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  • Eränpalo, Tommi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This dissertation deals with young people s civic skills and how these competences can be developed particularly in civics education at school by means of gamification. The dissertation consists of four sub-studies written in article form as well as a summary. The articles examine young people s civic behaviour from the perspective of conceptions of democracy, civic competence and civic identity. The current generation of youth and young adults seems to be shunning the traditional structures of civic participation and political decision making. Young people are re-evaluating their own roles in civic discussion and are often choosing methods that are outside the official channels. To further develop civic activism, this state of affairs should be changed, since our future decision makers will ultimately emerge from this group of people. The role of the school is seen as essential in scientific debate on the subject. The dissertation commences with the question of how deceptive the suggestion is that young people are passive, and how civic education didactics need new ways to recognise students involvement in civic matters. This query is addressed by means of finding new methods for civics education, using, for example, gamification and dialogue education. The intention of the dissertation is to answer the following questions: a) What aspects of young people s civic skills can be detected in the deliberation resulting from game playing? b) How should civics education at school be developed to strengthen young people s inclusion in civic affairs? The Grounded theory method is applied in the study. Each dissertation article introduces a new perspective on the research phenomenon, and the analysis of the research material proceeds in stages revealing new information on young people s civic competence. The theoretical conclusions of the study are presented in the summary. The first article focuses on the public image of young people s civic competence, which has been marked by pessimism in the early 21st century. This negative image has been publicly debated in conjunction with international surveys indicating young people s passive behaviour in civic orientation (CIVED 1999 and ICCS 2009). The article looks for a new perspective by ques-tioning the pessimistic interpretations of these surveys. It also presents new research evidence of a more active youth culture. The second and third articles venture deeper into the world of young people s civic competence. The image of young people being passive is often maintained by the conventional discussion culture in schools, one that avoids open ideological and political debate and does not particularly encourage deliberation on civic matters. The articles raise issues concerning the atmosphere in the classroom as well as the role of the student in education and society as a whole. It also presents the Act now! game, developed by the author and the author s students. The game aims to provide a framework for dealing with civic issues by means of deliberation. The fourth article introduces the concept of dialogue in education, and a comparative Scandinavian example of it. The Act now! game was played in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The article focuses on dialogue education as part of young people s civics education, and examines the features that emerge from analysing civic identity among Scandinavian youth. The summary presents the results in a way that is typical to the Grounded theory method. It then provides a summarizing analysis of them. The results justify claiming that teaching methods involving deliberation in civic education stimulate and strengthen young people s participatory civic orientation as well as their civic competence. The summary also speculates on the possibilities of increasing young people s motivation to participate in civic issues. The competences that arise from young people s deliberation indicate how the young are capable of responding to civic responsibility. The results also high-light the democratic-political need to create a forum in which young people may engage in civic deliberation. The ongoing curricular reform in Finnish primary and secondary schools will emphasise student involvement as well as creating a new and more active role for students. Accordingly, the results of this study can be implemented in civics teaching. They also suggest that deliberation instruments such as the Act Now! game could be used as a solution to didactic needs on a wider scale. A game-like method offers an example of dialogical teaching that enables a path to deliberation. Keywords: Civic competence, deliberation, gamification, inclusion
  • Hovi, Aarne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This thesis presents basic research on how airborne LiDAR measurements of forest vegetation are influenced by the interplay of the geometric-optical properties of vegetation, sensor function and acquisition settings. Within the work, examining the potential of waveform (WF) recording sensors was of particular interest. Study I focused upon discrete return LiDAR measurements of understory trees. It showed that transmission losses influenced the intensity of observations and echo triggering probabilities, and also skewed the distribution of echoes towards those triggered by highly reflective or dense targets. The intensity data were of low value for species identification, but the abundance of understory trees could be predicted based on echo height distributions. In study II, a method of close-range terrestrial photogrammetry was developed. Images were shown as being useful for visualizations and even the geometric quality control of LiDAR data. The strength of backscattering was shown to correlate with the projected area extracted from the images. In study III, a LiDAR simulation model was developed and validated against real measurements. The model was able to be used for sensitivity analyses to illustrate how plant structure or different pulse properties influence the WF data. Both simulated and real data showed that WF data were able to capture small-scale variations in the structural and optical properties of juvenile forest vegetation. Study IV illustrated the potential of WF data in the species classification of larger trees. The WF features that separated tree species were also dependent on other variables such as tree size and phenology. Inherent between-tree differences in structure were quantified and the effects of pulse density on the features were examined. Overall, the thesis provides basic findings on how LiDAR pulses interact with forest vegetation, and serves to link theory with real observations. The results contribute to an improved understanding of LiDAR measurements and their limitations, and thus provide support for further improvements in both data interpretation methods and specific sensor design.
