Opinnäytteet ja väitöskirjat: Recent submissions

Now showing items 21-40 of 46675
  • Joshi, Satya Prakash (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Combustion of practical fuels proceeds via an extremely large number of elementary reactions, which makes it difficult to model their combustion chemistry. To resolve this problem, combustion chemistry of a practical fuel can be emulated with a small set of surrogate fuels that involves a much more limited number of elementary reactions. In this work, the kinetics of various unsaturated radical reactions have been studied, which are central to the combustion of important surrogate fuels such as propene, 2-methyl-2-butene (2M2B) and methyl-crotonate (MC). Apart from investigating the reaction kinetics on a fundamental level, the practical application of this work is to provide rate coefficients data over a wide range of conditions, which is expected to significantly improve the accuracy of the current combustion models. As the reactions studied in this work are an integral part of the detailed reaction schemes utilized for modeling the combustion of practical fuels. The kinetic experiments presented in this work were conducted using laser photolysis–photoionization mass spectrometer (LP–PIMS) apparatus. Whenever required, the results of LP-PIMS experiments were further supported and extrapolated to the combustion conditions using quantum-chemistry calculations and master equation (ME) modeling. Kinetics of the CH3CCH2 + O2, cis/trans-CH3CHCH + O2, (CH3)2CCH + O2 and (CH3)2CCCH3 + O2 reactions were measured over a wide temperature range (220 – 660 K) and at low pressures (0.3 – 2 Torr). These vinyl-type radicals are derivatives of methyl-group substitution to the α- and/or β-hydrogens of the vinyl radical (C2H3). The main goal of this study was to quantify the effects of the CH3-group substitutions on the kinetics and reactivity of vinyl-type radicals towards O2. Comparing the measured bimolecular rate-coefficients for the aforementioned vinyl-type radical + O2 reactions reveals that the CH3-group substitution to the α- and β-positions of the C2H3 radical has an increasing (~50%) and decreasing (~30%) effect on its reactivity towards O2, respectively. The CH2CHCHC(O)OCH3 radical having a highly resonance-stabilized structure, the reactivity of the CH2CHCHC(O)OCH3 + O2 reaction is expected to be slow. A very low upper-limit (k ≤ 7.5 × 10-17 cm3 molecule-1 s-1) for the bimolecular rate-coefficient of the CH2CHCHC(O)OCH3 + O2 reaction was measured at 600 K. Following this, thermal unimolecular decomposition kinetics of the CH2CHCHC(O)OCH3 radical was studied over the temperature range of 750 – 869 K and at low pressures (< 9 Torr). Subsequently, the measured thermal unimolecular decomposition rate-coefficients were modeled using ME. The kinetics of the reaction between the resonance-stabilized (CH3)2CCHCH2 radical and O2 was studied over the temperature range of 238 – 660 K and at low pressures (0.2 – 5.7 Torr). The most important observation of this study was the opening of high temperature reaction channels at temperatures above 500 K. A thorough single- and multi-reference quantum-chemistry calculations and ME modeling study were performed to corroborate the experimental findings. Importantly, the observed high temperature (T > 500 K) kinetics of the (CH3)2CCHCH2 + O2 reaction is significantly faster than is currently incorporated in the combustion models.
  • Heinilä, Lassi Matti Petteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Cyanobacteria produce a variety of toxins and a diversity of other specialized metabolites. Specialized metabolites are compounds produced by an organism to interact with the environment, protect it from competitors, predators, or abiotic factors. The genetic information for generating these compounds is typically encoded in biosynthetic gene clusters, producing multiple biosynthetic enzymes to assemble the compound. The structure and biosynthesis of all major cyanobacterial toxins have been resolved, but new compounds with variable functions are continuously discovered and their biosynthetic origins revealed. Cyanobacterial specialized metabolites are widely held to have great potential in the pharmaceutical industry given the increasing need for new drugs that target infectious disease and cancer. A better understanding of the chemical structure of the compounds facilitates discovery of their biological targets and their ecological role. The aim of this study was to discover new potential drug leads from cyanobacteria and describe their structure, activity, and biosynthetic origins, with focus on antifungal compounds. New chemical variants of laxaphycin family specialized metabolites were discovered from Nostoc sp. UHCC 0702 and Scytonema hofmannii PCC 7110. Laxaphycins are unusual specialized metabolites that consist of two distinct macrocyclic lipopeptides with either 11 or 12 amino acids. They are known to have synergistic antiproliferative and antifungal activities but unknown biosynthetic origins. Here, the laxaphycin biosynthetic gene cluster was discovered, organized as a branching pathway, with initiating enzymes participating in the biosynthesis of both different lipopeptide groups. The biosynthetic gene cluster was described in both Scytonema hofmannii PCC 7110 and Nostoc sp. UHCC 0702. New laxaphycin variants heinamides were found with unforeseen structural moieties and I present predictions for their origins. I confirmed the antifungal synergy of laxaphycins in the new variants. The connection of the 11- and 12- amino acid residue compounds is interestingly seen also in genetic level with the common biosynthetic enzymes of the synergistic compounds. Aeruginosins are common cyanobacterial tetrapeptides with inhibitory activity for trypsin-like enzymes, and trypsin has recently been studied as a target in cancer treatment. Here pseudospumigins, new aeruginosin variants, were discovered from Nostoc sp. CENA 543. Pseudospumigins are produced through a PKS/NRPS pathway similar to known aeruginosin biosynthetic gene clusters. Pseudospumigin A acts as weak trypsin inhibitor, with time dependent IC50 value of 4.5 μM. Nodularin-R, a cyanotoxin, was also found from the same strain. The nodularin concentration was much higher than what has been seen in a Nostoc strain before, comparable to nodularin concentrations in the most common nodularin producers Nodularia spumigena. This study describes new cyanobacterial specialized metabolites and biosynthetic enzymes for their biosynthesis, broadening the knowledge in areas of novel structural elements, biosynthetic pathways and biological activity. The structural and activity information can help in function prediction and rational design of drug candidates or guide the screening for specific targets. The genetic information can be used in mining genomes for discovering new compounds and predicting products for cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters. Probable applications lie also in the emerging fields of combinatory biosynthesis and synthetic biology to produce engineered compounds in biological systems.  
