expression changes in stroke-associated CPs to identify genes and pathways related to atheroma vulnerability and symptom generation. This approach was successful in identifying several significant expression changes in novel genes and in genes already connected with atherosclerosis development, suggesting that the local atheroma-derived gene expression patterns are closely connected to the patient s clinical phenotype. A detailed data-driven approach, using three independent data pre-processing methods, identified fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4) as the lead hit overexpressed in stroke-associated CPs, thus linking FABP4 and its transcriptional activity to atheroma vulnerability. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed the most prominent expression of FABP4 protein in the histological regions of atheroma vulnerability, coinciding with the abundance of lipid-laden macrophages and thus connecting the overexpression of FABP4 with lipid accumulation and inflammation within the CPs. In the second paper, we focused on the molecular mechanisms through which increased FABP4 expression could regulate atheroma vulnerability. As causality is difficult to infer from associative expression data we adapted a genetic approach searching for variants that could regulate the expression of FABP4. Using a naturally occurring low-expression variant (rs77878271) we were able to link genetically reduced atheroma expression of FABP4 to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signaling, and the attenuation of apoptosis, with high expression contributing to increased lipid burden and inflammation. We discovered that the low-expression variant of FABP4 was associated with lower circulating total cholesterol levels, with the lowest levels in obese (body mass index, BMI ≥ 30) minor allele homozygotes. Furthermore, the variant allele carriers showed obesity-related reduction in subclinical markers of atherosclerosis, manifested as reduced carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and lower prevalence of CPs. Most importantly, we found that the local atheroma effects of FABP4 penetrated to end point level, as the minor allele homozygotes showed 8-fold lower odds for myocardial infarction (MI) and enrichment of the variant in patients with clinically asymptomatic carotid artery disease. Obesity-related reduction of total cholesterol levels observed in the low-expression variant carriers pointed to a metabolic component mediated by genetically reduced FABP4 expression. Based on the discoveries made in FABP4-deficient mouse models, we hypothesized that genetically reduced FABP4 expression could lead to sustained enhancement of adipocentric de novo lipogenesis (DNL), which could in part explain the obesity-related phenotypes also in man. We found that the low-expression variant of FABP4 was associated with circulating markers of enhanced lipolysis and reduced circulating FABP4 protein levels. The variant allele carriers showed a propensity for higher BMI, with evidence for enhancement of DNL, improved beta-cell function, and reduced obesity-related type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk. These results imply that FABP4-regulated production of adipocyte-derived lipid signals during DNL in the low-expression variant carriers may in part lead to enhanced beta-cell function and reduced obesity-related T2D risk. In this thesis work, we identified FABP4 as a key molecule at the crossroads of metabolic and inflammatory responses, potentially involved in local atheroma vulnerability and connected with cardiometabolic outcomes. Most likely the role of FABP4 in atherosclerosis is multifaceted, converging with the passage of time within the artery atheroma, and culminating in the regulation of inflammatory responses affecting cell survival, acute plaque vulnerability and ultimately cardiovascular risk. These data implicate FABP4 as a potential pharmacological target for prevention of cardiometabolic complications connected with atherosclerosis and obesity.
  • Nykäsenoja, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Mental health work has emerged as an important social issue over the past few decades. The reduction of institutional care, the development of outpatient treatment, the growth of diagnoses of depression, the introduction of new psychopharmaca and the increase in the number of organisations active in the field have been and remain key factors in mental health work, mental health and the treatment of related disorders. This study examines the involvement in mental health work of three social sectors – the public sector, the private sector and the NGObased third sector. Mental disorders pose challenges for public health and the economy, so it is important to understand their causes and effects as well as governance. Mental health work is an extensive and multifaceted field with a tradition of interdisciplinary research. No field of science has sole “ownership” of mental health as a research area; rather, issues related to mental health are regularly explored in fields as diverse as medicine, social policy, psychology, political science and administrative studies. Gaining a comprehensive overview of the field is therefore practically impossible. The purpose of this study is to investigate the sector-specific and cross-sector governance of mental health work.   As a concept, governance is close to the idea of overall social interest. How can different parties be guided so that an “ideal” or at least a feasible solution can be achieved, for example, for mental health work? For this purpose, the operating conditions of different sectors must be recognised, and responsibilities must be clearly distributed and coordinated. A third sector of mental health work appeared when local NGOs were established as a result of the rundown of institutional care in the 1980s and 1990s. The work of such NGOs includes both professional and voluntary efforts and encompasses those who provide assistance and those who need it, the latter also being linked through peer support. Mental health associations as well as social and health organisations more generally have been largely overlooked as a research topic. The results of this study also offer perspectives on the practical development and governance of mental health work.
