Opinnäytteet ja väitöskirjat: Recent submissions

Now showing items 1-20 of 50176
  • Husgafvel, Ville (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    This article-based doctoral dissertation explores the Buddhist influence on the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programme and the historical-ideological continuity between Buddhist modernism and contemporary mindfulness. The analysis is based on textual materials, ethnographic data from MBSR teacher training in Finland, and a research interview with the founder of the programme Jon Kabat-Zinn. Through the combination of both ethnographic and textual data, the dissertation shows that exclusive attention to either alone would result in an incomplete image of the MBSR tradition. I identify methodological weaknesses in previous mindfulness research and suggest ways of moving forward. Instead of discussing ‘Buddhism’ and ‘Buddhist mindfulness’ in essentialist or sectarian terms, we need to focus our analysis of Buddhist influence on specific Buddhist teachers, texts, and lineages that are relevant to our research question and object of study. Also, the differences between authoritative texts and lived practices should be accounted for in our treatment of both Buddhist meditation and contemporary mindfulness. In light of my analysis, MBSR appears as a non-dual approach to meditation with significant influences from contemporary Zen, Vipassanā, and Tibetan Buddhist lineages and doctrinal developments in Indian and East Asian Mahāyāna Buddhism. The detailed articulation of signature Mahāyāna influences is a needed correction to the dominant Theravāda Buddhist bias in previous mindfulness research. The existential, ontological, and ethical dimensions of the MBSR programme reveal the shortcomings of strictly instrumental-therapeutic depictions of contemporary mindfulness. However, in the ethnographic data from MBSR teacher training these dimensions and the non-dual aspects of the programme are less pronounced. I build on current research on Buddhist modernism to develop ‘post-Buddhism’ as a more mature theoretical concept in the study of religion and Buddhist studies. I argue that the MBSR programme both continues and radicalizes the principal cultural processes of Buddhist modernism and is best understood as a post-Buddhist tradition of meditation practice with characteristic post-secular features. The concept of post-Buddhism denotes a radical form of detraditionalization, which maintains a perceived ‘essence’ of Buddhist teachings and practices but rejects a Buddhist self-identity and dependence on established Buddhist institutions, lineages, and authorities.
  • Jormanainen, Vesa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Major restructuring of health services is rarely possible without pervasive information infrastructure. Implementing and adopting a new nationwide health information system (HIS) is a risky mega-project: a large-scale, complex and costly endeavour, taking many years to develop and build, invoving multiple public and private stakeholders and impacting millions of people. This research aimed to assess the implementation and adoption of the Act on Electronic Prescription (61/2007) and the Act on Processing Customer Data in Health and Social Care (159/2007) from 2010 to 2018 in Finland. To achieve this, the study used the Clinical Adoption Framework (CAF) to provide an overarching conceptualö model for electronic HIS adoption and the Clinical Adoption Meta-Model (CAMM) to assess post-deployment of the national Kanta Services. This research revealed and documented the central building blocks of a large-scale nationwide development process established to implement electronic services based on national legislation in Finland and then described their implementation and adoption using rigorously log-based register data and specific indicators during the follow-up. In addition, this research was the first both to measure prescription volumes in Finland and to investigate the nationwide use of My Kanta Pages in public primary healthcare centres (PHCs), hospital districts and university hospital special catchment areas. The middle-out implementation approach employed in Finland proved an apt strategy for the nationwide adoption of the Kanta Services. It combines local consultation, locally driven investment and system choice, thus promoting a bottom-up approach, with central government support, leadership and resources and nationally agreed interopearbility standards and goals, which represent elements of a top-down apprach. The results of this research suggest that it is possible to create and adopt two large-scale nationwide HIS in 5.5 years covering public PHCs and pharmacies, hospitals and private healthcare providers in a counrty with 5.5 million inhabitants. The Prescription Centre services were implemented and adopted first, and thereafter the Patient Data Repository services. Public healthcare services providers implemented and adopted the Kanta Services first, and thereafter private healthcare service providers. Use of the Prescription Centre, the Patient Data Repository and My Kanta Pages increased continuously in an exponential fashion during the follow-up. The follow-up data of this research from May 2010 to December 2018 provide observations on the increasing availability of the nationwide Kanta Services, which led to increasing and ongoing use among citizens and professional users, in turn resulting in observable changes in clinical and health behaviours that may have resulted in improvements in measured outcomes. Based on the results of this Kanta Services infrastructure research (log register data, registered implementation start dates, and a large population survey), long-term follow-up observations point towars the 'Adoption with Benefits' archetype of the CAMM.
  • Tang, Yu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C) in trees responds sensitively to the changing environmental conditions and thus provides a powerful tool for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. The retrospective interpretation of tree δ13C signal depends on comprehensive understanding of how environmental and physiological signals are recorded in δ13C during photosynthesis and how the δ13C signal is modified after photosynthesis. This thesis aims to improve the understanding of photosynthetic and post-photosynthetic isotope fractionation processes, and to examine the suitability of tree-ring δ13C for intra-seasonal reconstructions of intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE). The former goal was studied by combining compound-specific isotope analysis of organic matter with isotope discrimination models and online δ13C measurements of leaf CO2 fluxes for field-grown mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The latter was achieved via comparing 18-year-long intra-seasonal iWUE chronologies estimated from laser ablation derived tree-ring δ13C, gas exchange and eddy covariance data. Mesophyll conductance and time-integral effect of leaf assimilates had a clear impact on the intra-seasonal dynamics of leaf sugar δ13C. No significant use of reserves was observed for biomass growth of needles, stem or roots of Scots pine. Unlike sucrose, leaf bulk matters had significant δ13C offsets from new assimilates, leading to distorted environmental and physiological signals documented in their δ13C. The reliability of tree-ring δ13C data for intra-seasonal iWUE reconstructions was supported by an agreement of intra-seasonal patterns across the iWUE estimation methods. These results broaden our knowledge of the less well-known photosynthetic and post-photosynthetic isotopic fractionation processes, demonstrate the benefits of analysing sucrose δ13C for understanding plant physiological responses, and show that the tree-ring δ13C-based iWUE reconstructions can be extended to intra-seasonal scale. This information not only helps to better unravel δ13C signal in trees, but also improves reliable reconstructions of environmental and physiological signals from tree-ring δ13C.