  • Markula-Patjas, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) are predisposed to compromised bone health and alterations in body composition because of chronic inflammation, nutritional and hormonal disturbances, limited physical activity and glucocorticoid (GC) therapy. Compromised bone health may present as pathological vertebral compression fractures, but data on their prevalence and risk factors in children are limited. Excess fat, and especially adipose tissue-derived adipokines leptin and adiponectin, may also contribute to impaired bone health. Furthermore, adipokines modulate immunity and inflammation in adults with rheumatic diseases, but their role in JIA has not been explored. We evaluated bone health in patients with severe JIA and investigated body composition and adipokines and their contribution to bone health and disease activity in JIA. We recruited two cohorts of patients for cross-sectional studies. The Severe JIA Cohort comprised 50 patients with severe polyarticular or systemic JIA. The GC-treated Cohort included 50 patients with JIA with mostly mild to moderate disease severity and at least three months' exposure to systemic GC. The results were compared with those of sex-and age-matched healthy controls. The study protocol included clinical and laboratory assessments, evaluation of bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), spinal radiography and spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Spinal radiography showed vertebral compression fractures in 22% of the patients with severe JIA. Patients with fractures had higher weight-adjusted cumulative GC dose, higher disease activity and higher body mass index than those without fractures. Bone age-corrected BMD Z-scores for lumbar spine and whole body were similar between those with and without fractures. On spinal MRI, altogether 28% of patients with severe JIA showed vertebral fractures and several other vertebral changes, including end plate irregularities in 26%, anterior vertebral corner lesions in 16% and disc changes in 46%. Based on concentrations of bone turnover markers, the patients with severe JIA had increased bone resorption, but normal bone formation. Further, patients with severe JIA had increased body adiposity, and their serum leptin was increased even independently of fat mass. Leptin showed an inverse association with bone turnover markers in patients, while in controls the association was dependent on fat mass. In the GC-treated Cohort, fat mass, lean mass and serum leptin and adiponectin were similar to those of controls, but patients had slightly lower BMD values than controls. Those patients with lumbar spine BMD Z-score -1.0 tended to have higher serum leptin values than those with higher BMD Z-scores, but in regression analysis leptin was not associated with BMD. Adipokines did not correlate with current disease activity in either patient cohort. Patients with severe JIA have compromised bone health based on high prevalence of compression fractures. Risk factors include high GC exposure, high disease activity and high body mass index. BMD, as measured by DXA, is unable to differentiate between those with and without compression fractures. According to spinal MRI findings, patients with severe JIA have, besides compression fractures, several other changes involving intervertebral discs and vertebral end plates; the clinical relevance of these remains uncertain. Patients with severe JIA are prone to high adiposity, whereas those with less severe disease have normal body composition despite previous GC exposure. Leptin may negatively contribute to bone metabolism in severe JIA, but larger and longitudinal studies are needed to prove causality and to evaluate whether these preliminary findings are generalizable to other JIA groups. We did not observe a correlation between leptin or adiponectin and disease activity in either JIA cohort. The possible role of adipokines as a modulator of immunity and inflammation in JIA remains to be evaluated.
  • Gruber, Christina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Both the ability to gain a high dominance status and having an efficient immune defence are favourable qualities that typically increase fitness in social and host-parasite interactions. Individuals with a high dominance status are predicted to gain fitness-related benefits from prior access to limited, defensible resources, such as food and matings. Immune defence mechanisms, on the other hand, have evolved to minimize the fitness costs of parasitic infections. The relative significance of a high dominance status and strong immune defence for individual fitness is, however, affected by the quality of the environment. The aim of this thesis is to improve the understanding of environmentally determined variation in dominance status, immune defence and their consequences for individual fitness. I use the native noble crayfish (Astacus astacus), the invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and the highly virulent, invasive Aphanomyces astaci, the causative agent of the crayfish plague, as my study models. I first experimentally test theoretical predictions on how major ecological factors, including food availability, predation risk and population density, influence behavioural decision-making in fight contests, especially with regard to the maintenance of dominance hierarchies between size-matched crayfish. Using natural noble crayfish subpopulations with different crayfish plague history, I then explore whether variation in immune defence and crayfish plague resistance is potentially explained by local adaptation to the disease, or alternatively by geographical divergence. By keeping noble crayfish experimentally under constant environmental conditions, I finally determine whether seasonal variation in immune defence is endogenously regulated. My results show that individuals that had achieved dominant status in non-resource fight contests have an advantage in monopolising a limited, defendable food resource in a future contest. Furthermore, I find evidence that as population density increases, the division of the resource between dominants and subdominants becomes more unequal. Generally, my results suggest that due to ecological factors the dominance status of individuals can be more dynamic than theory predicts, especially when the contestants have similar fighting ability. For example, in line with the asset-protection principle, individuals having achieved dominant status in a non-predation risk contest increase their submissive behaviours in the presence of a predation threat, giving subdominants the opportunity to win a larger percentage of bouts in the predation risk contest. My results also reveal evidence for geographical variation in resistance to the crayfish plague and immune defence that is, however, independent of historical disease outbreaks in the study subpopulations. Furthermore, for the first time in invertebrates, my results demonstrate reproduction-related endogenous seasonal variation in the immune defence of noble crayfish. Overall, my results suggest that ecological factors, such as population density, predation risk and disease history, have to be taken in to account to better understand the causes and consequences of dominance status and immune defence in any individual species.
  • Kaasalainen, Touko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The number of computed tomography (CT) examinations has increased in recent years due to developments in scanner technology and the increased diagnostic capabilities of CT. Nowadays, CT has become a major contributor to accumulated radiation doses from radiological examinations, accounting for approximately 60% of the overall medical radiation dose in Western countries. Ionizing radiation is generally considered harmful to health, and current knowledge suggests that the risk for stochastic effects increases linearly with radiation dose. Minimizing patient doses in CT requires effective optimization practices, including both technical and clinical approaches. CT optimization aims to reduce patients exposure to radiation without compromising image quality for diagnosis. The aim of this dissertation was to explore the feasibility of using anthropomorphic phantoms and metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) in CT optimization and patient dose measurements, and to study CT optimization in versatile clinical situations. Specifically, this thesis focused on studying the effects of patient centering on the CT scanner isocenter by determining changes in patient dose and image quality. Additionally, as a part of this thesis, we constructed and optimized ultralow-dose CT protocols for craniosynostosis imaging, and explored different optimization methods for reducing radiation exposure to eye lenses. Moreover, fetal radiation doses were assessed in the most typical CT examinations of a pregnant woman which also place the fetus at the highest risk for ionizing radiation-induced health detriments. Anthropomorphic phantoms and MOSFET dosimeters proved feasible in CT optimization even with the use of ultralow-dose levels. Patient vertical off-centering posed a common and serious problem in chest CT, as a majority of the scanned patients were positioned below the isocenter of the CT scanner, which significantly affected both radiation dose and image quality. This exposes the radiosensitive anterior surface tissues, including the breasts and thyroid gland, to greater risk. Special attention should focus on pediatric patients in particular, as they were typically miscentered lower than adults were. The use of constructed ultralow-dose CT protocols with model-based iterative reconstruction can enable craniosynostosis CT imaging with sufficient image quality for diagnosis with an effective dose of less than 20 μSv for the patient. This dose level was approximately 85% lower than the level used in routine CT protocols in the hospital for craniosynostosis, and was comparable to the radiation exposure of a plain-skull radiography examination. The most efficient method for reducing the dose to the eye lens proved to be gantry tilting, which leaves the eye lenses outside the primary radiation beam, thereby reducing the absorbed dose up to 75%. However, measurements with two different anthropomorphic head phantoms showed that patient geometry significantly affects dose-reduction capabilities. If lenses can only partially be cropped outside the primary beam, organ-based tube current modulation or bismuth shields may also be used for reducing the dose to the lenses. Based on the measured absorbed doses in this thesis, the radiation dose to the fetus poses no obstacle to an optimized CT examination with a medically necessary indication. The volumetric CT dose index (CTDIvol) provides a rough estimate of the fetal dose when the uterus is in the primary radiation beam, although the extent of the scan range has a substantial effect on the fetal dose. The results support the conception that when the fetus or uterus is not in the scan range, the fetal dose is affected mainly by the distance from the scan range.