  • Sandberg, Andreas; Ehlers, Pauliina; Torvinen, Saku; Sandberg, Heli; Sivén, Mia (MDPI / Healthcare, 2021)
    Background: Challenges in post-marketing adverse event reporting are generally recognized. To enhance reporting, the concept of additional monitoring was introduced in 2012. Additional monitoring aims to enhance reporting of adverse events (AE) for medicines for which the clinical evidence base is less well developed. Purpose: The purpose was to get a deeper understanding of the underlying reasons why additional monitoring has not increased AE reporting as much as initially hoped. We examined how healthcare professionals (HCPs) in Finland perceive additional monitoring, why they do or do not report AEs more readily for these medicines and how they interact with patients treated with additionally monitored medicines. Methods: An anonymous, open questionnaire was developed and made available online at the e-form portal of University of Helsinki. Physicians, nurses, and pharmacists were invited to complete the questionnaire via their respective trade or area unions. Content analysis of answers to open-ended questions was performed by two independent coders. Results: Pharmacists have the best understanding about additional monitoring but at the same time do not recognize their role in enhancing monitoring. Only 40% of HCPs working with patients knows always or often if a specific medicine is additionally monitored. Half (53%) of HCPs do not tell or tell only rarely patients about additional monitoring. 18% of HCPs reported having received additional monitoring training whereas 29% had received general AE reporting training. AE reporting was more common among HCPs who had received training. Conclusions: Additional monitoring awareness among HCPs and patients should be increased by organizing regular educational events and making additional monitoring more visible. Educational events should emphasize the significance additional monitoring has on patient safety and promote a reporting culture among HCPs.
  • Mäkipää, Toni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Assessment and feedback are quintessential components of learning. If used properly, they can advance learning in myriad ways. The national core curriculum for general upper secondary education (2016) underlines that feedback is a crucial aspect of the relationship between a student and a teacher. With teacher feedback, students receive valuable information on their learning, how they have achieved their goals, and what they should do next. Likewise, the core curriculum describes the importance of diverse assessment practices. However, international research has established that there has been a lack of feedback in education. Therefore, this study was conducted to explore Finnish general upper secondary students’ perceptions of teacher assessment and feedback practices. This thesis comprises three sub-studies, for which a survey was used to collect the data. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. The purpose of sub-study I was to investigate students’ perceptions of assessment and feedback in general upper secondary schools. This study did not focus on specific subjects. Rather, the purpose was to explore general perceptions about assessment and feedback. The data (N=918) consisted of closed and open-ended questions, which were analysed using deductive content analysis and oneway ANOVA. The results showed that teachers tend to rely heavily on exams and that assessment in general is one-sided. The students also reported a lack of feedback although differences exist between teachers and subjects. Sub-study II focused on students’ perceptions of feedback in Swedish and English courses. The objective was to ascertain whether the perceptions differ between proficiency levels. The data (N=255) consisted of closed-ended answers, which were analysed using one-way ANOVA, one-way MANOVA, and exploratory factor analysis. Based on the analyses, it could be noted that no differences were found in English courses, whereas higher proficiency students in Swedish courses were more willing to correct their mistakes, found teacher feedback to be more useful, and received more feedback compared to lower-level students. A moderate correlation was found between proficiency level and the usefulness of feedback. The main aim of sub-study III was to explore the kind of feedback students find encouraging, and how they consider feedback to be one of several teacher assessment practices. The data (N=282) comprised one open-ended question and one closed-ended question with nine items. Inductive content analysis, oneway ANOVA, and one-way MANOVA were used in the analysis of the data. The results showed that feedback on the content of work is perceived as encouraging, particularly feedback on how to improve the work. Students related teacher assessment practices primarily to assessing exams and giving course grades. Feedback was not regarded to be an important teacher assessment practice. In conclusion, it can be stated that the current assessment and feedback practices give rise for concern. Assessment practices are not as diverse as the core curriculum stipulates, and the amount of feedback is limited. It also seems that feedback has not been useful for every student and that students have not internalised the role of feedback in teacher assessment practices. Therefore, the role of feedback about diverse assessment and feedback practices should be advocated more in teacher education, and in-service training for teachers is needed. Keywords: feedback, assessment, foreign languages, general upper secondary education