  • Jakola, Lassi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    This doctoral dissertation is a study of G. H. von Wright’s (1916–2003) philosophical treatise The Varieties of Goodness (1963), which has been unduly neglected in later developments of philosophical ethics and theory of value. The first, value-theoretical half of The Varieties of Goodness is a study of the conceptual varieties of goodness, or of the different ways of employing the word “good” in language. Von Wright distinguishes six basic varieties: instrumental, technical, utilitarian, medical and hedonic goodness, and the good of some being. The second half of the book contains von Wright’s (normative) moral philosophy, which consists of a series of explications of concepts familiar from traditional philosophical ethics, such as moral goodness, virtue, moral duty and justice. The dissertation has three objectives: (i) to revisit and discuss von Wright’s basic value-theoretical ideas and proposals, (ii) to give an account of von Wright’s moral philosophy, and (iii) to relate his views to select other currents of the mid 20th century ethics. The scholarly approach is a combination of historical contextualization and (philosophical) critical reconstruction. The research utilizes unpublished archival materials and correspondence. Introduction examines von Wrights basic philosophical proposals and sums up critically the main lines of his moral philosophy. This is done, first, by identifying and discussing a number of axiological and moral-philosophical Grundgedanken (basic ideas) and their repercussions, and second, by giving an overview of von Wright’s explicative accounts of moral notions. I suggest that von Wright’s normative moral philosophy is an early example of a welfarist position in ethics. I also argue that some of his basic ideas still provide illuminating perspectives to philosophical disputes. On the critical side, I point out that some of these ideas are open to different interpretations and that some of von Wright’s methodological presuppositions are problematic. In the Articles, The Varieties of Goodness is approached from various angles. Article I discusses von Wright’s conception of philosophy and the analytical method that is used in charting the varieties of goodness. Article II focuses on one of the key ideas of von Wright’s moral-philosophical endeavour: the idea that moral goodness is a non-autonomous form of goodness in search of a meaning. Article III discusses the notion of the good of man (human welfare), which is a pivotal notion in von Wright’s explication of moral value. Articles IV and V are devoted to the relation between The Varieties of Goodness and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s (1889–1951) philosophical heritage. Article IV traces the development of von Wright’s work in the 1950s and shows how his philosophical approach is variously indebted to Wittgenstein’s late work. Article V contains a thorough criticism of James Klagge’s recent interpretation of von Wright’s and Wittgenstein’s views on the varieties of goodness.
  • Schulz, Torsti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Population ecologists desire to understand how and why populations change over time. As demographic processes are variable and stochastic by nature, it is imperative to separate the intrinsic variability of population dynamics from external forces affecting movement, birth and, death of individuals comprising a population. At the same time, the interplay between environmental factors and demography does not allow for a clean separation of causes. This thesis tries help tackle the statistical challenges of making sense of entangled causes and consequences, without suggesting that causal inference itself can rely on statistical tools alone. The methodological core of the thesis lies in variance partitioning, a method for quantifying "relative importance" of variables included in a model, in this case various environmental or biological covariates. While the use of variance partitioning has a long history in applied ecology, its limitations and uncertainties have often been ignored, just as the scope of its applicability has not been fully appreciated. This thesis presents variance partitioning as a general framework for working with a wide class of linear models, such as generalized linear models, and various "mixed-effects" and "additive" models. It also presents extensions to the method, a consistent treatment of uncertainty for the Bayesian case as well as related metrics which aid in the interpretation of variance partitions in the ubiquitous presence of correlations. Specific aspects of the role of environmental variability are of great applied interest, especially as they relate to the persistence of populations. Towards that end, the methods in this thesis are applied to and demonstrated with a model system of metapopulation ecology, the long-term surveys of the Glanville fritillary butterfly in the Åland Islands. This thesis looks at the role of habitat heterogeneity and genetic variability in the persistence of metapopulations, affirming the large role for habitat quality in governing local population persistence. At the same time the role of variability in a dispersal-related gene demonstrates the complex ecoevolutionary dynamics of fragmented landscapes. The independence of local populations is a cornerstone of persistence of metapopulations. An increasing extent of weather phenomena and an increase in the spatial correlation of population dynamics of the butterfly across Åland show a clear link suggesting detereorating conditions for metapopulation persistence. Another aspect affected by the environment is the relationship between the occurrence of a species and the numbers in which it occurs. This thesis shows a consistent relationship between occupancy and abundance in the large-scale and long-term study of the Glanville fritillary butterfly. In the context of metapopulations such a relationship will arise already due to the basic demographic processes involved. However, the results also show that this rather noisy relationship cannot be without due care be used to substitute occupancy for abundance to predict outcomes such as risk of local extinction. The thesis highlights how population ecology needs tools to study the multitude of phenomena affecting populations and that ideally those tools should both be compatible with representing the processes studied, as well as easily communicable. In the context of statistical studies on observational data, variance partitioning can be of aid in terms of communicability, but on its own it will not solve the challenges of ecological relevance and model formulation - population ecologists still have their work cut out for them.
  • Bergman, Eric (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    The aim of this dissertation is to better understand how in-betweenness is created and represented in narratives. I argue that the concept of nepantla, which roughly translates as ‘torn between ways’ from Nahuatl, the Aztec language, allows scholars to analyze non-hierarchical, neutral in-betweenness in texts and, as a result, also in the ‘real’ world. I consider four works—three novels by Mexican American authors and one trilogy of novels by a Finnish Romani author—to approach characters who remain uncommitted, or do not fit, into our shared frames of reference. The dissertation aims to allow scholars familiar with the work of Gloria Anzaldúa to see nepantla, through the prism of comparative literature, in a new light. Further, Romani studies, and cultural studies and literatures in Europe more broadly, will benefit from the possibility of building on many decades of thought concerning ethnicity, race, culture, and more from the field of Chicana/o studies in the United States. Currently, the most common concept for discussions on in-betweenness is probably hybridity. Hybridity, however, and other concepts like it (the Third Space, mestizaje, métissage, etc.), imply two or more self-contained categories that are then amalgamated, usually with an implied hierarchy. Nepantla, in contrast, allows scholars to ask: what aspects of normative categories are accepted, which are rejected, and why? If a character chooses from various influences in a piecemeal fashion that is continually evolving, the categories that make up the ‘hybrid’ are no longer very meaningful and cannot be hierarchically positioned. Though nepantla is an abstract, contradictory, and difficult concept to wield, its application to a reading of literature allows nepantla-like processes of in-betweenness to be analyzed through the specificity of individual characters, communities, and historical contexts. This makes the concept more accessible. The novels I’ve collected are all ‘ethnic’ Bildungsromane in which the protagonists grapple with being between their minority communities and the status quo. They all end with the protagonists in an ambiguous state of in-betweenness and ongoing becoming that coincides with the concept of nepantla. They are Oscar ‘Zeta’ Acosta’s (1972) The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, Sandra Cisneros’s (1984) The House on Mango Street, Kiba Lumberg’s (2011) Finnish Romani Memesa trilogy, and John Rechy’s (1963) City of Night. The texts have been chosen because they represent different forms of in-betweenness and thereby illustrate nepantla’s many variations. Based on the insight that nepantla represents both a positive in-between space where transformation can occur and the Coatlicue state, which is a time-place of chaos, suffering, and a loss of control, I argue that nepantla is best understood as a continuum of possible positionalities that change in the passage of time. Acosta’s novel represents an explicitly empowering form of nepantla, which is one end of the heuristically plotted continuum. Rechy’s novel is at the opposite end because it represents nepantla as chaotic, debilitating, and harmful. I compare Cisneros’s novel to Lumberg’s trilogy, which represent similar life trajectories for their heroines yet with very different results. While Cisneros’s protagonist dares to dream of a house of her own, Lumberg’s protagonist is regularly, in the course of her racialized existence, shut out from the category of ‘human,’ which results in different positions on the nepantla continuum for each protagonist. An important contribution of the dissertation is the application of nepantla to Finnish Romani literature. While in the field of Chicana/o studies nepantla has mostly been used to better understand subjective processes of change based on agency, the analysis of the sociocultural and historical realities faced by Roma in Finland shifts our understanding away from agency and towards society. Besides a few minor exceptions, Finnish Romani literature has not yet been studied. In the dissertation, the Finnish-language excerpts have been translated, allowing for a more global and transdisciplinary dialogue. Narrative theory provides a number of tools that help us to discern how in-betweenness and nepantla-like processes are represented and created in texts, the most central of which is the narrative gap. Because semantic signifiers are categories and nepantla is in-between categories, and hence often language itself, texts will often rely on representing a nepantla-like phenomenon by placing it where a conspicuous absence exists. Furthermore, readers can access that which is beyond language through negativity, irony, association, interpretation, imagination, and metaphorical language, which are all ways of communicating beyond verbalized meaning. Nepantla guides this process by making us on the lookout for representations of experiences, emotions, time-places, and meaning that don’t fit into normative frames of reference. The main implication of this research is that the concept of nepantla allows scholars to better acknowledge, analyze, and understand in-betweenness in both texts and the ‘real’ world, thereby beginning to do justice to the experiences and subjectivities of some characters and individuals.