  • Marionneau, Virve (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Public and academic discussion of gambling has been characterised by numerous contradictions. Although definitions of gambling as a sinful activity or even as a crime are now things of the past, the contemporary debate on whether gamblinkö-g is actually a social problem, an individual problem, a socially beneficial activity or perhaps just another form of consumption has been heated. This study maintains that no such conclusive definition of the social role of gambling can be found because societies discuss gambling differently based on contextual conditions. The research question asks whether the understandings of gambling differ between two European societies, Finland and France, and if so, how these differences are manifested. To answer this question a comparative study has been conducted. The research data consist of group interviews conducted among gamblers in Finland and in France, along with legal texts that regulate gambling in each country. Finland and France were chosen for this study owing to practical constraints but also to represent two European countries with differing gambling traditions but with similar overall availability of gambling opportunities. This made it possible to analyse institutional differences related to provision and legislation, as well as to compare cultural differences related to habits of thought and deep cultural structures. The study argues that social contexts influence not only the kind of gambling offers made available, but also how gambling is discussed, how it is justified, how it is understood and even how ensuing problems are conceptualised. Sociological theory is used to show that the way we understand social concepts such as gambling is specific to a particular cultural and institutional context. The results show that Finland and France differ in terms of how their gambling legislation has been justified and in how gamblers themselves discuss the activity. Differences were found in relation to what was considered an acceptable reason to gamble, what was considered the cause of problem gambling and how well the gambling offers of their respective countries were accepted. It is argued here that these differences reflect separate historical traditions of gambling, varying institutional organisations providing gambling opportunities, cultural differences in how blame is assigned, and varying conceptualisations of individuality in Finland and France. The analysis supports the hypothesis, showing that the way gambling is understood depends on the social context. The comparative analysis also demonstrates that gambling is a social issue and should be treated as such when its consequences, its availability or its importance to societies are discussed.
  • Siikamäki, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Study I analyzed Finnish travellers health problems abroad during 2010 2012. Information was drawn from a database kept by an assistance organization of insurance companies covering 95% of Finnish cases requiring aid abroad. The study included 50 710 cases. These data were compared to numbers of Finnish travellers from the Official Statistics of Finland to calculate incidences of illness and injury at various destinations. The most common diagnostic categories proved to be infections (60%) and injuries (14%); the most frequent diagnoses were acute gastroenteritis (23%) and respiratory infections (21%). Incidence was high in Africa, southern Europe plus the eastern Mediterranean, and Asia. Pre-travel counselling appears advisable also for visitors to southern Europe. Means for preventing gastrointestinal and respiratory infections are needed. Study II explored the final diagnoses of returning travellers with fever. This retrospective investigation comprised 462 febrile adults returning from malaria-endemic areas admitted to the Helsinki University Central Hospital emergency room during 2005 2009. The most common diagnostic categories were acute diarrhoeal disease (27%), systemic febrile illness (15%), and respiratory illness (15%). One traveller in four had a potentially life-threatening illness; septicemia proved as common as malaria (5% vs. 4%); one in ten had more than one diagnosis. The results suggest that the diagnostic protocol in tertiary hospital should in addition to malaria smears comprise blood cultures, influenza rapid test, and HIV test. Study III analyzed surveillance data on malaria cases reported to the National Infectious Disease Register 1995 2008 totalling 484 cases, and related them to travel statistics and antimalarial drug sales. The number of visits to malaria-endemic areas increased, whereas malaria cases did not, and a decreasing trend appeared in antimalarial drug sales. Infections were mostly acquired in Africa (76%). The most common species was Plasmodium falciparum (61%). Of all cases, 42% proved of foreign origin; in 89%, the infection was contracted in the region of birth, implying that immigrants visiting friends and relatives constitute a risk group with a particular need for pre-travel advice. Study IV analyzed in detail the background information on malaria cases diagnosed in Finland 2003 2011. The data included 265 cases, 54% of whom were born in malaria-endemic countries, and 86% currently lived in non-endemic regions. Of those born in non-endemic regions, 81% had received pre-travel advice, but only 20% of those born in endemic ones. Among travellers infected with P. falciparum, 4% reported regular use of appropriate chemoprophylaxis, yet individual rechecking by interview revealed that none had been fully compliant. These data suggest that, if taken conscientiously, mefloquine, atovaquone/proguanil, and doxycycline are effective as chemoprophylaxis against P. falciparum malaria.