  • Reenkola, Kaarina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    I WANT TO ACT FOR MY COUNTRY Heikki Renvall as a mediator of transnational cultural phenomena and ideas in early 20th century Europe This dissertation focuses on Heikki Renvall s (1872-1955) role as a mediator of transnational cultural and political phenomena in early 20th-century Europe. As a national economist, he was paying attention to the factors of social reform. As one of the leaders of the political group called the Young Finns, he was able to carry out his political as well as his cultural ambitions. The aim of the dissertation is to explore which nation-building social and cultural elements Renvall was involved in and influenced by in terms of the more advanced cultures he was connected with. By examining the similarity of the ideologically based functions in Europe and in Renvall s home country Finland, his activity as a mediator shows, as well as the reception of his apparently too modern ideas. The framework for this study draws from history of ideologies and more specifically from the research on cultural transfer focused on the comparison between apparently parallel concepts. In this study, a microhistorical approach is used in examining Renvall s letters to his spouse, the opera singer Aino Ackté, as a biographical source material. As a scientist Renvall published up-to-date articles and lectures covering his field, discussing the studies at universities abroad, mainly in Berlin, Munich, Paris and London. His world of ideas appears in this material. Despite his propagandist activity, which did not go unnoticed in Finland and where the Russian government was forcing its national tendences, he was nominated as the first managing editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in 1904. He was selected for this role because of his leading position among the Young Finns. He grounded yet another newspaper Suomalainen Kansa in 1907 to support his constitutional political mission. Renvall was fascinated by the publicity that French newspapers offered as a role model for the Finnish situation defending its threatened autonomy in 1903. He was elected as a member of the new parliament and was then able to carry through his political ambitions. In this study I bring out cultural phenomena, ideas and mode of action that were developed and modified in forcefully industrializing centrals of early 20th century Europe which Renvall seek to integrate for the benefit of his own national building country. The main argument of this study is that, as a mediator, Renvall suggested reforms that were way ahead of his time in Finland. He could be called as an intellectual cosmopolitan because he managed to create an international network while studying and travelling in Europe.
  • Peltola, Jari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This thesis is based on four experimental spectroscopic studies where novel highly sensitive laser absorption spectroscopy spectrometers are developed and used for trace gas detection and precision spectroscopy. Most of the studies are carried out in the mid-infrared region between 3 and 4 µm, where a homebuilt continuous-wave singly resonating optical parametric oscillator is used as a light source. In addition, one study has been performed in the visible region using a commercial green laser at 532 nm. Two of the developed spectroscopic applications are based on cavity ring-down spectroscopy. In this thesis, the first off-axis re-entrant cavity ring-down spectrometer in the mid-infrared is demonstrated and utilized for highly sensitive detection of formaldehyde. The second study presents an optical frequency comb referenced mid-infrared continuous-wave singly resonating optical parametric oscillator, which is applied to high-precision cavity ring-down spectroscopy of nitrous oxide and methane. Furthermore, this study presents a new method for referencing a mid-infrared optical parametric oscillator to a near-infrared optical frequency comb. This new method allows large mode-hop-free frequency tuning ranges in the mid-infrared region. The other two experiments are based on cantilever-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy, presenting the first reported studies of cantilever-enhanced-based trace gas detection in the mid-infrared and visible region. These studies show the great potential of cantilever-enhanced photoacoustic detection for substantial enhancement of the sensitivity of trace gas detection. For instance, the best nitrogen dioxide detection limit ever reported using photoacoustic spectroscopy is presented in this thesis.