  • Lindholm, Valtteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    The near-future of observational cosmology lies in extensive galaxy surveys that will map the dynamic evolution of the Universe for large part of its history. An example of such a survey is the European Space Agencys (ESA) Euclid mission. It is a space telescope scheduled to launch in 2023. The Euclid wide survey will cover 15000 square degrees, which is more than one third of the sky. It is expected to observe photometrically roughly 1.5 billion galaxies for the purposes of weak lensing analysis. In addition, 50 million galaxies will be observed spectroscopically, which will allow accurate determination of their three-dimensional distribution. The spectroscopic measurements will reach above a redshift of 2 - covering over 75% of the history of the Universe -- and photometric measurements to even higher redshifts. An important aspect of measuring the galaxy distribution is that its evolution reflects the expansion history of the Universe. It is thus a powerful tool for understanding the processes that drive the expansion. To be able to compare the evolution of the distribution with predictions from, for example, models of dark energy, we need to extract various statistics of the galaxy distribution. An important quantity is the two-point correlation function, which is a measure of amount of clustering at different spatial scales. Estimators for the two-point correlation functions rely on counting pairs of objects, usually galaxies or their clusters. The large number of galaxies Euclid is going to observe will make the clustering analysis a non-trivial computational task. The situation becomes even more challenging when one needs to estimate the covariance of the two-point correlation function estimates. This is usually done by measuring clustering of mock galaxy samples. To reach the parameter accuracy Euclid is aiming for, the number of samples needed is of the order of many thousands, thus in principle increasing the cost of a two-point correlation function estimate by the same factor. It is therefore of paramount importance to perform this analysis step as efficiently as possible. Two of the three publications included in this thesis deal with this need for efficiency. A central part of methods introduced in them is the so-called random catalog. It is a counterpart to the measured galaxy catalog that is used to model the survey geometry and various selection effects. We show that it is possible to use the random sample in clever ways to significantly speed up the computation with negligible loss of accuracy. We present one method for a single two-point correlation function estimate and another one for its covariance. We show that in a situation representative of a spectroscopic galaxy sample we can reach speed-up by a factor of order of ten -- for each method. The combined factor of hundred could already be decisive in whether the analysis is computationally feasible or not. In the end, the computational efficiency is only a tool for reaching more and more precise scientific results. The third paper in this thesis offers an example of a clustering-based cosmological analysis. Within the current theoretical understanding of the large scale structure of the Universe it is possible to obtain relations between the clustering of clusters of galaxies and the masses of their hosting dark matter halos. Generally, the more massive the halos, the more strongly clustered they are. In the paper we study this connection in detail using an X-ray selected, already-published sample of galaxy clusters. We find that the cosmological predictions for the clustering of clusters gives results that are compatible with the observations and the cosmological parameters inferred from the measurements are consistent with those obtained from the cluster mass function and the Cosmic Microwave Background.
  • Zosa, Elaine (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    The news is a detailed record of events, issues, and opinions published daily in every country around the world. In addition to daily news content, many national libraries are digitising their historical newspaper collections. This wealth of material presents many opportunities for scholars in the humanities and social sciences but the sheer volume of these datasets makes them difficult to organise and explore. Thus, there is a need for computational methods to make this data more accessible to a wide range of users. Topic modelling---a method to extract latent themes from a document collection---is particularly suitable for this task because it produces interpretable outputs, requires minimal supervision, and is designed with language-independent assumptions. In this thesis we develop and apply topic models to news collections to facilitate the analysis of news media. In particular, we focus on three aspects of news: (1) news is multilingual---news is published in different languages around the world; (2) diachronic---news changes over time; and (3) multimodal---in addition to text, news articles also contain images and others types of data. We propose two novel topic models for multilingual, diachronic, and multimodal datasets. The first is a topic model designed to model the evolution of topics across multiple languages. The second is a neural topic model for multilingual and multimodal data. We also propose a multilingual topic labelling method that maps news topics to concepts in a language-agnostic news ontology. We then investigate the use of topic models in the analysis of historical news. First, we use topic models to trace the evolution of societal discourses in a collection of historical newspapers that covers a long period of time. We find that while topic models are fairly reliable at grasping the core of certain discourses, design choices in the models can lead them to obscure discontinuities in the data. Therefore, humanistic interpretation still plays a very important role when using topic models to uncover historical discourses. Second, we evaluate the performance of embedding-based topic models in news collections with optical character recognition (OCR) noise resulting from the digitisation of historical newspapers. We find that incorporating word embeddings into topic models alleviates the negative impact of OCR noise, especially as noise levels increase.