  • Pyyry, Noora (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In this thesis, the key themes of 1) knowing and 2) participation are examined in relation to creative and meaningful practical engagement with one's everyday surroundings, i.e. 'dwelling with' the world. These themes are explored both within the research process and in the context of young people's, and particularly teenage girls hanging out. This research is inspired by the Situationist practice of dérive, and draws from participatory research tradition, posthuman feminist thinking and non-representational theorization. 'Dwelling with' is approached with an acknowledgement of the capacity of the material world to produce effects in human bodies: things and spaces thus take part in the - seemingly trivial, but often highly affectual - everyday encounters that make dwelling with possible. Ergo, also 'data' is approached in a new way. The power of words and other representations is not ignored, but they are taken as 'doings': they are performative. Representations are thus not evidence of a separate reality that lies behind them. In the thesis, attention is placed on the creative potential of experimentation. Fieldwork for this thesis happened in three phases. The first phase in 2011 was a pilot study conducted in Helsinki in connection to a 9th grade geography course (participants were 15 to 16 years). The second phase took place in San Francisco in 2012 and was conducted via school, but separately from schoolwork. The participants in this study we 7th graders (12 to 13 years). The third phase in 2013 took place in Helsinki, again as part of a 9th grade geography course (participants were 15 to 16 years). First, the thesis explores how participatory methods can be used to support young people's role as co-researchers, foster their engagement in the research process and carve space for alternative knowledges. Together with the playful topic of hanging out, these methods can cultivate a relaxed atmosphere in the research situations. This is especially important when working in the school context. The methods also help balance power relations and address topics that could otherwise be left unnoticed. Second, the thesis shows how photography can be used as a method for multisensory 'thinking with' the world. This creative method is connected to movement in photo-walks. This practice is argued to foster young people's engagement with their everyday surroundings, and the research process, by linking action and understanding. This engagement opens up possibilities for spatial-embodied reflection. Later, the photographs serve as fieldnotes that take part in the thinking process and inspire action in the form of reflection in photo-talks. In this thesis, photographs are not considered as data of 'what was there' , rather they are understood to have productive power in the research process. Third, the thesis introduces the concept of hanging out -knowing. This knowing becomes possible through dwelling with: it takes place in everyday encounters. Hanging out -knowing is non-instrumental multisensory reflection about one's place in the world. Because hanging out is playful and wonderfully purposeless, space is cleared for the inspiring experience of enchantment. In these moments of being moved by something, new reflection can emerge. The moment of enchantment is always accidental, but it can be cultivated by artistic methods, such as photo-walking. Finally, the thesis argues that by hanging out at a shopping mall teenage girls participate in the world. Because hanging out lacks rigid plans, moments of enchantment become possible. This openness towards the world fosters dwelling with one's surroundings, in this case the shopping mall. By hanging out, girls disturb the rhythm of consumption. Improvisation with things and spaces produces a micro-atmosphere of play that interferes with the atmosphere of consumption at the mall. Through participation by being and by actively marking and claiming spaces as theirs, girls create momentary 'hangout homes' for themselves. Hanging out produces alternative modes of engagement with the city. Creative experimentation cultivates lively and mixed-use public spaces, and adds to making urban life vibrant and thought-provoking.
  • Killian, Don (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This dissertation investigates the grammar and phonology of Uduk, a language belonging to the Koman branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Uduk is spoken by approximately 20 to 25,000 speakers, whose community homeland was in the southern part of the former Blue Nile Province of Sudan. Due to continuing war conditions since the late 1980s, the majority are now living scattered in the international diaspora, as well as in refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan. The description provides an analysis of the phonology, morphology, and syntax based on thirteen months of fieldwork between 2011 and 2014. Included in the grammatical description are sixteen glossed texts, to help illustrate the grammar in context. Most major aspects of the language are described and analyzed in detail. This includes the segmental and suprasegmental phonology, nouns and noun phrases, pronouns and agreement marking, nominal and verbal modifiers, verbs and verb phrases, major clause types, and clause linking. Uduk has a rich phonology; the main dialect of Uduk has 55 contrastive consonant phonemes, 21 of which occur as a result of the secondary feature labialization. There are three contrastive tone levels in Uduk, and seven possible register/contour melodies on a single TBU. There is also a complex interaction between consonants and tone which has given rise to a depressor consonant effect. This is one of the first Nilo-Saharan languages known to have such. Argument structure and morphosyntax are equally interesting. Uduk has morphologically marked cases for both Accusative as well as Ergative, depending on the constituent order. Uduk nouns exhibit grammatical gender, the assignment of which has nearly no semantic correlations, even minimal ones relating to animacy or biological sex. Uduk verb forms use polysemous grammatical suffixes which mark either the location of an action or its internal aspect, and spatial deixis and aspect are heavily intertwined. Spatial orientation and location thus form a fundamental part of basic verbal inflectional categories. In addition to morphological marking on the basic verb root, many verbs additionally carry discontinuous incorporated nouns called Partarguments. Partarguments are typically body parts, and may function either to classify an argument or then to change the basic meaning of the verb. These as well as other linguistic features make this description a valuable resource for Nilo-Saharan linguists as well as those interested in the typology of African languages.