  • Tomperi, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Both nationally and internationally, teachers professional development is a current research topic. According to international teaching and learning survey TALIS, Finnish teachers interest to participate in long-lasting in-service teacher training programs, focusing on professional development, is decreasing. In order to implement inquiry-based practical work into classroom practice, new in-service training models are needed. This thesis examines the design and development process of a professional training course, which implemented the SOLO-taxonomy. The training course was meant for chemistry teachers working at the upper-secondary school and it focused on inquiry-based chemistry instruction. The research was done using design research. The main research questions were formed according to the three central areas of design research (Edelson, 2002): 1) Problem analysis: What kind of challenges does inquiry-based practical chemistry bring to chemistry teachers at the upper secondary school, 2) Design process: What kind of possibilities and challenges does the SOLO-taxonomy offer for the support of inquiry-based practical chemistry instruction and 3) Design solution: What are the characteristics of teachers professional development that promotes inquiry-based practice in chemistry at the upper secondary school? The eight-phase design research employed qualitative research methods, including observations, surveys and interviews. The data was analyzed using content analysis. From this data, two main research results were obtained. First, information was obtained on the implementation of inquiry-based chemistry into practice, and about teachers professional development using the SOLO-taxonomy. Second, information on the characteristics of research-based training model promoting inquiry-based practical chemistry instruction was obtained. The findings show that inquiry is challenging for teachers due to its constructivist view on learning, teachers inexperience to act in modern learning environments and not practicing implementing inquiry in the classroom during training. The findings also show that using the SOLO-taxonomy supported professional development in many ways. For example, it worked as a tool in designing and modifying written instructions, it motivated teachers to develop their practices, it increased teachers ownership to the produced written instructions, it supported teachers understanding of inquiry and it acted as a model to support higher-order thinking skills. The created research-based training model, meant to promote inquiry in practical chemistry instruction, was based on a theoretical and empirical problem analysis. The main features incorporated into the training model are (i) personalized learning which considers the teachers current knowledge (ii) expanding teacher s role from merely a dispenser of knowledge to the roles of a researcher and a learner, (iii) using a theoretical framework to support research-based instruction, higher-order thinking skills and interaction-based sharing of ideas, (iv) creating meaningful inquiry-based material, done using the SOLO-taxonomy, (v) peer-support (vi) reflection and incorporation of action research, (vii) practicing implementing inquiry-based practical work, which is of collaborative and cognitive nature increasing understanding of the nature of science. The research results show that teachers need training models of various durations. If the teacher s view of learning is congruous with the inquiry-based approach, they can begin to practice the implementation of inquiry already during a short training. However, if the teachers view on learning does not support constructive learning methods, the accommodation process requires more time. The research results of this doctoral dissertation can be applied (i) in the implementation of new national core curriculum, (ii) in planning and designing new learning material for inquiry-based practical chemistry (iii) in training that supports teachers life-long learning, and (iv) in international exportation of education. Keywords: Design research, professional development, SOLO-taxonomy, research-based training, inquiry-based practical chemistry
  • Hyvärinen, Tommi (2015)