  • Sundell, Taavi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    While theoretically grounded in a specific interpretation of Laclauian post-foundational discourse theory, this dissertation is intended as an immanent critique of this theory. More specifically, I tackle in it a silence which has pertained to political economy in Laclauian post-foundational discourse theory and argue that there is nothing in the theory itself meriting this silence. To this end, I develop what I term post-foundational political economy, and apply it for the study of political economy of higher education in three specific contexts: Finnish public higher education; the Plan S on academic Open Access publishing; and private higher education in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. By studying the contingent economic foundations of higher education through these distinct cases, I make two additional contributions to the field of world politics. Firstly, by articulating and putting to use my interpretation of Laclauian post-foundational political economy, I show how it provides a novel theoretical perspective for research in world politics, international/global political economy included. Secondly, with this dissertation as such I contribute to the nascent literature in world politics which deals with (the political economy of) higher education. The Introductory chapter dives into Laclauian post-foundational discourse theory, its ontology, and analytical concepts, and how these have informed my understanding of the political economy of higher education. It also situates Articles 1–4 with respect to this theory and each other. Here, I also briefly discuss the so-called methodological deficit of post-foundational discourse theory, reflect on my positionality as a researcher in the context of this dissertation, and situate post-foundational political economy with respect to two alternative approaches to critical political economy, that is, neo- Gramscian international political economy and cultural political economy. Finally, some concluding remarks on the dissertation are provided in the final section of the chapter. Article 1, co-authored with Teivo Teivainen, is a study of the ways in which specific argumentative strategies and assumptions regarding the economy have manifested themselves in debates concerning the status of the University of Helsinki as either a public or a private entity. It explores how privatizing reforms at the University of Helsinki have been premised on specific argumentative strategies, and specific articulations of “the economy” and “economic.” We show how the political nature of concepts like “private” and “privatization” lends them to different strategic uses, some of which are premised not only on how, but also when their meaning gets fixed. We also discuss transformations in the allocation of public funding for Finnish universities, and their possible implications for (internal) democratic decision-making concerning Finnish universities. Article 2, the first single-authored article, examines how political economy has featured in Laclauian post-foundational discourse theory and analysis, and how it can be theorized and studied from the perspective provided by this theory. I show how there is no justification, on its own terms, why Laclauian post-foundational discourse theory has discarded economic phenomena as an object of study. I conclude that economic phenomena can, and should, be analysed like any other social phenomena by this approach and argue that the concepts of economism and property rights name promising starting points for developing post-foundational political economy as a novel theoretical approach for analysing contemporary capitalist worlds in a critical fashion. Article 3, the second single-authored article, examines the economic foundations of academic publishing in the context of Plan S, an initiative to hegemonize regionally and even globally a specific form of Open Access as the default option for academic publishing. Here, I study competing articulations of Open Access by focusing on their implicit and explicit assumptions concerning different forms of property rights. I show how the dominant positions on Open Access serve to reproduce the existing unequal global structures of scientific knowledge production and conclude by noting that the Plan S is not as radical as it has been made out to be. On the contrary, the specific antagonism analysed in the article has arguably functioned to exclude other more radical forms of Open Access from the debate. Finally, Article 4, the third single-authored article, studies the political economy of higher education in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, focusing specifically on its capitalist private for-profit element, its connections to regional capital, and the implications these have for (internal) democratic decision- making in and on Jordanian private universities. Pace the theory of academic capitalism, I argue that Jordanian private universities should be analysed as capitalist corporate entities, and in doing so, raise the question of whether we even need a specific theory of academic capitalism to analyse capitalism in academia. Overall, this dissertation is put forth as a call for a more nuanced and contextual understanding of higher education’s economic foundations, and more specifically, the contingent nature of these foundations, their implications for higher education, and higher education itself.
  • Puustinen, Markku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Abstract From natural areas, the so-called natural leaching consists of volume and concentrations of runoff waters, the latter determined by the natural prop-erties of the area. By draining the land, the water circulation of the area converted to agricultural use speeds up, which affects the quality of the runoff water. The natural material flow, which has changed as a result of the conversion, now forms the basic load level of arable farming on the scale of the drained area. Cultivation practices and methods change this basic level in the annual cycle of cultivation, and the effects extend to downstream water bodies via the drainage and riverbed networks. In this work, a runoff water management model for agricultural areas, the VIHMA tool, was developed. The VIHMA model is intended for the planning and impact assessments of water conservation measures imple-mented in- and outside of arable fields. The basis for the calculation of the load assessment is formed by the specific load coefficients that predict the annual loads of solid matter, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). These coef-ficients are derived from the data collected in Finnish experimental fields. The coeffi-cients cover, by slope class and soil type group, the usual tillage and plant cover options that affect the winter state of the fields in the annual cycle of cultivation. The predicted values of the effects of field-block specific water protection measures are based on changes in cultivation and tillage prac-tices. In other words, on the differences in the specific load factors in the tool with and without measures. Based on Finnish studies, the tool also includes impact figures of buffer zones and wetlands, which are comparable to those of block-specific water protection measures. The VIHMA tool is used to evaluate the long-term average annual loads of solid matter and nutrients caused by farming practices in the examined catchments in two stages. Firstly, the average load without agri-environmental measures and secondly, the total effects of the simulated agri-environmental measures. As applied for the entire arable area of Fin-land, VIHMA's estimates of the annual loads of solid matter and nutrients corresponded to the specific loads of the small catchments of the Finnish agricultural monitoring network. Similarly, when applied in a single catchment, VIHMA's load estimates correspond to the long-term monitor-ing results of the same area. In VIHMA's assessments of agri-environmental measures, the effects of direct sowing were evaluated as a method to replace autumn ploughing. The overall load-reducing effects of gradual implementation of direct sowing, starting from the most sloping fields, were considerably large for both solid matter and nutrients. The ex-ception was a significant increase in leaching of soluble P. In VIHMA's as-sessment, decreasing the P-status of fields from the highest P-concentration categories to average concentration levels was an effective measure to decrease the risk of soluble P leaching. In the development work of the VIHMA tool, the focus was on the com-prehensive integration of different viewpoints, scales, load processes and influencing factors. The tool covers solid matter and nutrient loads’ phe-nomena related to field cultivation and different hydrological years as av-erage long-term estimates. Technically, the tool functions as an Excel-based calculation application, where the input data are distributions de-scribing i) the characteristics of the fields in the area under consideration, ii) basic information on cultivation and iii) implemented or planned envi-ronmental measures. The application of the tool in the planning of water protection measures makes the characteristic features and farming practic-es of the target area transparent and the impact comparisons of alternative measures become the basis for the selection and targeting of measures. The VIHMA tool is applied as it is in different target areas without separate calibration. VIHMA’s use just requires input data describing the area's characteristics and farming practices. Keywords: erosion, nutrient load, particulate phosphorus, soluble phos-phorus, nitrogen, load control, buffer zone, water protection wetland, field measures