  • Tarvainen, Ilari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Cancer can be regarded as a group of diseases involving the uncontrolled division of cells and it is a leading cause of death worldwide. Abnormal function of protein kinases underlies pathogenesis of various cancers, making them one of the most important primary drug targets in search of novel cancer therapies. Protein kinase C (PKC) is a serine/threonine kinase; the activation of which could be beneficial in treating some forms of cancer. We have previously discovered and synthesized a series of isophthalic acid derivatives (HMIs) that act as partial agonists of PKC without inducing down-regulation of PKC. Some of them have previously shown potent anti-proliferative activity in cultured human cervical cancer cells and prostate cancer cell lines. The first aim of this thesis project was to characterise the effects of isophthalate HMI-1a3 on colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and to unravel the non-PKC mediators of HMI-1a3 induced effects. HMI-1a3 exhibited cytotoxic, antiproliferative and apoptosis inducing effects in CRC cell lines. Cytotoxic effects were not PKC-dependent, but instead, the kinase profile together with commercially available pharmacological tools revealed that protein kinase A (PKA) plays a key role in the HMI-1a3 induced decrease in CRC cell viability. The second aim of this thesis was to further develop and characterise novel PKC activators. We characterised the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of novel pyrimidine and pyridine analogues of HMIs and prostate specific antigen (PSA) and prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeted 4β-phorbol ester derivatives. The results demonstrated that pyrimidine analogues of HMIs showed no affinity to PKCα, whereas pyridine derivatives demonstrated similar binding and PKC-dependent ERK1/2 phosphorylation as HMIs. The 4β-phorbol ester derivatives bind to PKCα and decrease the viability of prostate cancer cell lines apart from the PSA or PSMA expression. In addition, 4β-phorbol ester derivatives downregulated PKCα, PKCδ and PSMA. In conclusion, PKA was recognised as a novel target of HMI-1a3 and the antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of HMI-1a3 on CRC cells reinforce its potential as a lead for anti-cancer drug discovery. Furthermore, these studies confirm the importance of developing PKC targeted compounds that do not induce PKC downregulation. Pyridine analogues were also identified as a novel scaffold for future assessment and development of HMIs.
  • Rinta-Kokko, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The direct and indirect effects of pneumococcal vaccination on an individual and the population are of great interest. This study focuses on the definition, estimation and interpretation of different effect measures of vaccines and vaccination against pneumococcal colonisation and disease. Vaccine efficacy, effectiveness and impact are considered as epidemiological parameters of interest which are estimated using observations gathered according to some study design. In this thesis, vaccine efficacy against colonisation is defined through pneumococcal acquisition, which describes the natural process of incident occurrences of colonisation better than prevalence. Moreover, a general definition of vaccine efficacy against a multi-type pathogen is presented, with an epidemiologically meaningful interpretation as a weighted average of strain-specific efficacies. A feasible estimation method is then proposed, based on cross-sectional measurement on the current status of colonisation. When the differences in times at-risk between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are taken into account, the estimation of vaccine efficacy against colonisation is shown to be less biased by within-host competition between different serotypes (strains). The estimation method is exemplified with empirical data of pneumococcal colonisation in Israeli children. At the population level, vaccine effectiveness is the measure of vaccine-induced protection during an ongoing vaccination programme when both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals experience the indirect effects of the vaccination programme. Vaccine impact is the population prevented fraction of the incidence of infection when exposure is the vaccination programme rather than each individual’s own vaccination. Both vaccine effectiveness and impact are parameters that depend on the population dynamics of pneumococcal colonisation and disease after vaccine introduction. In this thesis, the time trends of vaccine effectiveness and impact are described with a pseudo-dynamic model that incorporates the incidences of pneumococcal carriage and disease. The model shows that the effectiveness and impact against vaccine-serotype invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) are expected to be high and largely of the same magnitude through the post-introduction period. By contrast, the vaccine effectiveness and impact against non-vaccine-serotype IPD follow very divergent paths while the vaccine-type colonisation and disease become eliminated. The practical estimation of vaccine effectiveness is exemplified with register data of Finnish children eligible for pneumococcal conjugate (PCV10) vaccination. Three parallel study designs, the cohort, nested case-control and indirect cohort designs, are shown to provide estimates that are broadly concordant with each other. The parameters of vaccine efficacy as proposed in this thesis can be interpreted as measures of the biological effect of the vaccine on new vaccine-type acquisitions and should therefore allow more robust comparisons across different epidemiological settings with differing levels of exposure by non-vaccine strains. Moreover, the thesis helps to interpret the time-varying parameters of vaccine impact and effectiveness during large-scale vaccinations, and their manifestation in Finnish children.
  • Davidsen, Peter (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This research monograph is an intellectual history of the theory of the state and the theory of political science of Professor Rudolf Kjellén (1864–1922), who was once one of Europe’s most well-known academics. The dissertation rediscovers the original contexts and scientific debates in which the theories intervened. Thus, it is a study of those theories, contexts, and scientific debates, as well as of the arguments formulated by their interlocutors, including Professors S. J. Boëthius, Pontus Fahlbeck, C. A. Reuterskiöld, Ludvig Stavenow, Otto Varenius, and Gunnar Rexius. Following Professor Quentin Skinner and the Cambridge school of intellectual history, this study excavates, reconstructs, contextualizes, reinterprets, and rethinks a great scientific dispute, a Methodenstreit, over the nature of political science and its relation to, and potential emancipation from, the studies of law, history, philosophy, geography, and statistics.