    Tutkielmassani käsitellään Burgersin yhtälön nimellä tunnettua kvasilineaarista osittaisdifferentiaali- yhtälöä, sekä paneudutaan osittaisdifferentiaaliyhtälöiden teoriaan yleisemmin. Fyysikko Johannes Martinus Burgersin mukaan nimetyllä yhtälöllä voidaan kuvata häiriöiden etenemistä fluideissa, ja sitä voidaan soveltaa myös vaikkapa liikenneruuhkien kehittymisen analysointiin. Burgersin yhtälö on esi-merkki yleisemmästä säilymislaista. Matemaattisessa fysiikassa säilymislakien mukaan eristetyssä systeemissä vuorovaikutustapahtumissa tiettyjen suureiden kokonaismäärät pysyvät muuttumattomina. Tunnetuin esimerkki säilymislakeihin liittyen on Noetherin lause, jonka mukaan suurella on vastaa- vuus tietyn systeemin symmetriaominaisuuden kanssa. Esimerkiksi nestedynamiikan Navier-Stokesin yhtälö on esimerkki epähomogeenisesta versiosta säilymislakia. Tutkimukseni alussa esitellään Hamilton-Jakobin yhtälö, sekä sivutaan variaatiolaskentaa, Legendren muunnosta ja Euler-Lagrangen yhtälöitä. Näytetään, miten annettu osittaisdifferentiaaliyhtälö voidaan samaistaa karakteristiseen yhtälöryhmään, joka koostuu tavallisista differentiaaliyhtälöistä. Karakteris- tinen yhtälöryhmä johdetaan kvasilineaarisen osittaisdifferentiaaliyhtälön tapauksessa ja sille annetaan geometrinen tulkinta. Ensimmäisen luvun lopussa Hamilton-Jacobin yhtälö ratkaistaan Hopf-Lax kaa- van avulla. Toisessa ja kolmannessa luvussa esitellään Burgersin yhtälö ja ratkaistaan se karakteristisen yhtä- löryhmän avulla. Saatu ratkaisu ei kuitenkaan päde kaikkialla, vaan tapauksissa, joissa karakteris- tiset käyrät kohtaavat ("shokkikäyrä"), Burgersin yhtälön ratkaisu vaatii ratkaisufunktion ehtojen heikentämistä ja ingraaliratkaisun määrittelemistä. Rankine-Hugoniot-ehto johdetaan ja sen avulla voidaan löytää ratkaisuja tilanteessa, jossa karakteristiset käyrät leikkaavat. Esittelen myös entro- pia-ehdon, jonka avulla karsitaan 'epäfysikaaliset' ratkaisut pois ja täten saadaan yksikäsitteinen ja yleinen ratkaisu Burgersin yhtälölle. Lopuksi todistan Lax-Oleinikin kaavan, joka antaa ratkaisun yleisemmälle ongelmalle. Lopuksi tälle ratkaisulle räätälöidään entropia-ehto, jotta siitä saadaan yksikäsitteinen.
  • Heikkilä, Jelisei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The revolutionary reforms of Peter the Great in 1721 radically changed the whole Russian State. The changes which affected the Church's canonical and juridical status for the entire Synodal period during the early twentieth century s social and church-cultural metamorphosis, raise significant questions from the viewpoint of Orthodox canon law regarding marriage and divorce. The study's main focus is how were these questions treated during the Pre-Conciliar period and in the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918. The All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918 was in many ways a unique and unparalleled phenomenon in the Russian Orthodox Church, State and in Russian social history. The Pre-Conciliar movement of the early twentieth century in Russia included the first and only experience in the Russian Orthodox Church of an open discussion with elements of dialogue touching all sides of Church life. The sources of this study, the documents and decrees of the Holy Synod and the preparatory bodies of the general Council of 1917- 1918, raise the following questions regarding marriage and divorce: 1. How did the Russian Orthodox Church understand the state law in relation to its own ecclesiastical law? 2. How was the ancient canonical tradition concerning matrimonial issues interpreted in Russia? By examining the canonical views of matrimonial matters in the Russian Orthodox Church in the early 1900s, especially through secular laws and canonical commentaries, it is possible to create a picture of a canonical marriage model eventually formed in the Russian Orthodox Church after the General Council of 1917-1918. The bureaucracy appeared to be a permanent barrier between the Church and the people, as well as between the Church and the State. Ecclesiastical regulations were joined to civil law, creating norms of marriage law that conformed to the State s viewpoint. This led to a situation before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution where divorces were difficult to obtain. Eventually, the religious institution of marriage, which had been protected by the Russian judiciary from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, was destroyed by the Revolution. Animosity towards traditional Christian family values began to pervade the social climate in Russia after the Revolution, and the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church came to reflect this. The study argues that after the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, a new divorce model of the Russian Orthodox Church appeared. The Orthodox Church did not immediately abolish its previous bureaucratic model, especially when resolving the divorce cases in the Soviet State in 1918, but new pastoral aspects nevertheless were incorporated. The form of a petition was retained: one of the approved reasons for divorce had to be stated, as well as a detailed and correct statement of the circumstances under which the collapse of the marital union took place. The canonical spirit and the norms established in the Pre-Conciliar period were retained in this matter. Thus, any reasons that were not justified by the canons and their authoritative commentaries were not accepted as lawful causes for ecclesiastical divorce. However, the final resolution concerning the grounds for the dissolution of marriage appear as if the Council expected the Church to remain as it was in the past, namely with complete jurisdiction over marriage.