  • Reuter, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Deportations, Diaspora and Resistance during Stalin's Time in the Letters and Oral Histories of Ingrian Finns. Dissertation. In my doctoral dissertation, I investigated the interpretation of Ingrian Finns on their history of mass deportations, diaspora, and resistance in the Soviet Union during Stalin’s time. My research material consisted of 170 letters from the 1930s, other archival material, and oral histories. The deportation of Ingrian Finns began in the 1930s in the Soviet Union with the forced relocation of ‘kulak’ peasants, dissident thinkers, and their families. From 1935, Finnish nationality became a major reason for deportation. Approximately, 45,000 Ingrian Finns were deported in the 1930s from Ingria, the historical area surrounding St. Petersburg, to the Kola Peninsula, Siberia, Central Asia, and other peripherical exile areas. During the Second World War, approximately 28,000–30,000 Finns were deported from the Siege of Leningrad mostly to distant areas in Siberia, because of their Finnish nationality. Ingrians Finns returning from Finland (56,000) were deported past Ingria to central Russia. I analysed research material with theoretical concepts and methods of diaspora, silent resistance, counter-narratives, family genealogy, and total deportations. I found out: (1) The totality of forced deportations of Ingrian Finns manifested in their oral histories and life cycles. Deportations emptied Ingria of Ingrian Finns during Stalin’s rule from 1930 to 1942. Destroying of Ingrian Finnish culture, forced work, work army, and restrictions of living areas were a part of the total deportation. Oral histories told almost forgotten deportations of Ingrian Finns, from Ingria in 1947, from Estonia in 1948, the Karelian border area in 1950 and other. Ingrian Finns who had been in Finland during the Continuation War were deported past Ingria to Central Russia without the right to move, although promised to return home in Ingria. Deportation was described in oral histories as a hoax and forced deportation. Several forced migrations happened often during Ingrian Finn's life span. (2) The concept of diaspora described well the experiences of Ingrian Finns living in controlled internal exile in the 1930s based on 170 private letters sent from Ingria and exile locations to Finland. The forced deportations led to the dispersal of Ingrian Finns to Siberia, Central Asia, the Kola Peninsula, and other peripheries. Ingrian Finns were oriented toward their homeland Ingria, kept its memory alive, and planned to return in the diaspora. Many escaped back home, but runaways could not stay permanently. In exile, Finns attempted to preserve their religion, community, identity, culture, and Finnish language. The boundaries with other ethnic and religious groups were evident in the multicultural exile areas in the 1930s. Finnish social network was a crucial part of the diaspora at least until the Great terror. (3) Major parts of the Ingrian Finnish culture (Finnishness, Lutheran Christianity, and peasant lifestyle) became a counterculture in the 1930s after it was ridiculed and condemned in the Soviet Union. The resistance of many Ingrian Finns manifested against political terror, the collectivization of agriculture, deportations, and the destruction of the Ingrian church. The resistance took often place in silence or in secrecy from the public during the 1930s for fear of revelation and severe punishment. (4) The oral histories of Ingrian Finns described their forced migration from the siege of Leningrad during the Second World War to Siberia and elsewhere. Oral histories of deported Finns were counter-narratives against the actions of the Soviet leaders and authorities, who labeled them as enemies and organized the inhuman deportations to live and work in life-threatening conditions. Deportees suffered discrimination, hunger, disease, forced labor, and poor living conditions with high mortality. Oral histories also contained positive accounts of the help of local people and the improvement of living conditions in exile. At the same time, the deported Ingrian Finns described the totalitarian Soviet system as problematic. (5) An analysis of Ingrian Finnish extended family’s social genealogy with 33 members living in the 1930s demonstrated the great transformation and social collapse of family members from independent peasants to deportees, forced laborers, refugees, and prisoners in the Gulag. Two out of three family members were deported in the 1930s and one in three during the Second World War. Half of those deported in the 1930s escaped. Some women were deported many times. Most men were deported, arrested, and died at an early age. Five men were killed in the political violence and four in the Stalinist terror in 1938. Three men took refuge in Finland and Sweden. The nuclear families were broken up, leaving them without a father. I found a range of family mobilities from escape to education. The meaning of repressions shifted from Biblical implications to historical explanations from one generation to another. Family histories of repression were a meeting point with life histories and the minority/national history of Ingrian Finns. Family memories build a bridge over the personal and collective memories in the context of Ingrian Finnish memory culture. Keywords: Soviet Union, Ingrian Finns, Deportation, Diaspora, Special settlement, Resistance, Counter-narratives, Family histories, Oral history
  • Kimari, Jyri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Surface diffusion is the major process that can drive metal surface modification in temperatures significantly below the melting point. Diffusion is random movement with the tendency toward minimization of the total free energy. In the absence of external forces, the equilibrium shape of the metal surface is determined by the anisotropy of the surface energies in different orientations. At finite temperatures, anisotropy also in the temperature dependence of the surface free energies, together with the temperature and orientation dependent kinetic rates of surface diffusion events, make metal surface morphology a multifaceted phenomenon involving a range of competing effects. Computational modeling of surface diffusion process is thus challenging in itself, but the task is even further complicated if the surface is subject to external factors. One such factor can be an applied electric field, the electrostatic contribution to the free energy of which alters the equilibrium shape. This is hypothesized to be one of the contributors to the development of surface roughening that further develops into field emitting tips. The latter, in turn, are thought to evolve into vacuum arc breakdowns, occurring in many devices operating in high electric fields. In this work, surface diffusion in Cu with and without electric field was studied by kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) and molecular dynamics (MD). A multitude of encountered obstacles are described, from calculating KMC parameters in the highly heterogeneous surface environments, to the challenge of reaching sufficiently long time scales in MD. The pre-parameterized on-lattice KMC model, chosen for efficiency, was improved by employing machine learning for migration barrier prediction. Better accuracy regarding the stability of small nanostructures on differently oriented surfaces was reached this way, compared to the earlier KMC model. The new model also correctly predicts the relative surface energies in Cu and the fragmentation of crossing nanowires at the junction points. The Cu {110} surface also exhibits a self-roughening instability at elevated temperatures, commonly known to occur in this system both in experiments and MD simulations. For simulations in electric fields, we utilized the coupling of MD to a continuum, finite elements method solver of electric fields and surface charges that was earlier developed in our group. This method enables the imposition of a realistic electric field gradient on the MD system, while keeping the number of dynamically simulated atoms very low for improved efficiency. Furthermore, the MD simulations on the surface orientations with the highest migration energy barriers were accelerated by a metadynamics-based method. As a result, we were able to capture the qualitative trend of biased diffusion toward higher electric fields, with the possibility of extracting surface polarization parameters from the MD results to be directly compared to ab initio calculations.
  • Nicoli, Taija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Temporal bone (TB) cancers account for less than 0.2% of all head and neck cancers, with a reported incidence of 1–6 cases per million population years. They spread primarily by direct invasion into the TB and neighbouring structures, occasionally from neighbouring structures or as distant metastases to the TB. Schwannomas, paragangliomas (PGs), and meningiomas are three of the most prevalent benign TB tumours. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most investigated and frequently encountered malignant TB tumour, followed by basal cell carcinoma, and adenoid cystic carcinoma. While benign tumours range from indolent to locally destructive tumours, malignant tumours always display varying degrees of aggression. Diagnosis of TB tumours arises from amalgamation of clinical, radiologic, and audiologic investigation results. A biopsy is frequently needed for diagnostic verification. The position, extent, and biologic characteristics of the tumour together with patient related factors influence decisions about optimal management. Surgery and radiotherapy (RT) are used either solely or in combination, occasionally with chemotherapy, to eradicate the tumour in question. For benign, slow-growing tumours such as schwannomas and PGs, a wait-and-see approach is also occasionally opted for. Because of TB’s proximity to vital structures of the inner ear and the intracranial fossa, the trend over the past decades has been to favour conservative, function-preserving surgical approaches in the treatment of all TB tumours. Pharmacologic treatments have, in addition, become a treatment option for selected benign but potentially notorious tumours, such as neurofibromatosis type 1 -related plexiform neurofibroma (PN). The prognosis of TB and related tumours depends on patient and tumour characteristics as well as the chosen treatment plan. Most benign tumours carry an excellent prognosis. Malignant tumours nearly always portend dismal prognosis if not diagnosed and treated early. The purpose of this thesis was to discuss different aspects of TB and related upper neck tumour diagnosis and management. Studies I and II focused on the diagnosis and management of head and neck paragangliomas (HNPGs). Study II discussed jugulotympanic paragangliomas (JTPGs) in detail and aimed to provide guidance on their treatment for improvement of outcome. The aim of Study III was to review and discuss diagnostic and treatment-related difficulties in the management of head and neck plexiform schwannomas (PSs) and PNs. Study IV reviewed the diagnostic and treatment strategies of external auditory canal (EAC) and middle ear tumours for improvement of outcome and prognosis. All studies were retrospective case-note studies. All studies were carried out at the Helsinki University Hospital, apart from Study III which was pursued in collaboration with Helsinki University Hospital and Turku University Hospital. Study I showed that surgical treatment of HNPGs should be carefully planned to consider patients’ preoperative state and the expected post-operative comorbidities. A four-year follow-up of HNPG patients was too short. Study I recommended family history to be collected and genetic consultation to be organized for all HNPG patients. An algorithm was proposed for the treatment of HNPG patients with a succinate dehydrogenase subunit genetic mutation. Study II recommended radical surgery for JTPGs if complete removal of tumour is possible. RT showed great potential for local tumour control in case of inoperable JTPGs. Function-preserving surgery was recommended with or without adjuvant RT if cranial nerves VII-XII are in danger. Study III demonstrated that sclerotherapy may offer a treatment option for cutaneous PNs. In the treatment of PNs, Study III recommended surgical risks to be carefully balanced with risks of non-operative treatment. Study IV revealed that EAC and middle ear tumours show great diagnostic and histopathologic heterogenicity with a need for individualized investigative and treatment approaches. In benign tumours, aggressive local surgical control was recommended without sacrificing vital structures. In malignant tumours, local surgical control with or without adjunct RT and/or chemotherapy was advocated.