  • Duru, Ilhan Cem (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Food products produced by humans are usually not sterile and typically contain several types of microorganisms. While there are beneficial microorganisms that are used in production and preservation of food, there are also microorganisms that cause food spoilage and foodborne illness. This study investigated the gene-expression profiles of three types of food-related bacteria during food processes. Mesophilic lactic acid bacteria and Propionibacterium that are added in milk during Maasdam cheese production were examined in Chapter I. Metagenomic analysis suggested that Maasdam cheese microbiota mainly consisted of Lc. lactis, Lb. helveticus, Lb. rhamnosus, and Propionibacterium. Lc. lactis was the most dominant species. Metatranscriptome analysis during transition from the warm room to the cold room showed that flavor-production and central-metabolism genes were downregulated at cold-room temperatures for all species except Lc. lactis. Cold-shock and heat-shock gene expression of psychrotrophic spoilage lactic acid bacteria (LAB) was investigated in Chapter II. Psychrotrophic LAB are the dominant taxa in cold-stored modified-atmosphere packaged meat products. Their metabolic activities are responsible for meat spoilage. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that spoilage-related genes were upregulated in Le. gelidum at cold-shock temperatures. Moreover, cold-shock also caused upregulation of slime-production genes in Lc. piscium, and Plb. oligofermentans. Gene network analysis suggested that rRNA modification and efflux MFS transporter genes were part of the cold-shock response. At the heat-shock temperature Chaperone and Clp family genes were upregulated in all three species. L. monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen and is the focus of Chapter III. High-pressure processing (HPP) is one of the common methods that inactivate L. monocytogenes in food products. However, L. monocytogenes can still recover from HPP. This study investigated the gene-expression response of L. monocytogenes during HPP recovery. It was predicted that HPP stress was activated by sigma factor B. The data indicated that sRNA Rli47, cobalamin biosynthesis genes, heat-shock genes and cell-wall-related genes were upregulated after HPP. Further downstream analysis using pbp2A mutants confirmed that among cell-wall-related genes, pbp2A played a significant role in HPP recovery. In conclusion, this thesis extends current knowledge of the role of microorganisms in food, ranging from food fermentations (cheese), towards spoilage (in meat) and foodborne pathogens.
  • Parviainen, Tuuli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The risk of a large- scale oil spill remains significant as international maritime operations continue to grow globally. Oil spill risks can be considered as complex socio-ecological risks characterized by high levels of uncertainty and ambiguity, i.e. different understandings and perceptions of risks, and societal values. As a result, assessing and managing oil spill risks is challenging. As with other socio-ecological risks, science and scientific knowledge plays an invaluable role in the governance of oil spill risks. However, the role of natural sciences and technical expertise in risk governance is increasingly scrutinized; quantitative risk models and assessments alone are no longer seen as sufficient in addressing the highly value-laden nature of risks. Rather, the emphasis has shifted towards collaborative and participatory approaches that are considered to better account for the complex nature of many of the socio-ecological risks associated with global environmental change. By focusing on oil spill risks, this dissertation contributes to existing social-scientific research on marine risk governance and explores how to govern complex and contested socio-ecological risks. The main aim of this thesis is to explore how oil spill risks are rendered “manageable” by reducing the complexity associated with the risks, i.e. how risk governance is performed through governmentalities. By governmentalities, I refer to the ways risks are framed and constructed through the three inter-related processes of problematizations (the framing of risks), rationalities (discourses that support the adopted frame), and technologies (e.g. models that help to operationalize the adopted frame). The thesis also analyzes how the current governance approach could be improved by supporting new ways of producing knowledge to inform transformations in policy and practice. Therefore, the three sub-questions of the dissertation investigate 1) the problematizations and rationalities that determine and shape oil spill risk governance processes, 2) how scientific knowledge, more precisely, risk models, are used to assess and manage risks, and 3) the potential of Bayesian network (BN) models to act as boundary objects, i.e. objects that support collaborative knowledge production and turn knowledge into action. The study examines these issues with the help of a literature review on Bayesian network (BN) models for oil spill risk assessment (Article I) as well as two case studies (Articles II and III). In Article II, I used influence diagrams based on Bayesian graphical (causal) logic to explore how different stakeholders frame oil spill risks associated with offshore oil exploration and exploitation in the Norwegian Barents Sea. Article III analyzes the potential of risk models to act as boundary objects in governing oil spill risks from shipping in the Gulf of Finland (GoF), the Baltic Sea. The thesis provides insight into how oil spill risks are framed in a very constricted manner by the responsible authorities and institutions and alternative framings of risks are not explored or considered valid. Further, the governance processes are still largely based on techno-scientific knowledge where new knowledge from different scientific disciplines and from outside academia is not integrated into decision-making processes. The study suggests that the reliance on technical knowledge has led to pre-determined solutions where the root causes of risks, such as the expansion of industrial activities in highly ecologically and/or culturally sensitive areas, are not considered as problematic. Rather, risks are merely seen as results of, for example, poor management, lack of appropriate technology, and/ or insufficient scientific knowledge. Finally, the dissertation indicates the need for new, flexible marine risk governance approaches and tools that encourage deliberation and dialogue around competing goals, facilitate collaboration and co-production of knowledge, as well as promote social learning in innovative ways.