  • Orivuori, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    ABSTRACT Allergies have become a major public health problem in recent decades. Approximately 60 million people in Europe, and one billion worldwide, are affected by allergies. In Europe, approximately 30% of the population suffers from allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, approximately 20% from asthma, and 15% from allergic skin conditions. The farming environment has been shown to protect against allergies. In the present thesis, we studied the development of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization, allergic diseases, gut permeability and inflammation in children from farming and non-farming environments who participated in the PASTURE project (Protection against allergy: study in rural environments). Our results showed that early-age inflammation, measured with serum high-sensitivity C- reactive protein (hs-CRP) at the age of 1 year, was associated with decreased risk of IgE-sensitization at the age of 4.5 years. Our findings suggest that poor inflammatory response at infancy may predispose to IgE-sensitization. The allergy-protective effect of breastfeeding is debated. Our findings illustrated that increased breast milk soluble immunoglobulin A (sIgA) levels were associated with decreased risk of atopic dermatitis (AD) up to the age of 2 years. When the ingested dose of sIgA during the first year of life was considered, it was associated with decreased risk of AD up to ages of 2 and 4 years. Elevated sIgA levels in breast milk were associated with environmental factors indicating increased environmental microbial load. Serum immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) against cow s milk β- lactoglobulin (BLG) and wheat gliadin are induced by the antigen exposure, but the antibody levels are also affected by the gut permeability and inflammation. Elevated serum IgA or IgG antibody levels against BLG at the age of 1 year increased the risk of sensitization to at least one of the measured allergens or food allergens at the age of 6 years. Elevated levels of IgG against gliadin at the age of 1 year increased the risk of sensitization to any, at least one inhalant, or at least one food allergen at the age of 6 years. Our findings suggest that an enhanced antibody response to food antigens reflects alterations in mucosal tolerance, such as altered increased gut permeability and/or microbiota, which is later seen as sensitization to allergens. Fecal calprotectin is a marker of intestinal inflammation. We studied the association of early-infancy fecal calprotectin levels to the later development of allergic diseases in children from farming and non-farming environments, and further evaluated the effect of gut microbes on the levels of fecal calprotectin. Infants from a farming environment had higher levels of fecal calprotectin at the age of 2 months when compared to the infants from a non-farming environment. However, farming did not explain the very high levels of calprotectin, i.e. the levels above the 90th percentile. The infants with remarkably high fecal calprotectin levels at the age of 2 months, i.e. levels above the 90th percentile, had an increased risk of developing AD and asthma/asthmatic bronchitis by the age of 6 years. Infants who had high fecal calprotectin concentrations had less Escherichia in their feces. Our findings suggest that strong intestinal inflammation at early infancy represents a risk of allergic diseases, and the colonization with Escherichia coli is an important regulator of the inflammation implicating long-term health effects mediated by early intestinal colonization. In conclusion, the findings in this thesis show that the environmental microbial load plays an important role in the development of the immune system in infants and ultimately may affect the risk of developing allergic diseases. In addition to the direct effects on the infant, the effects of the environmental microbial load are also mediated indirectly through alterations in maternal milk composition. Interestingly, we found that an early intestinal inflammation is associated with the later risk of allergic diseases and gut colonization indicating a crucial role of gut colonization in the development of allergy. Keywords: Allergy, antibody, asthma, atopic dermatitis, farming environment, fecal calprotectin, IgE-sensitization, inflammation.
  • Vesala, Juha (IPR University Center, 2015)
    Innovation the development of new or improved products and technologies is a major source of economic welfare and growth. Due to its advantages, policy-makers seek to promote innovation in markets by addressing market failures that threaten innovation, such as the risk of free-riding through grant of intellectual property rights ( IPRs ) and concerns raised by market power in antitrust law. This article-based dissertation examines how antitrust (Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) could treat certain practices involving IPRs in a way amenable to innovation. This poses a major challenge because practices often simultaneously involve aspects that are desirable for innovation (e.g. as a means of recouping investments) and harmful to it (e.g. lessening competitive pressures to innovate). Therefore, trade-offs are required between these conflicting aspects. However, as many innovation aspects are theoretically and empirically ambiguous, antitrust choices must be made under considerable uncertainty. Using methods of theoretical legal dogmatics and arguments from economics, the study develops approaches for the antitrust treatment of certain practices involving IPRs (misuse of IPR application procedures, enforcement of standards-essential patents, and conditions of licensing). As its main result, the study offers analytical approaches and antitrust standards that allow courts, authorities and firms to assess practices. The study finds, for instance, that although antitrust normally does not limit enforcement of IPRs, recourse to injunctive relief by essential patent holders can violate antitrust due to the specific context of standard-setting in which failure to uphold promises to license essential patents threatens competition, standardization and innovation. The study also presents broader observations on the role of antitrust protection of innovation. EU antitrust breaks new ground in extending its scrutiny to conduct in IP application and enforcement procedures, but this does not diverge from the established premise of antitrust only exceptionally intervening in the core of IPR. While conventionally antitrust has mostly been seen as limiting the exercise of IPRs, some practices examined interestingly highlight the possibly increasing role of antitrust in protecting IP holders interests and safeguarding rewards of innovators.
  • Rolando, Sara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The aim in this study is to narrow the gap in knowledge about how young people understand their direct (personal) and indirect (others ) drinking experiences by investigating images of alcohol (Sulkunen, 2007) among Italian and Finnish adolescents and young people on the threshold of adulthood. Italy and Finland are considered examples of geographies (Sulkunen, 2013) characterised by different social values and socialisation practices, but also facing common global challenges (Beck, 2005). The concept of individualistic and collectivistic cultures is used as a framework to describe the variations observed in young people s images of the risks related to alcohol consumption and responsible drinking. Individualistic cultures represent a socio-cultural system in which individuals are expected to develop an independent personality, and autonomy and self-maximisation are the prominent values, whereas collectivistic cultures encourage adherence to norms, values, roles and familial authority (Dwairy 2002). Within this framework, Finnish and Italian cultures are perceived as exemplifying individualism and family-oriented collectivism, respectively. The six published research articles, which together with this summary comprise the whole work, were co-authored by various Italian and Finnish researchers and are based on three main sets of data collected in focus-group (FG) interviews: 1) 32 FGs involving 191 participants from four different cohorts organised in Helsinki (FI) and Turin (IT); 2) 40 mixed-gender FGs involving 220 pupils aged 15-16 organised in Turin and Cosenza (IT) and Helsinki, and 10 FGs involving 30 parents and 32 teachers organised in Italy; 3) 32 FGs including 105 male and female pupils aged 13-14 and 15-16 and living in urban (Milan and Helsinki) and rural areas (Ciriè and Orivesi). The Reception Analytical Group Interview (RAGI) technique was used for collecting most of the data (sets 2 and 3), with visual images as stimuli, the aim being to enhance comparability in qualitative research (Sulkunen and Egerer 2009). Data set 1) was collected by means of verbal questioning and photographic stimuli. The results indicate that collectivistic, and particularly family-oriented cultures have thus far contributed to shaping less risky drinking patterns among young people. There are many reasons for this, including the more coherent and active role of parents in the socialisation process, the presence of shared social norms, and a greater awareness of the risks of drinking that are beyond the individual s control. Conversely, a parenting model that places more emphasis on independence and self-efficacy, which is typical of the more individualistic geographies, conveys trust in an individual s own competence to handle drinking, which in turn leads to a lack of attention to risks that are beyond the individual s control, in other words risks that are contextual, social and inherent in the substance. However, the global trend towards individualisation and the complex nature of the transition to adulthood could soon undermine the more protective collectivist images of alcohol.