  • Sinquefield-Kangas, Rachel (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    This dissertation study focuses on exploring connections between the artistic practices of art viewing and artmaking, with empathetic behaviors. The study is located at the intersection of visual art education, qualitative and post-qualitative methodologies. Motivated by a desire to improve our understanding of how art education practices might cultivate empathy, I used arts-based research methods (ABR) to investigate how art viewing and creating artworks conjures up empathy phenomena. The specific research questions addressed are: what does using arts-based methods to study empathy allow researchers to see differently? And what potential pedagogies does examining the ongoing relationality between artistic practices and empathy set in motion? In addressing these research questions, I also suggest how art education, and education more broadly, might work to establish an ethics of response-ability and accountability, given the ambiguous nature of empathetic behaviors. Here I summarize my three studies examining the relationalities between art and empathy and provide deeper insights into the ways in which empathetic behaviors might come to be pedagogically integrated into art education. By examining more deeply the entangled nature of art and empathy, this study has evolved from its initial theoretical application of constructivist theories to a posthuman, performative perspective of empathy. Here I trace entanglements of material matter and meaning, as these are generative in artistic practices and the role that empathetic behaviors play in helping to ascertain new meanings for the material objects engaged during artistic practices. As Karen Barad’s (2007) theory of agential realism comes to onto-epistemologically shift the doctoral research at hand, empathy and how it forms connections with art consequently gets re-membered anew. Study I explores empathetic behaviors as they occur during a facilitated art viewing activity called Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) conducted with a group of ten adults at the 2016 International Society for Education through Art’s European congress regional conference. It used a mix of arts-based methods along with survey and discourse analysis in conjunction with Batson’s (2009) eight empathetic behaviors to examine which empathetic behaviors are elicited by participating in (VTS) art viewing exercises. The study illuminates how the empathetic behaviors elicited during the VTS exercise coincided with the viewers’ ability to shift initial assumptions held about the image, alternating their own perceptions to consider what other participants suggest. Study II took place at an upper-secondary visual arts school in Helsinki with 45 16-19-year-old students. Using ABR as video artmaking, the study explores objects, materials, matter(s), and empathetic behaviors in their specific entanglements. Written recountings were used to map entanglements of non-human actors (i.e., objects/materials/matter(s) as cats and dogs) working agentically in co-constituting empathetic behaviors. Its findings illuminate how objects/materials/matter(s) are agentic in co-constituting conditions for empathy during artmaking. Study III, again using ABR, examines two video artworks created by 10 undergraduate education studies students. Here, Karen Barad’s (2007) theory of agential realism onto-epistemologically informs the research by re-thinking time alternatively as spacetimemattering to illuminate entanglements of artistic practices and empathy. Post-qualitative methods of ‘plugging in’, in conjunction with affects experienced while watching the video, were used in identifying events of empathy as students artistically conveyed ideas around a central ‘garden’ theme. The potential of visual art pedagogy to evoke heterogeneous understandings of empathetic behaviors by re-thinking non-human objects/materials/matter(s) as phenomena emergent through spacetimematter are discussed in the study. The findings highlight the importance of understanding empathy performativity, subject/object unification, spacetimematter, objects/materials/matter(s) as phenomena, and responsibility and accountability, as important matter(s) for integrating empathy in art education. I suggest that art educators and researchers focus on issues concerning empathy and ‘what it does’ and that using ABR methods and artistic practices can help achieve this in research practices. I also discuss ways to pedagogically integrate more-than-human empathy through art education so that it incorporates an ethicality of response-ability and accountability.
  • Hansen, Saana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    This dissertation is an ethnographic investigation of how Zimbabwe’s prolonged politico- economic crisis and concomitant mass migrations to South Africa have shaped intimate and bureaucratic care relations and practices, primarily in Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city. The focus of the study is on low-income Zimbabweans who have migrated to South Africa, locally referred to with the historically and morally loaded term injiva, and who return to Bulawayo at different stages of a life-cycle. Employing rich ethnographic materials, the thesis examines the ways that relations and practices of care are co-constituted to sustain the continuity of social and material life-worlds under circumstances of dislocation and crisis. The study further examines how the ideals and experiences of belonging, as both citizenship and kinship, are reshaped and co-constituted under dire conditions, in a context where the state is also experienced as a source of fear and suffering and kinship as an arena of tension and conflict. The thesis addresses the institutions, subjectivities, categories, and conceptualizations of care that have grown out of Zimbabwe’s crisis-driven displacement and the informalization of economies. It explores how the image of a caring state is maintained through the everyday workings of frontline welfare functionaries, while also highlighting contemporary mobility dynamics, and the care relations and practices of ordinary citizens as they respond to multiple crises and to governmental measures. The study draws on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two periods (August-September 2016 and August 2018-March 2019) with both male and female injivas who resided or had formerly resided in South Africa. The ethnography also encompasses the injivas’ families, state and non-state authorities, and the formal and informal bureaucrats that injivas encountered, representing the domains of migration management, cross-border mobility, child and community care, education, and family law. In addition, the study utilizes media and archival resources, as well as state documents and reports. By empirically investigating how injivas claim access to identity documents, remittances, custodial and maintenance rights, and welfare assistance, the study reveals the workings of and challenges embedded in maintaining a life-sustaining web of care. In doing so, it brings together and contributes to anthropological discussions on migration, kinship, the state, documentary practices, law, and development. The complex processes by which life-worlds are sustained are problematized through the notion of economies of care. This concept, it is argued, captures the mechanisms, organizations, ideas, and ideals in which people’s life-maintaining acts are embedded. Economies of care are not limited to monetary, income-generating processes but also, following Marxist and feminist anthropological critique, invoke the social, moral, bureaucratic, legal, and religious resources through which people sustain, repair, and reconstruct social networks and their individual and collective life-worlds. Indeed, the study shows how economies of care encompass not only the terrain of kinship, where domestic care for children, the sick, and the dead is processed, but also political and bureaucratic practices shaped by humanitarian, developmental, and global child welfare institutions and ideologies. The thesis specifically reveals ways that state and NGO categorizations and conceptualizations of care influence people’s claim-making behaviour, and – conversely – how religious, cultural, and kin-related ideas of care influence the work of state agents. The analysis thus demonstrates how the concept of economies of care allows a multiplicity of overlapping relations, interactions, categorizations, and rationalities to come to light, offering a novel perspective on resilience and survival.