  • Reimann, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In Estonian jazz history, the period from 1944 to 1953 was dynamic and contradictory, when the official status of jazz changed from a highly prized musical form during the postwar era to musica non grata by 1950. While jazz symbolised victory and friendship with the Allies in the immediate postwar period, subsequent Soviet ideological campaigns targeted jazz as the focus of Soviet ideological attacks against the entire Western world and its values. Despite Soviet power s attempts to obliterate jazz from cultural life, rather than disappear, jazz music moved into more secret private spaces. Known as Sovietisation in Estonian history and as Late-Stalinism in Soviet history, this period witnessed extensive social changes in Estonia. On the one hand, throughout this era, the Soviet occupying regime aimed consolidate its power base. On the other hand, Late-Stalinism is known for its intense ideological pressure, which for creative intelligence meant a tightening of creative freedom established through the ideological doctrine of Zhdanovshchina. This article-based dissertation on Soviet Estonian jazz history offers new insights into the meaning of this popular cultural form of Western origin and how it functions in the Soviet society. I argue that the meaning of jazz culture in Soviet Estonia emerges from the dynamic interaction between Soviet socio-political forces, the actions of cultural agents and the traditions of jazz culture. As the study demonstrates, the Great Friendship decree of 1948 led to the rupture of the music and the disappearance of the word jazz from the public space. However, cultural actors who selected their strategies of action from the available cultural repertoire played the crucial role in shaping jazz culture. The study s focus on the everyday life of jazz musicians reveals that self-actualisation was the driving force feeding their motivation. The musicians everyday strategies for self-actualisation include touring, musical learning and listening, ritualising, humour, inventiveness, curiosity, dedication, and intellectualising jazz. Our current understanding of jazz tradition is related to what can be called the jazz-as-a-tradition paradigm. This paradigm refers to a relatively recently constructed overarching American-centred narrative which historians, critics and musicians have consistently drawn around jazz. The example of Estonian jazz tries to reconstruct the jazz-as-a-tradition paradigm and to create its own array of cultural and historical meanings. The important schemata identifying jazz in Estonia are classical/light, professional/amateur, bourgeois/proletarian, swing/bebop, and dance/concert. In addition, I aim to provide theoretical schemata for investigating and interpreting jazz culture under the Soviet regime. I expect these schemata to facilitate our understaning of the particularities of the Soviet cultural model and the translation of the essence of jazz culture in Soviet Estonia to a broader international readership. As a primary conceptual outcome of my dissertation, I propose a holistic framework called cultural spaces of action . This framework advances the sociological model of private/public distinction, which is of crucial importance in understanding Soviet society. Instead of a simplistic dualistic model, I provide a four-dimensional framework which highlights (1) the interaction of jazz culture and state power, and (2) the distinction of forms within jazz culture. According to this model, jazz culture existed as journalistic discourse, as professional concert music, as amateur dance music, and as an intellectualised formal educational practice. The benefit of the model is its ability to avoid the common strategies of confrontation between Soviet power and culture , where power is perceived to supress creative people, and to disclose the paradoxical nature of jazz in the Soviet Union, where jazz was concurrently forbidden, but never silent. This interdisciplinary study benefits from multiple research traditions; it subscribes to the principles of New Cultural History in its emphasis on meaning and interpretations. These interpretations are guided by the central ideas of constructionist history, which states that history stems from the dialogue between the historian and the past, born of the historian s imaginative and constructive engagement with the evidence. As a study of a global musical form in a national historical context and under regional socio-political conditions, it deploys the ideas of transnational history: the study decentralises the idea of the national and amalgamates perspectives and contexts of Estonian, Soviet and jazz historiographical traditions. The methodological approach also includes microhistory the intensive historical investigation of a relatively well-defined smaller object. I refer to source pluralism as the main research method, as it combines fragments from various sources including archival materials (radio broadcasts, newspapers), and interviews, as well as the recorded memories and the private documents of the people who experienced Soviet life.