  • Liangsupree, Thanaporn (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This doctoral dissertation focuses on the elucidation of biochemical and chemical compositions of clinically relevant human plasma-derived nanosized particles, namely lipoproteins and extracellular vesicle subpopulations (EVs) isolated by on-line coupled immunoaffinity – asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation. Raman spectroscopy and chromatographic techniques along with statistical and computational models for complex data analysis were employed for compositional studies. Continuous flow quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) combined with an advanced numerical tool namely Adaptive Interaction Distribution Algorithm or AIDA gave valuable information on their binding kinetics and interactions, also helpful for the development of the isolation methods. The first step was to develop a fast and reliable platform for the isolation and fractionation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles and EV subpopulations from human plasma. The isolation was based on the highly specific and selective affinity chromatography with monolithic disk columns, enabling convective mass transport and high permeability. The LDL isolation system utilized two monolithic disk columns, one immobilized with chondroitin-6-sulfate (C6S) and another with monoclonal anti-apolipoprotein B-100 (anti-apoB-100) antibody. The first disk removed very-low-density and intermediate-density lipoproteins from human plasma, while the second isolated LDLs from the flow-through plasma. EV isolation methods included four immunoaffinity ligands, monoclonal anti-CD9, anti-CD63, anti-CD81, and anti-CD61 antibodies. The isolates were further on-line fractionated by asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation, resulting in EV subpopulations with size ranges of < 50 nm exomeres and 50-120 nm exosomes. The developed systems allowed automated, quick, highly reliable, and successful isolation and fractionation of both lipoproteins and EV subpopulations with minimal losses and contamination. Raman spectroscopy combined with statistical models was successfully used to prove the hypothesis that plasma-derived EVs of different sizes and origins have different biochemical compositions. In addition, EVs were clearly distinguished from non-EV components, such as apoB-100-containing lipoproteins and human plasma. Plasma-derived EV subpopulations, including CD9+, CD63+, and CD81+ EVs, gave distinct spectral compositions compared to platelet-derived CD61+ EV subpopulations, and the diversity was even found within exomere and exosome size ranges. In parallel, the fatty acid composition of lipoproteins and EV subpopulations was analyzed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography – time-of-flight mass spectrometry and the amino acid and glucose content by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry. EV subpopulations were free from detectable apoB-100-containing lipoproteins and differed in amino acid and fatty acid compositions. Detailed binding kinetics and interactions carried out by continuous flow QCM and data analysis tool AIDA gave knowledge of biological system heterogeneity and binding kinetics parameters, useful for the development of affinity chromatographic methods and for the determination of molecular properties of both lipoproteins and EV subpopulations.
  • Lehtimäki, Tomi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    As societies are facing increasing pressures set by environmental problems, the need to find alternative solutions has become more urgent. In this context, agriculture and food have been identified as one central sector, where change is needed. In the search for alternatives, organic agriculture has emerged as a central option to transform agricultural systems to more sustainable ways of operating. Additionally, organic agriculture aims to address other problems associated with the industrialization of agriculture and food, such as those related to food quality. Organic agriculture offers an alternative way to understand what agriculture and food are about, bringing in other values than those of efficiency and profit. At the same time, organic agriculture has been a heavily contested issue, as some have questioned its capability to actually address the problems that food systems currently face. By using an analytical framework based on pragmatic sociology (or conventions theory), developed originally by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot, this dissertation examines the development of organic agriculture in Finland. The thesis is situated into the discussion concerning the values of organic agriculture. Previous discussions, most notably those rooted in political economy, have conceptualized the development and institutionalization of organic agriculture as a process where values are gradually replaced by economic incentives. Instead of being able to bring in alternative values, such as ecology, care or fairness, organic agriculture is seen as becoming increasingly market-driven. Not only is this development seen to make organic agriculture similar to conventional production in terms of principles and values, but also in its material composition, as organic products, for example, become only slightly different from their conventional counterparts. The approach applied in this thesis challenges this view and aims to reverse this setting. Instead of taking organic agriculture as the value-driven alternative (and examining how it either loses or maintains these values), the various analyses examine how the value(s) of organic agriculture is constructed. From this perspective, the debate concerns whether organic agriculture offers a meaningfully different alternative, through which the sustainability of food systems can be achieved. Therefore, using the pragmatic sociological approach, the development of organic agriculture is not examined only as economization, but as shaping it according to various forms of worth. The thesis examines various conflict situations, where organic and conventional agriculture are set against each other, and where actors need to justify either alternative. The construction of these justifications is then analyzed as processes of sense-making, where actors shape organic agriculture according to different “orders of worth.” The thesis is based on four research articles. Article I examines debates about organic agriculture in news media. Focusing on three different periods (1982-88, 1995-2000, and 2008-2012) in two newspapers, Helsingin Sanomat and Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, the article examines the development of justifications for and against organic agriculture. Article II examines the early period of organic agriculture in Finland. Focusing on the years between 1980 and 1991, the article shows how the difference between organic and conventional agriculture was already then a contested topic. The article examines how the difference between the two agricultural systems and their products was constructed through various forms of worth. Article III continues this discussion and applies the analytical approach of the thesis to the institutionalization of organic agriculture. The article analyzes various policy papers, strategies and studies on organic agriculture, asking, how the inclusion of organic agriculture was justified in them. Article IV then reverses this setting, using the case of organic agriculture to develop pragmatic sociology. By using the three empirical studies, the article focuses on developing the perspective green or ecological justification. The findings of these individual articles are then elaborated into four central ways according to which the difference between organic and conventional agriculture has been constructed. First, the green difference describes how organic agriculture has been established as an ecological alternative that has the capacity to address environmental problems. Second, what is termed as the problematic difference addresses the economization of organic agriculture and the construction of the difference based on economic valuations. Third, the contested difference describes how the existence of a meaningful difference has been questioned, especially by those drawing from a natural scientific point of view. And, fourth, the contextualized difference examines how a national framework of reference has also questioned the existence of a difference, here with reference to the qualities of Finnish production and food. Together these form of constructing the difference between organic and conventional agriculture have influenced both the development of organic agriculture and Finnish agricultural production.