  • Sulkama, Sini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    The study of behaviour requires a thorough understanding of the complexity of the field. Behaviours are affected by several genetic and environmental factors. Unwanted behaviours in dogs are common and may considerably worsen their wellbeing and impair the dog-owner relationship. As dogs spontaneously exhibit many behaviours with symptoms corresponding to human disorders, they have been suggested as potential models for human psychiatric disorders, specifically ADHD and OCD, the two most common neuropsychiatric disorders in humans. ADHD-like behaviour in dogs includes hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive behaviour. Canine repetitive behaviours, which resemble human OCD, are invariant, repetitive behaviour patterns, such as tail chasing and light and shadow snatching. As with humans, behaviours related to ADHD and OCD are still poorly understood in dogs, and a better understanding of these traits could benefit both dogs and humans. The aim of this thesis is to understand the prevalence, comorbidity, and breed-specificity of unwanted canine behaviours and discover the risk factors that influence them, with a specific focus on ADHD-like and repetitive behaviours. The specific aims of this thesis are to 1) collect a large amount of behavioural data to study unwanted behaviours in dogs, 2) identify the demographic, environmental, and behavioural factors associated with canine hyperactivity/impulsivity, inattention, and repetitive behaviours, and 3) investigate metabolic factors associated with ADHD-like behaviour in dogs. Online questionnaires were used to collect behavioural and background data from dog owners. A large dataset of 13,715 dogs and 264 breeds was collected and analysed with different methods, including generalised linear models and multiple logistic regression for the different risk factors of unwanted behaviours. A non-targeted metabolomics approach was used to identify metabolites associated with canine ADHD-like behaviour. The results of this thesis confirm that unwanted canine behaviours are common, that dog breeds differ in their behaviour, and that many behavioural traits correlate with each other. This thesis also demonstrated several risk factors influencing canine ADHD-like and repetitive behaviour, providing new information on these behaviours and possibilities for better recognition and management of these traits in dogs. Additionally, many risk factors identified in this thesis parallel findings from human studies. This strengthens the role of the dog as a promising animal model to increase the understanding of human psychiatric disorders.
  • Korhonen, Sirpa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    We can think about our past and future by using our memory and imagination. These cognitive processes that allow us to travel in time are thought to be tightly connected. Our memories of the past and images of the future are not stable, and our experiences change them. Many scientists agree that same or similar processes underlie memory and imagination, but so far, there exist only a few studies that have explored long-term changes in natural environment. In this study, I investigate how much and what kind of changes we can find in memories of the past and images of the future when people are attending to an entrepreneurship course. My aim is to form a broader picture of how memory and imagination function in natural environment. I also review neurobiological and experimental memory studies and scientific theories and models about memory. This study was carried out in natural environment where participants had meaningful events to think about and meaningful goals to attend to. Ten women participated in the study, they all had academic education and they participated in the same entrepreneurship course. All participants were instructed to memorize the time when they figured out their business idea and imagine what it would be like to run their own business and be an entrepreneur. The study is a longitudinal qualitative case study, and all participants were interviewed four times. It took six months to collect the research material. I divided this study to two substudies. Substudy I focuses on the past memories. Substudy II focuses on imagining and planning the future. The results show that all participants used rather abstract language when they talked about the past and also when they talked about the future, but they used different concepts in different interviews. Their constructions about the past and about the future changed in similar ways, and they changed more than was expected according to forgetting or false memory studies. The results are in line with the the idea that the shared processes underlie constructing a memory from the past and constructing an image of the future. In the discussion, I propose a model regarding how changes may happen when people construct their memories and form their images about the future. This model is based on previous memory models and brain research results. I use it to explain my research results regarding long-term changes in memories and imagined future plans. Keywords: memory, imagination, entrepreneurship, hippocampus, modeling
  • Kiander, Wilma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) is a membrane protein that acts in a door-like manner, facilitating the uptake of compounds that otherwise have difficulties passing biological membranes. The transported compounds include several structurally diverse endogenous substances as well as drugs and other xenobiotics. OATP1B1 is located in the sinusoidal (blood-facing) membrane of hepatocytes and is an integral part of hepatic distribution and elimination of many of its substrates. OATP1B1 function can be impaired (the door get closed), leading to increase in plasma exposure of these substrate drugs. Increased plasma exposure, in turn, can increase the risk of adverse drug effects. This impairment can result from SLCO1B1 pharmacogenetics (e.g. non-synonymous single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), so-called gene-drug interaction) or inhibition of transport activity by another drug (drug-drug interaction). While the clinical consequences of common variants such as SLCO1B1 c.521T>C are well-known, the effects of rare variants remain understudied. However, implementation of clinical pharmacogenetics and genotype-guided dosing requires information on the predicted phenotype, yet this is lacking on rare variants. In this thesis, baculovirus expression system in HEK293 cells was used to assess the possible changes 19 naturally occurring rare SNVs cause in OATP1B1 function and expression. Quantitative targeted absolute proteomics analysis measured the changes in membrane protein expression caused by the SNVs and pharmacokinetic modelling evaluated the degree of change in plasma exposure of rosuvastatin and the need for dosing adjustments according to the changes in the observed in vitro OATP1B1 activity. Indeed, 9 out of the 19 variants showed impaired (<50% of reference) OATP1B1 activity. The membrane protein expression, however, does not fully explain these changes. Pharmacokinetic modelling estimated that doses of 30 mg (with 50% OATP1B1 function) and 20 mg (with 0% OATP1B1 function) result in plasma exposure similar to 40 mg dose (the maximum approved dose, with 100% OATP1B1 function), while liver exposure remained proportionate to the dose. The possible mechanism behind rhabdomyolysis cases in patients receiving ticagrelor and rosuvastatin concomitantly was also investigated. Ticagrelor (an antithrombotic drug) and rosuvastatin (a cholesterol-lowering drug) are both commonly prescribed as secondary prevention after cardiovascular events. The in vitro inhibition assays using the same expression method and ticagrelor and rosuvastatin revealed that ticagrelor inhibits OATP1B1, OATP2B1 and OATP1B3 with IC50 values in the low micro molar range. However, when taking into account the unbound concentration at the hepatic inlet, clinical interaction is unlikely and the primary cause was accredited to inhibition of intestinal breast cancer resistance protein. Additionally, SLCO1B1 c.521T>C was observed to affect the plasma exposure of fluvastatin enantiospecifically in a clinical trial. To elucidate the mechanism behind this observation, transport of 3R,5S- and 3S,5R-fluvastatin was examined in reference and c.521T>C OATP1B1 with the same expression system. No significant differences were observed in the uptake activity in reference OATP1B1 and the c.521T>C variant impaired the transport of both enantiomer equally. Further research is needed to clarify whether another mechanism are involved in fluvastatin pharmacokinetics enantiospecifically. In conclusion, this thesis examined several situations when the door of OATP1B1 transport gets closed. Rare variants of SLCO1B1 were observed to be able to impair OATP1B1 function and membrane expression and this might lead to increased plasma exposure of rosuvastatin. Dose reductions might be considered to avoid increased plasma exposure and reduce risk of rosuvastatin-induced muscle symptoms. The effect of SLCO1B1 c.521T>C on fluvastatin transport is not enantiospecific in vitro. Ticagrelor inhibits OATP1B1, 1B3, 2B1 and BCRP and concomitant use with high-dose rosuvastatin should be avoided.