  • Silvennoinen, Reija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial progressive disease characterized by the appearance of inflamed lesions in the inner arterial wall (intima). The clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis afflict more than half of the population globally. The main component of an atherosclerotic lesion is a cholesterol-filled macrophage (a foam cell); the degree of cholesterol accumulation within these cells is a major determinant of the disease process. In addition to macrophages, the inflamed intima contains numerous mast cells which, upon activation, acutely secrete serine proteases and other mediators that can influence the progression of atherosclerotic lesions. HDL-mediated removal of cholesterol from the lipid-filled macrophages and its transfer to the liver and feces for ultimate excretion, a process termed macrophage- reverse cholesterol transport (m-RCT), is an important anti-atherogenic mechanism. The multi-step m-RCT pathway appears to be modulated at the various steps. Mast cell-derived proteases, by degrading HDL lipoproteins, may affect the early steps of m-RCT, a possibility that has not been investigated in vivo. Psychological stress, an established risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and a potent activator of mast cells, might also interfere with m-RCT. With an aim to answer the question whether cholesterol flux through the m-RCT pathway could be physiologically modulated by mast cell activation and stress, this thesis assessed the functionality of the various components of the m-RCT pathway using the mouse as the experimental model. In the first study, a short-term m-RCT in vivo analysis was validated and performed to investigate the consequence of local mast cell activation for the functionality of HDL in m-RCT. The following study utilized the same method to address the effects of acute psychological stress on m-RCT. In the third study, the effects of stress on m-RCT were assessed in a chronic setting. An inhibitory role of peritoneal mast cell activation in vivo on the initial step of the m-RCT was established. Conversely, stress exposure, both acute and repetitive, induced multiple m-RCT-promoting responses in the liver and intestine. Mice exposed to acute psychophysical stress exhibited accelerated m-RCT due to compromised intestinal absorption of cholesterol, uncovering a novel functional connection between the stress hormone corticosterone and m-RCT. Repeated exposure to the same stressor resulted in increased fecal excretion of bile acids which also stimulated the rate of m-RCT. Altogether, the results presented in this thesis demonstrate that the m-RCT pathway is effectively modulated by two physiological factors, psychological stress and mast cell activation, which are involved in the pathology of atherosclerosis.
  • Jokinen, Tuija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    We live in a world full of aerosols and witness their existence constantly. Changes in visibility, road dust and pollen filling the air in the spring time and even dosing some medicines are all related to aerosols. The most important aspect for this thesis is however, the formation of aerosol precursor molecules and clusters and their possible effects on aerosol properties. Different types of aerosols e. g. organic and inorganic, ice and pollen, biogenic and anthropogenic, when acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), can change the optical properties of clouds and thus have different climate effects via changes in precipitation or cloud cover. Also the mechanism how the small cloud seeds are formed can have a major effect on the cloud properties. Clouds reflect and scatter radiation cooling the atmosphere but to this day aerosol effects still form the largest uncertainty in estimates of the climate of the future. Low-volatility compounds in the ambient air are the most important components in both aerosol formation and their growth to sizes that can affect cloud properties such as their reflectivity. The vapours in the atmosphere form around half of the first precursors of aerosol particles via nucleation, still molecular in size. The rest is released directly into the air e.g. by the traffic or from the oceans as sea salt. Neutral molecular size precursor substituents are difficult to detect because they lack electric charge and their concentrations rarely exceed the detection limits of the used measurement instruments. This is one of the reasons why the first steps of nucleation process are still partly unsolved after decades of research. This thesis concentrates first in development of selective methods and ultrasensitive instrumentation for the detection of acidic aerosol precursor molecules and clusters. These compounds include sulphuric acid, which is known to be highly important precursor for new particle formation. This thesis presents the first ambient measurements with the new instrumentation and even though sulphuric acid was detected in relative high concentrations during a particle formation event, no ambient cluster formation was yet observed. The same instrumentation was further used in an ultraclean chamber experiment were sulphuric acid and dimethyl amine formed growing clusters and they were detected from the smallest clusters all the way up to ~2 nm size. These compounds are likely to dominate the new particle formation with low-volatility organic compounds. Tens of thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOC) are emitted in the atmosphere by terrestrial vegetation, marine environments and anthropogenic sources, making the search for the meaningful compounds for new particle formation extremely difficult. In this thesis a new group of extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOC) from terpene oxidation are introduced. They form a large source of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and might help explaining the former big gap between the measured and the modelled SOA loads in the atmosphere. Formation of these compounds from RO2 radicals via rapid autoxidation process to stable molecules is also studied in details in laboratory experiments. This thesis also utilizes a global modelling framework, where the measurement results are applied. According to this thesis, ELVOC in particular are in crucial role when estimating SOA and CCN formation in the air. All together this thesis is a comprehensive study of both organic and inorganic low-volatility precursor molecules and clusters in the atmosphere, from their origin, formation mechanisms, and measurement techniques to their possible effects on climate now and in the future.