  • Chen, Yuxing (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The substantial increase of real-life applications creates a large scale of ever-increasing raw heterogeneous data nowadays, correlating to the four Vs characteristics of big data: volume, variety, velocity and veracity. We discuss volume and variety challenges in this thesis. For volume, efficiently extracting valuable information and making predictions from these large-scale data are interesting to various quarters from academic researchers and industrial data scientists to customers and shareholders. For variety, much research addresses the challenges of effectively storing, collecting, processing, querying, and analyzing heterogeneous data. This thesis pushes approaches to optimize the performance with volume and variety challenges. For volume challenges, we aim at performance tuning for big data systems. In this part, to tackle cold-start situations with no statistics for models, we leverage cost-model and triangulation to model the performance, thus leading to cost-effective prediction. For variety challenges, we aim at optimizing join queries. In this part, to fill the gap of little research on join queries with heterogeneous data (i.e., relational and tree data), we research the size bound and the worst-case optimal join algorithm with relational and tree data in contrast with only relations. For parameter tuning, this thesis first contributes to propose a cost model for Spark workloads, which leverages Monte Carlo simulation to achieve cost-effective training. Specifically, we utilize a little part of resources and data to predict dependable performance for larger clusters and datasets even with data skewness and runtime deviations. Particularly, this work considers network and disk bounds so that it performs better with I/O-bounded workloads. Next, the thesis proposes $d$-simplexed, which models the Spark workloads by leveraging Delaunay Triangulation. Unlike other black-box ML methods, $d$-simplexed utilizes piece-wise linear regression models, which can be built faster and yield better prediction. Also, $d$-simplexed is built with an adaptive sampling technique which collects few training points but achieves accurate prediction. For join queries, this thesis studies the worst-case optimal join with relational and tree data. To this end, we first embark the study on the cross-model conjunctive query (CMCQ) with relational and tree data, and formally define the problem of CMCQ processing. We reveal that the computation of the worst-case size bound of a CMCQ is NP-hard w.r.t query expression complexity. We then develop a worst-case optimal join algorithm called CMJoin to match the size bound of a CMCQ under some circumstances.
  • Oikarinen, Joona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis concerns constructive Liouville Conformal Field Theory (LCFT), which is a certain two-dimensional quantum field theory with conformal symmetry. The focus is on the properties of the correlation functions of the primary fields. The correlation functions are defined by an explicit path integral construction, discovered by David, Kupiainen, Rhodes and Vargas. We consider regularity of the correlation functions and their dependency on the background metric of the theory. In physics literature, LCFT originated in the 1980's in Polyakov's study of path integral quantization of non-critical bosonic string theory in the conformal gauge. Shortly after this, Liouville theory appeared in two-dimensional quantum gravity, and later Liouville theory was found to have a deep connection to four-dimensional Yang--Mills theories via the AGT-conjecture. Liouville theory was also one of the motivations for the development of the conformal bootstrap approach to two-dimensional Conformal Field Theory in the 1980's by Belavin, Polyakov and Zamolodchikov. The mathematically rigorous study of Liouville theory started in 2010's. The path integral of the theory was successfully constructed using the theory of Gaussian Multiplicative Chaos of Kahane. Quickly after the construction of the path integral, many of the predictions of the physicists were proven rigorously. The first article of the dissertation considers the regularity of the LCFT correlation functions. The correlation functions are shown to be smooth when the insertion points are distinct. The method is based on identities obtained from Gaussian integration by parts, and a fusion estimate for the correlation functions. The fusion estimate controls the singularities of the correlation functions when insertions get closer to each other pairwise. The second article concerns the stress-energy tensor of LCFT, which describes the response of the theory to variations of the background metric. Conformal Ward Identities are derived for the correlation functions of the stress-energy tensor on LCFT on the Riemann sphere. The identities are consequences of conformal symmetry, and on the sphere this is especially strong constraint because the sphere admits only one conformal structure. The correlation functions are shown to be smooth with respect to the background metric, and then their functional derivatives with respect to the background metric are computed. In the computation the Beltrami equation plays a crucial role. The third article combines the methods used in both of the previous articles. The Conformal Ward identities are derived on hyperbolic compact Riemann surfaces. Now the space of conformal structures is non-trivial. This means that the conformal symmetry does not fully fix the dependency of the correlation functions on the metric, and thus a separate study is required for this new degree of freedom. It turns out that the method developed in the first article suffices to also show that the variation of the correlation functions with respect to the conformal structure defines a smooth function. After this, the derivation of the Conformal Ward identities is similar to the computation done in the second article.