  • Jokela, Venla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is one of the most important forage grass species grown at high latitudes. Its sward canopy structure determines the quantity and quality of the silage yield. Nonetheless, processes behind the transition to flowering, as well as the formation of stems and the connection with forage quality have not been studied in detail for timothy. Seven experiments were conducted to explore the effect of vernalization, photoperiod and gibberellin treatments on flowering and canopy structure in different cultivars or accessions. In addition, the expression of key regulator genes, VRN1 and VRN3, as well as the flowering repressors VRN2 and MADS10 were studied, and the connection between these and flowering induction and stem formation was revealed. Results showed that photoperiod is the most important regulator of flowering in timothy. In addition, vernalization response was reported in most of the tested accessions, which was seen as faster flowering. It was found that the application of GA3 could not replace the LD requirement for flowering. Moreover, results showed that the requirement for flowering and stem elongation vary. Flowering is also associated with decreased digestibility of grass stems. Our results showed, however, that flowering induction was not required for the development of the lignified sclerenchyma ring in developing stems, but rather lignin accumulation was as a result of stem elongation and requirements for mechanical support. At molecular level, novel vernalization-related partial cDNAs were identified through sequencing. Both PpVRN1 and PpVRN3 homologs induced the transition to reproductive development, but PpVRN3 was required for flowering. These results support the theory of universal flowering-promoting system between species. The expression of the putative repressor homolog, PpMADS10, was connected to the developmental stage of the apex. Results obtained in this thesis shed new light on the regulation of flowering and canopy structure in timothy. It is concluded that large variation exists among accessions in their responses to vernalization and photoperiod. This information can be utilized in breeding for high-yielding new cultivars for different growing conditions at high latitudes and for different harvesting strategies.
  • Rajamäki, Kristiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of myocardial infarction and stroke, the leading causes of death worldwide. It is a complex multifactorial disease closely linked with obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome and, together, these conditions comprise the global epidemic of metabolic disorders that are becoming more and more prevalent, affecting adults and children alike. Atherosclerosis affects the large arteries that gradully loose their normal structure and function via a degenerative process involving lipid accumulation and chronic inflammation in the arterial wall. The lipid accumulation is driven by high circulating levels of cholesterol-carrying low density lipoproteins that become trapped and modified in the arterial wall. This causes an inflammatory reaction characterized by abundant immune cell infiltrates, mainly monocyte-derived macrophages. The macrophages scavenge large amounts of lipids and become activated to secrete a host of proinflammatory mediators and matrix-degrading enzymes that drive the progression of the disease. These processes result in the focal development of fatty lesions or plaques along the arteries. Over time, more complex lesions develop as a result of inflammatory and fibrotic responses, matrix remodeling, calcification, cholesterol crystallization, neovessel formation, and microhemorrhages. Ultimately, the plaques may rupture, causing thrombosis and acute complications. Although inflammation is recognized as a major driving force in atherosclerotic lesion development, the mechanisms triggering and maintaining the arterial wall inflammation remain incompletely understood. The aim of this thesis was to study the role of a key innate immune signaling pathway, the inflammasome, in atherosclerosis. The inflammasomes are large cytoplasmic signaling complexes that trigger the proteolytic maturation and secretion of two proinflammatory and proatherogenic cytokines, interleukin(IL)-1beta and -18. The inflammasome pathway can be triggered by microbial components or by sterile endogenous danger signals that elicit the activation of cytoplasmic sensor molecules from the NLR (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing) or PYHIN (pyrin and HIN domain containing) families. Despite the established roles of IL-1beta and -18 in driving atherosclerotic lesion development, the triggers of inflammasome activation in atherosclerotic plaques remained unknown. Macrophages are the prototypical inflammasome pathway-expressing cells, and thus cultured human macrophages were utilized to identify and characterize atherosclerosis-associated triggers of the inflammasome pathway. Cholesterol crystals and acidic environment were both found to trigger a strong inflammatory response via the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and secretion of IL-1beta and IL-18. Cholesterol crystals are a hallmark of atherosclerotic lesions, yet they have been considered an inert material that merely acts as a sink for excess free cholesterol in the arterial wall. These new data suggested, however, that cholesterol crystals act as a potent sterile danger signal that may directly link pathological lipid accumulation and inflammation in the lesions. Local extracellular acidosis arises in the growing plaque due to the hindered diffusion of oxygen and the highly active glycolytic metabolism of macrophages. Acidic environment not only triggered the NLRP3 inflammasome, but even a very mild acidification from the physiological pH of 7.4 to 7.0 was sufficient to greatly amplify the IL-1beta response to other NLRP3 activators, including cholesterol crystals. Having showed that the atherosclerotic lesions harbour potent activators of the inflammasome pathway, we further analyzed the expression of this pathway in atherosclerotic human coronary specimens obtained from 10 explanted hearts. For this purpose, we utilized a quantitative PCR array targeting 88 inflammasome pathway-related molecules. Significant upregulation of 12 target genes was found in advanced coronary plaques compared to early lesions from the same coronary trees, including many of the very core components of the inflammasome pathway. Moreover, p38delta mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), a poorly characterized isoform of the stress- and cytokine-activated p38 MAPK family, was consistently upregulated in advanced coronary plaques. Immunohistochemical stainings of human coronary lesions showed strong expression of NLRP3 inflammasome components and p38delta MAPK in macrophages surrounding the cholesterol crystal-rich lipid core. Furthermore, the p38delta MAPK was activated in cultured human macrophages upon NLRP3 inflammasome activation by cholesterol crystals and extracellular ATP, and required for NLRP3-mediated IL-1beta secretion. Taken together, the data presented in this thesis propose novel inflammasome-mediated mechanisms that may trigger sterile inflammation in atherosclerotic lesions and thus drive lesion progression.