  • Mäkinen, Selina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    Insulin resistance is a pathophysiological condition characterized by an impaired ability of insulin-sensitive tissues to respond normally to insulin stimulation. Insulin resistance is an early defect in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D), leading to impaired glucose disposal and contributing to elevated plasma glucose concentrations. There are a number of intracellular mechanisms underlying insulin resistance. These range from dysregulated nutrient metabolism to mitochondrial energy imbalance, oxidative stress, and inflammation. These cellular perturbations in turn stem from various etiologies, including obesity or excess fat consumption as well as the use of certain medications. Moreover, there are several gene variants associated with insulin resistance and the increased risk for type 2 diabetes. As skeletal muscle accounts for 80% of glucose disposal under insulin stimulation, it is a primary determinant of whole-body glycemic control. Therefore, the primary skeletal muscle cell cultures established from human muscle biopsies were utilized in this thesis as a study model to examine the impact of fatty acids (I), simvastatin (II), and AKT2 gene variant (III) on glucose metabolism and cell signaling events. Excess dietary saturated fatty acids have been implicated in the development of insulin resistance, whereas unsaturated fatty acids may have a protective effect on metabolism. In study I, we have investigated if insulin resistance induced by saturated fatty acid palmitate can be alleviated by simultaneous exposure to monounsaturated fatty acid oleate. We found that exposure of primary human myotubes to palmitate impaired insulin signaling, increased ER stress, and activated stress kinase JNK. These negative effects were restored by co-incubation with oleate. However, co-exposure to palmitate and oleate impaired insulin action on glucose uptake. This was related to increased mitochondrial ROS production and was ameliorated with antioxidants. Simvastatin use has been associated with an increased risk for T2D. In clinical use, simvastatin is administered as an inactive lipophilic lactone-form, which is then converted to an active acid-form in the body. Statins cause variable degrees of muscular side effects. Especially the lactone-form statins have been observed to be more prone to cause myotoxic effects. In study II, we have investigated if simvastatin affects glucose metabolism and mitochondrial respiration. Moreover, we have investigated if lactone- and acid-forms of simvastatin exert similar effects. We found that lactone- and acid-forms of simvastatin exhibited differential effects on non-oxidative glucose metabolism, as the lactone-form increased, and the acid-form reduced insulin-stimulated glucose storage into glycogen. This suggests impaired insulin sensitivity in response to acid-form simvastatin. Both forms of simvastatin profoundly inhibited glycolysis and mitochondrial energy production. These effects may contribute to the muscular side effects and the risk for type 2 diabetes observed with simvastatin use. Finnish-specific gene variant in insulin signaling target AKT2 has been associated with increased predisposition to type 2 diabetes and in vivo insulin resistance in humans. In study III, we have established primary human muscle cells from 14 AKT2 variant carriers and 14 controls to investigate in vitro the impact of the gene variant on glucose metabolism and cell signaling events. The AKT2 gene variant led to impaired activation of the insulin signaling pathway, which may be a result of a defective binding of the variant AKT2-PH domain to PI(3,4,5)P3. In addition, AKT2 variant myotubes demonstrated reduced insulin-stimulated glycolysis. Global kinase activity profiling (PamGene®) revealed multiple differentially phosphorylated kinase substrates in insulin-stimulated myotubes from variant carriers. Further in silico upstream kinase analysis predicted a large-scale impairment in activities of kinases participating in intracellular signal transduction, protein translation, and cell cycle events. In conclusion, p.P50T/AKT2 variant myotubes show alterations in several cellular signaling networks in vitro, which may contribute to the increased risk for skeletal muscle insulin resistance and T2D in the carriers of this signaling variant. The understanding of the various mechanisms of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle is far from complete. This thesis provides novel data on the events in cell metabolism and intracellular signaling which may contribute to the development of insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle and predispose to the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • Turpeinen, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    The transformation of the countryside and rural everyday lives have long been topics of interest for ethnologists, but the last years have shown a heightened curiosity about contemporary rural spaces within ethnological research. Next to popular representations of either a slowly dying countryside or an allegedly timeless rural idyll in public debates, ethnological research can offer a more nuanced understanding of contemporary rural spaces as it puts the everyday life experiences of rural dwellers and their perceptions at the center of its analyses. This dissertation investigates the experiences of young adults from the region Kainuu in northeastern Finland with the locally strong out-migration of young people. Rural out-migration and urbanization are common global phenomena, but in the case of Kainuu, youth out-migration is considered one of the most pressing demographic challenges the region faces. This dissertation understands the situation in rural Kainuu as influenced by cultures of migration, which is a concept from the interdisciplinary field of migration studies. The dissertation’s ambition is to show how both young people staying and leaving experience the out-migration and how they think about the future of Kainuu. The dissertation also proposes an advancement of the concept cultures of migration based on the data gathered for this research project and a critical review of the literature on the concept. It puts forward five theses about the concept, which structure this dissertation and inform its proposed advancement. The project is a multi-sited ethnography including fieldwork in two villages in Kainuu as well as in the metropolitan region of Helsinki between 2016 and 2018. The empirical basis are 47 interviews, 27 conducted in Helsinki and 20 in Kainuu. The project additionally employed a participatory visual elicitation method, which invited the interlocutors to take photographs relating to the research interest. They donated 156 photographs for the project, 93 of them in Helsinki and 63 in Kainuu. Overall, 34 young adults participated, 18 of them in Helsinki and 16 in Kainuu. The project finds that the concept cultures of migration can be a useful frame of reference to interpret instances of long-lasting strong out-migration, if its theoretical flaws are kept in mind. In the case of rural Kainuu, the research material indicates that central characteristics of cultures of migration exist in its rural and remote municipalities. These include a long local migration history, social distinction as a significant influence on young people’s migration decisions, a continuous impact on the mobility decisions of those who have already migrated, an awareness of an expectation to migrate also amongst those whose ambitions are incompatible with leaving, and a notable effect on how both out-migrants and non-migrants think about the potential future of their home region.