  • Perander, Katarina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    My aim with this dissertation was to explore different factors that impede and enhance students’ transition to higher education in Finland. Studying in higher education requires self-regulated learning skills, self-efficacy, regulation of academic emotions and effective study strategies, which were also focused on in this dissertation. The theoretical framework for this dissertation was based on the social cognitive theory that perceives the student as an active participant in the learning process, who can regulate thoughts, emotions and actions in accordance with personal factors and the environment. This dissertation was composed of three part-studies, published in three articles, that contribute to the understanding of the complexity of the factors that affect the transition to higher education. Qualitative content analysis was used as methodological approach in all part-studies. The aim of the first part-study (Article I) was to examine how first-year university students perceived their learning strategies, self-regulated learning skills and academic emotions in and how they reflected on them in reflective journals. The findings showed that students perceived several challenges during their first semester in higher education. These challenges were related to independent learning, and more particularly to self-regulated learning. Moreover, the first part-study also showed that self-regulated learning was closely intertwined with the academic emotions perceived by the students. Thus, the students perceived different academic emotions both to affect self-regulated learning strategies and to be a result of those strategies, which indicated how complexly weaved they are with the learning process. In addition, this part-study demonstrated that reflective journals were useful in raising students’ awareness of their academic emotions and study strategies as well as their metacognitive awareness. Hence, this first part-study clearly indicated a need to provide students with opportunities to adapt to studying in higher education by normalising feelings of insecurity and by supporting self-regulated learning skills. The aim of the second part-study (Article II) was to explore how upper secondary school educators (teachers and study counsellors) perceived and described their students’ self-belief, study habits, academic emotions and behaviour. This part-study was conducted as an interview study. By understanding what happens before the transition to higher education it is possible to carry out targeted interventions also on previous levels of education to ease the transition. The findings from this second part-study revealed clear stereotyped gender perceptions and expectations among the educators the in upper secondary schools. This was especially troublesome in relation to the attribution of success. Girls were perceived as succeeding academically due to their effort and boys due to their ability. Thus, the girls were described as diligent, yet anxious, and the boys as lazy and indifferent about school. These findings are worrying on several levels. Firstly, they show that despite all the efforts to decrease gender inequality at school, gender roles are still reinforced via biased perceptions and expectations. Secondly, the support provided for the students may not be adequate when students are perceived through gendered lenses. This can have aggravating effects on the transition to and the studying in higher education since gendered perceptions affect self-belief and aspirations. Hence, this second part-study indicated that to provide all students with adequate support and guidance, these gendered perceptions and expectations need to be acknowledged and rectified. The third part-study (Article III) focused on analysing the effects of an intervention for first-year university students aimed at supporting their transition to higher education. The students participated in a compulsory workshop on study strategies during their first semester in higher education and reflected on their learning strategies in reflective journals. The aim of this part-study was to explore how the students perceived the workshop and thereby provide an example of how students can be supported during their first year in higher education, to enhance study progress, retention and finally graduation. The findings of this third part-study showed that small measures for first-year higher education students can have a major impact on students’ transition. When students became aware of their study strategies and what affected them, they were able to make changes that were needed for a smoother study path. This third part-study also showed the importance of the workshops for the students' emotional regulation when the students could reflect on their study habits, as well as to receive and to give peer support, in a safe environment. Thus, the findings indicated that interventions offered to first-year university students can enhance their self-belief and academic competence by providing tools and strategies for the adaptation to the demands of higher education. By supporting students’ self-awareness, they can identify the strategies that benefit them the most. This dissertation adds to the research field by implementing theory into practice via the recognition of students’ own perceptions of their study habits and by empowering their agency beliefs in their own studying. The findings of this dissertation show that interventions that support students’ self-efficacy beliefs, self-regulated learning skills and regulation of academic emotions ought to be a part of the introduction to higher education. Moreover, this dissertation shows a need for an explicit focus on gender equality in teacher education and in in-service training for teachers. The awareness of stereotyping and its reproduction of rigid gender roles needs be brought to the attention of all educators from early childhood education onward. Studying in higher education requires a variety of study skills and first-year students would benefit from being able to practise and acquire these skills in the first year of higher education and not to be expected to develop these skills on their own outside the university context. Thus, by acknowledging the challenges many students encounter in the transition to higher education and by normalising feelings of insecurity, students’ stress levels and feelings of inadequacy can be reduced and therefore their wellbeing enhanced. How to meet students’ challenges during first year in higher education would also be useful to be implemented even stronger in university pedagogy and university teaching. Keywords: transition to higher education, self-regulated learning, self-efficacy, academic emotions, intervention, gender