  • Kangasluoma, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Atmospheric aerosols exhibit the largest uncertainties in the radiative forcings of the Earth s climate. A large fraction of the uncertainties originates from the aerosol-cloud in-teractions, a process which is not understood completely. Understanding the processes related to aerosol formation and growth will help to narrow down these uncertainties and understand the anthropogenic fraction of the radiative forcings. Atmospheric new particle formation creates a large fraction of the particles present in the atmosphere. To understand the process thoroughly, direct measurements of the par-ticle concentration and chemical composition are needed. This need has pushed the in-strument development forward, allowing measurements which were not possible five years ago: a direct measurement of the concentration and composition of sub-3 nm particles. The purpose of this thesis was to develop methods to calibrate the instruments to reliably measure sub-3 nm particles. We developed an experimental setup to reproducibly generate well-characterized sub-3 nm particles in the laboratory, with the particular aim to characterize particle counters. During the course of the work the particle generation meth-ods were modified to provide test aerosols smaller than 3 nm, of which chemical composi-tion was monitored simultaneously with a mass spectrometer. Together with the modifica-tion of the generators, commercial fine particle counters were shown to be capable of sub-2 nm particle detection Controlling the properties of the generated particles was found to be extremely important in the measurement of sub-3 nm particles. With the various test particles we studied the importance of the particle size, charging state and chemical composition on their detection, as well as the importance of the particle counter working fluid on the de-tection. The chemical composition of the particles was the most important factor determin-ing the smallest detectable size in the sub-3 nm size range. One of the particle counters, the Particle Size Magnifier (PSM) was characterized more in depth at low pressure conditions and various operation temperatures, providing in depth understanding on the instrument operation. The results provided key aspects on how the instrument should be operated in field experiments in order to obtain reliable data. In laboratory conditions the inversion routine of the particle PSM was experimentally verified against a high resolution differential mobility analyzer and an electrometer. The results of this thesis provide basic knowledge on sub-3 nm particle generation and detection. The utilization of several generation techniques and test aerosols of differ-ent chemical composition, the operation of sub-3 nm particle detectors was improved along with a more in-depth understanding on the parameters governing the particle - vapor interactions. The laboratory instrumentation used in this thesis offer tools for chemical (composition) and physical (electrical mobility, charging state) characterization of the sub-3 nm particles. Overall this thesis improved the methods dealing with sub-3 nm particles from their generation to characterization, and to their detection. The methods are directly applicable to other fields of nanomaterial production and characterization, as well as envi-ronmental and industrial nanoparticle monitoring.
  • Vlachopoulou, Efthymia (2015)
    The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) region is located on chromosome 6 (6p21.3) and its main function is to regulate the immune system. This region has been associated with several autoimmune and other inflammatory conditions. However, many aspects of these associations remain unknown due to high polymorphism, high linkage disequilibrium (LD) and high gene density of this region that increase the complexity and create computational challenges. In this Thesis, the aim is to investigate the HLA haplotype variation in the Finnish population, to evaluate the HLA imputation using two of the existed softwares and to analyze the HLA association with Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). The main question in this study is whether the HLA region varies in the Finnish population compared to other populations and how this variation can influence the results of further analyses. The HLA haplotypes showed great variation in the Finnish population compared to other European populations due to different linkage disequilibrium (LD) structures and this highlights the diversity of the HLA haplotypes among different populations. The most common European haplotype HLA-A*01~HLA-B*08~HLA-DRB1*03 shows a lower frequency in Finland, whereas the enrichment of the haplotype HLA-A*03~HLA-B*35~HLA-DRB1*01 was observed (I). Furthermore, the poor imputation results of the HLA-DRB1 gene enhance the power of the previously mentioned arguments (from I) due to the inaccurate imputation from other European populations. The study emphasizes the need for population-specific reference materials for a successful imputation (II). The diversity of HLA alleles, the variability in the frequencies of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) among populations, the difference of the rare HLA alleles appearing in various populations and the extremely high amount of combinations of HLA alleles (due to high polymorphism) contribute to the low success rates of imputation. The association (OR = 4.43, 95% CI = 3.57-5.50) of a novel BTNL2;HLA-DRA;HLA-DRB1*01-haplotype with the risk of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) was identified (III). The analysis showed the implication of the HLA-DRB1*01 allele and the BTNL2 gene to the inflammation process. These two genes affect the antigen presentation and its immune response. Overall, the associated haplotype appeared approximately in 15% of ACS patients and in 5% of healthy individuals. Furthermore, the survival analysis shows that the HLA-DRB1*01 allele does not affect the survival time after an ACS event. Our results provide more insight into the detailed patterns of the haplotypes in the Finnish population, into the success of the imputation approaches and into the HLA association with ACS. Genetic diversity is depicted on these haplotypes which might lead to different immune responses. These findings help future development of appropriate statistical tools for the HLA region.
  • Knaster, Peter (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Chronic pain is a long-lasting burdensome condition. Comorbid psychological symptoms are common in chronic pain patients and they tend to worsen the treatment outcome. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in chronic pain patients and to assess the associations between chronic pain, anxiety, anger, and depression. The study participants in the study were one hundred consecutive chronic pain patients referred to the Meilahti Pain Clinic of Helsinki University Hospital. The subjects were interviewed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV for Axis I disorders (SCID-I). In addition self-report questionnaires were used in the assessment. Most (75%) patients had at least one lifetime mental disorder. The prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) was 37% and of a specific anxiety disorder 25% over the past 12 months. The psychiatric comorbidity was associated with increased pain intensity, measured by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). The majority (77%) of the anxiety disorders had their onset before the onset of pain, whereas only 37% of the mood disorders preceded pain onset. The Harm Avoidance (HA) scale of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) of Cloninger was associated with pain-related anxiety measured with Pain Anxiety Symptom Scale-20. The pain intensity influenced the strength of the association between the Harm Avoidance HA4 subscale and pain-related anxiety. Higher pain intensity was associated with stronger association between the variables. Likewise, pain intensity influenced the association between anger management and depression. A tendency to inhibit angry feelings was associated the somatic and physical symptoms of depression, measured by a two-factor model of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The association was stronger in patients with higher pain intensity. Chronic pain patients with current MDD scored higher in both the somatic and cognitive-emotional subscales of the BDI compared with those without MDD. However, the somatic-physical-related items were more strongly associated with the diagnosis of MDD. Psychiatric disorders are common in chronic pain patients. Because of their influence on the chronic pain treatment and outcome, their thorough assessment is important. The linking mechanisms between chronic pain and the psychiatric disorders and symptoms are complicated and there is an overlap between the constructs. Clear boundaries between pain, anxiety and depression can be difficult to draw, which can be a reflection of the common background mechanisms such as common neural circuits and neurotransmitters.