  • Oksanen, Tuomas (Suomen Ensihoidon Tiedotus Oy, 2015)
    Aims of the study Intensive care is usually necessary for the good survival of postresuscitation patients. The use of some intensive care methods can make the survival better. The main focus of this thesis was to analyze implementation of therapeutic hypothermia in Finnish intensive care units (ICU) and its impact on survival, impact of strict glucose control on the survival of postresuscitation patients, incidence of postresuscitation myocardial depression during therapeutic hypothermia and usefulness of serum NSE concentration for prognostication. Patients and methods Implementation of therapeutic hypothermia and survival of postresuscitation patients in ICUs in Finland was analyzed retrospectively using data from the Finnish Intensive Care Consortium quality database. Impact of glucose control on survival of postresuscitation patients was studied in a randomized controlled study of patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia (24 hours at 33°C) in HUCH ICUs (n = 90). The study patients were randomized to strict (4 6 mmol/l) or moderate (6 8 mmol/l) glucose control for the first 48 hours. The incidence of myocardial depression was studied in a retrospective analysis of hemodynamic data from clinical information system database of 120 postresuscitation patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia (24 hours at 33°C) in HUCH ICUs. Usefulness of serum NSE and some other factors as prognostic tools were analyzed retrospectively from laboratory database of 90 postresuscitation patients treated with ­therapeutic hypothermia (24 hours at 33°C) in HUCH ICUs. Results Therapeutic hypothermia was implemented widely in Finnish ICUs in a few years after international guidelines were published in 2003. In the same time, mortality of postresuscitation patients treated in ICUs decreased. Mortality or serum NSE concentration did not differ between patients treated with strict or moderate glucose control. However, strict glucose control increased risk of hypoglycemia. Myocardial depression, manifesting as low cardiac output (CI less than 1.5 l/min/m2), was ­observed during the first 12 hours in two thirds of patients monitored with pulmonary artery catheter. Other hemodynamic parametres did not differ. Serum NSE concentration at 48 hours after cardiac arrest and decreasing concentration at that time point correlated with neurologic outcome, but with 100% specificity, sensitivity was low. Conclusions Therapeutic hypothermia was implemented rapidly in Finnish ICUs, compared with other European countries or USA. This was associated with better outcome, but causality is uncertain. Strict normoglycemia during intensive care of postresuscitation patients is not necessary. The optimal goal for blood glucose level is not known. Myocardial depression manifesting as low cardiac output is common in postresuscitation patients, but difficult to detect without monitoring cardiac output. The impact of ­recognition and treatment of myocardial depression on outcome requires further studies. Serum NSE measured at least 48 hours after resuscitation can be used as a prognostic tool together with other methods.