  • Visakko, Tomi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The study examines the mediation and evaluation of personhood in light of Finnish online dating advertisements. The main focus is on the performance and interpretation of what has been called self-promotion, or the idealization of the self in relation to others. The study operates with concepts originating from discourse studies and anthropology under the overarching framework of pragmatism-based semiotic anthropology. The online dating advertisement genre is approached as a cultural instrument of personhood and intersubjective interaction in which writers step into a controlled performance of a promotional persona in order to instigate social relations (only) with desirable and ideal others. The primary data consists of 111 Finnish-language online dating advertisements collected from two online dating services in 2007. In addition, a questionnaire was held for a group of university students to elicit examples of actual interpretations. A third set of data consists of cultural metadiscourses that reflect on online dating advertisements as a type of interaction (online dating guidebooks, Internet discussions and articles, a segment of a TV program). Such backstage discourses illuminate the kinds of reflexive metapractices and interpretive assumptions that do not usually come up explicitly in actual advertisement-based interactions. The study shows that stereotypic cultural understandings of self-promotion often focus on specific kinds of evaluative stances and their reliability or appropriateness, whereas many actually occurring phenomena are entirely overlooked. Such biased stereotypes may be one reason for the fact that evaluative stancetaking seems to be an expected but often problematic act in online dating advertisements. The study also illuminates the non-narrative organization of personhood, selfhood, and biography, as taxonomic and hierarchical structures of theoretical representations are one of the most salient textual patterns in the data. More generally, the study draws attention to the importance of the indexical patterning of text-artifacts. Textual patterning at all layers, from macrostructures to orthography, becomes interpreted as signs of personhood contributing, for instance, to particular views of subjectivity, a level of meaning often overlooked in studies of online communication. Moreover, the study stresses the importance of reflexive models and ideologies of interaction. For instance, the nature of online dating advertisements as an intersubjective encounter can be understood in almost entirely opposite ways by different interpreters (e.g., as distant versus intimate, or authentic versus inauthentic ).
  • Nevanen, Saila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This research focuses on one arts education project which was carried out in Helsinki in early childhood education centres and schools. This study is an evaluation research which concentrates on art education s connections to learning, wellbeing and communality; it views kindergarten and school as arts learning environments and at arts education as a multiprofessional col-laboration between teachers and artists. The arts education project, which was started in Helsinki in 2000, was offered to children who were under school age (3 6 years old) and at ele-mentary school age (7 9 years old). The data consists of interviews of the teachers, artists and principals of the kindergartens (N=23), the narratives of the closing report (N=9) and the follow-up materials of the project. The method of the research was multidimensional evaluation. The research includes five independent articles and a summary that con-nects the entirety of the research. Each theme is included in one independ-ent article, each of which was published in international peer-reviewed journals. Article I analyses the multiprofessional collaboration between teachers and artists. Article II focuses on the possibilities of arts education in developing learning abilities. Article III explores kindergarten and school as learning environments of arts education. Article IV highlights the evalua-tion of the arts education project through a multidimensional evaluation method. The last article, number V, analyses the long-term impacts of the arts education project in kindergartens and schools. The results show that well-executed, long-lasting arts education projects may support and promote children s wellbeing and their learning abilities. It was easy to motivate and direct the children in activities that connected target-oriented work with natural play. Arts education can also be used to strengthen the unity of the community between early childhood education centres, schools and neighbourhoods. The multiprofessional collaboration between the teachers and artists con-nected their skills and professional abilities, but successful cooperation also required the ability to handle additional interests and tensions. The long-term impact evaluation showed that five out of ten participating kindergartens still continue the developmental work started in the project. The project work was also seen as an excellent way to continue or update training.
  • Juutilainen, Teemu (2015)
    This study seeks the optimal way to promote compatibility between systems of proprietary security rights in Europe. The focus is on security rights over tangible movables and receivables. Compatibility is understood as the absence of cross-border problems, notably uncertain enforceability and unexpected loss of proprietary security rights, or as the availability of workable solutions to them. Current cross-border problems mainly concern enforceability of proprietary security rights against third parties, including a security-provider debtor s other creditors on insolvency. The study organises the concrete means through which compatibility can be promoted into four main groups, or approaches . These are a centralised substantive approach and three gentler approaches , namely a centralised conflicts-approach, a local conflicts-approach and a local substantive approach. Means within the centralised approaches can be introduced at European Union level, and means within the local approaches at Member State level. The substantive approaches seek to eliminate diversity by unification or harmonisation of substantive law, whereas the conflicts approaches mainly rely on private international law. The study introduces and defends the view that current circumstances call for an integrated approach, which attempts to combine the advantages and avoid the disadvantages of all four approaches. The feasibility of an integrated approach can be confirmed, and its content determined, only by way of a division of labour between the four approaches. This requires choices between the concrete means within each of the four approaches. To guide that division of labour, the study proposes a set of objectives with a view to capturing the essence of what can be regarded as desirable development towards greater compatibility. The objectives are: foreseeability, derived from the economic functions of proprietary security rights; responsiveness, derived from certain evolutionary aspects of the law; and division of unforeseeability costs, derived from a transnational conception of justice. Importantly, the tension between foreseeability and responsiveness gives rise to a theory of how to reconcile the need for certainty in credit markets and the more general need for the law to adapt to different and changing economic and social circumstances and value choices. The set of objectives provides criteria for choices between the concrete means within the four approaches. If the proposed objectives are accepted, the choices guided by them can be taken as the optimal way of promoting compatibility, which completes the research.