  • Karppinen, Atte (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Pituitary adenomas are the most common tumors of the sella turcica. Our objectives here were to describe the transitional phase from microscopic to endoscopic surgery for nonfunctional pituitary adenomas (NFPAs), and to outline the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and its determinants after treatment of different pituitary adenomas in a recent cohort from a single pituitary center. We retrospectively collected the relevant data for a total of 320 patients who had undergone primary surgery for a newly diagnosed pituitary adenoma during 2000-2010 at Helsinki University Hospital. The first part of our study included 185 consecutive patients who had transsphenoidal surgery for NFPA. These patients were divided into two groups based on the surgical approach: microscopic and endoscopic. Surgical and endocrinological outcomes were assessed at the 3-month follow-up. The second part of our study used a cross-sectional design and comprised all pituitary adenoma types. Each patient alive was sent a questionnaire (the 15D) assessing the HRQoL a mean of 7.4 years after the primary transsphenoidal surgery. One hundred functional pituitary adenoma (FPA) and 137 NFPA patients responded. We then compared HRQoL (15D scores) between patients and a large sample of an age- and gender-standardized Finnish general population. Independent factors influencing the overall HRQoL (mean 15D score) were estimated using multivariate analysis. A good short-term surgical outcome could be achieved during the initial phase of transition from microscopic to endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for NFPA patients. Our first endoscopic single-center consecutive case series showed a trend towards improved tumor control but the operative time was longer than with the microscopic technique.The effect of NFPA surgery on pituitary function (hypopituitarism) in both surgical groups was neutral. Current multimodal treatment protocols with optimized hormonal replacement therapies enabled normal or at least near-normal overall HRQoL to be achieved in the majority of patients with all types of pituitary adenomas. Hormonal remission rate of FPAs was 91%. However, patients with Cushing s disease and NFPA had clinically and statistically significant impairments of some single dimensions compared with the general population. Comorbidities were strong determinants of compromised overall HRQoL in patients treated for pituitary adenomas.
  • Laakkonen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The Northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans share a faunal element consisting of pairs of closely related vicariant taxa or populations and known as the amphi-boreal fauna. The inter-oceanic systematic affinities reflect a history of shared ancestry since past dispersal through the Bering Strait and across the Arctic basin, starting from the initial opening of the Bering Strait at the end of the Miocene. This thesis examines the biogeographical history of the amphi-boreal faunal element using information from molecular marker characters. The aim is to document the dynamics and consequences of the faunal interchange between the two oceans, spanning from the end of Miocene to the present. This is done by comparing differences in the mitochondrial gene sequence variation in different taxonomic groups and across the circum-boreal geographical scale, encompassing 70 taxa. The consequences of dispersal to genetic diversity was examined more closely and with additional markers in two exemplary genera, herrings and bivalve molluscs of the genus Hiatella. The phylogeographical histories of the vicariant Pacific-Atlantic populations and taxa are found remarkably variable. A simple vicariant history, with a single early invasion in the Pliocene or Early Pleistocene, was inferred only in about 50% of the examined taxa and in 30% signatures of more than one trans-Arctic invasion were found in the molecular data. Overall the estimates of inter-oceanic divergence within each of the broader taxonomic groups studied (fishes, molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, polychaetes) varied greatly, up to 10 20 fold, and suggest that trans-Arctic faunal dispersal has been a dynamic and repeated process through the entire time frame considered. Nevertheless, from the molecular divergence, several instances of putative cryptic vicariant species were revealed in invertebrates. In the nearly cosmopolitan bivalve mollusc Hiatella, altogether 11 cryptic taxa were discovered in the Northern Hemisphere and a hypothesis of their repeated inter-oceanic movements was presented. In some 40% of the amphi-boreal genera a close inter-oceanic relationship was found, often seen as incomplete mtDNA lineage sorting and implying recent trans-Arctic dispersal or ongoing migration. The consequences of secondary dispersal from the Pacific to Atlantic were examined more closely in the model cases of the genera Clupea and Hiatella. The Pacific herring C. pallasii, of East Asian origin, invaded the Northeast European seas after the last glacial period and then differentiated into separate regional populations. In Europe, the species has hybridized with the native sister species C. harengus, the Atlantic herring. The amount of introgression from the Atlantic to the Pacific herring has varied between the various contact regions of the two taxa. Particularly the Norwegian local Balsfjord herring stock seems to represent a heavily introgressed hybrid swarm. Secondary contacts of differentiated lineages were found to be a common phenomenon in all of the broader taxonomic groups studied. The introgression between old lineages, but also the effects of shorter isolation-dispersal cycles, may be important but so far overlooked phenomena in shaping the genomic composition and adaptive properties of taxa that inhabit the post-glacially colonized marginal habitats of the northern seas. Due to the current global warming and changing navigation practices in the Arctic, trans-Arctic inter-oceanic faunal exchange is expected to increase. The topic requires closer studies in the near future, in order to understand what kind of ecological and genetic consequences the exchange will have on the present day faunal communities.