  • Filppu, Pauliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and malignant primary brain tumor in adults, is among the most difficult cancers to treat with a median survival of only 15 months. GBMs are highly complex tumors with several unique features explaining the lack of effective therapies: infiltrative growth of the tumor cells prevents complete surgical removal of the tumor, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) effectively inhibits drug delivery to the tumor site, and identification of subpopulations of glioma stem cells (GSCs) that are an important source of cellular heterogeneity and therapeutic resistance. Novel therapeutic approaches for treatment of these devastating tumors are urgently needed. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying tumor initiation, progression, and therapy resistance of malignant human GBM. We aimed at identifying vulnerabilities that could potentially provide novel therapeutic targets for treatment of GBM. We utilized patient-derived GSC cultures and patient-derived xenograft tumors as models to study GBM. In the first study, we demonstrated that mammary-derived growth inhibitor (MDGI), also known as heart-type fatty acid binding protein 3 (H-FABP/FABP3), was not only highly expressed but also played a significant role in GBM invasion. We identified a novel function for MDGI in maintaining the lysosomal membrane integrity. Unexpectedly, GBM cells were extremely vulnerable to silencing of MDGI expression. We demonstrated that MDGI silencing caused lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP), which is an alternative cell death pathway leading to irreversible apoptosis. LMP can be induced by pharmacological agents such as antihistamines. Interestingly, we demonstrated that treatment of patient-derived xenograft tumors with antihistamine clemastine effectively eradicated the invasive tumor cells and prolonged animal survival in a preclinical study in vivo. In the most invasive patient-derived GBM model, treatment with clemastine led to a complete eradication of the tumor. Our results encourage testing clemastine in a clinical trial of patients with GBM. In the second part of this study, we provided important insight into GSC plasticity driving tumorigenesis and therapy resistance of GBM. We identified a molecular mechanism where CD109 physically interacts with glycoprotein 130 (GP130) to regulate the interleukin-6/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (IL-6/STAT3) signaling pathway. We further demonstrated that the CD109/STAT3 axis was essential for the maintenance of stemness and plasticity of GSCs. When CD109 was silenced, GSCs differentiated into astrocytic-like cells and were unable to dedifferentiate into the stem-like state. Moreover, the CD109/STAT3 axis was needed for the tumorigenicity of patient-derived xenograft models in vivo. Importantly, genetic targeting of CD109 and pharmacologic inhibition of STAT3 both sensitized the GSCs to chemotherapy. These results suggest that therapeutic targeting of CD109/STAT3 axis in combination with chemotherapy might potentially increase the effect of chemotherapy in patients with GBM and help to overcome the therapy resistance. This study provides important insight into novel disease mechanisms with potential therapeutic implications for GBM patients.
  • Lassander, Maarit (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Mindfulness is a capacity to focus on present-moment awareness that can be enhanced and learned. Studies I and II examined the outcomes of mindfulness intervention on resilience, depressive symptoms, socioemotional functioning (primary outcomes) and health-related quality of life (secondary outcome). Finnish school children and adolescents (N=3519) aged 12–15 years (6th to 8th graders), from 56 schools, were cluster-randomised into a 9-week mindfulness intervention group or control groups with a relaxation program or teaching as usual. In Studies III and IV, a subset of students (N=131) completed a cognitive test-package to measure executive functioning, and a majority of these students (N=110) also completed the psychophysiological test-package to measure stress reactivity. All measures were completed at baseline, at completion of the programs at 9 weeks, and at follow-up at 26 weeks. In Study I, the mindfulness intervention did not show more beneficial effects on the primary outcomes compared to the controls, except for resilience for which a positive intervention effect was found at 9 weeks in the whole intervention group compared to the active control group. In addition, in gender- and grade-related analyses, the intervention reduced the prevalence of depressive symptoms in girls, and the effect was also significantly different compared to boys. The mindfulness intervention improved socioemotional functioning among 7th graders at 9 weeks and 26 weeks, compared to the active control group. In Study II, a significant intervention effect was found for health-related quality of life at 9 weeks and 26 weeks as compared to the active control group. Moderating effects were found for both gender and grade. Girls and 7th–8th grade students benefited most from the intervention in terms of health-related quality of life compared to the active control group. In the subset of students in Study III, both the intervention group and active control group improved on a majority of executive functioning measures (response inhibition, cognitive processing and flexibility, verbal fluency) at both 9 weeks and 26 weeks. In Study IV, the number of electrodermal responses indicative of stress stayed at the same level in the intervention group, but increased in the active control group, during a task of social stress at both the 9 week and 26 week follow-ups, suggesting that mindfulness may have a stress buffering effect in the intervention group. In sum, this thesis contributes to the field of mindfulness and socioemotional learning by showing the potential benefits of short-term mindfulness intervention for wellbeing outcomes in adolescents. The results of this thesis can be applied in adapting and targeting mindfulness interventions in schools to achieve optimal benefits.
  • Louhivuori, Verna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Neural stem cells and their arising progenitors create our central nervous system (CNS). The questions of how neural progenitor cells (NPCs) are determined to a certain neuronal fate, in that, how do they mature, migrate, and develop to take on their physiological roles, during the formation of functional networks in the brain, remain fundamentally unanswered. Despite the vast amount of information acquired and accumulated over the last centuries, the interplay between molecular mechanisms that drive brain development have only recently started to unravel. Studies have shown that early brain electrical activity, neurotransmitter-induced responses, and trophic factor signaling, acting through their respective receptors, are implicated as critical regulators of brain development. By elucidating the mechanisms governing progenitor cell behavior under normal and pathological conditions, such as fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common cause of intellectual disability and leading genetic cause of autism, will further improve our understanding of brain development, and facilitate the development of CNS cell therapies. This thesis aims to shed light into the molecular and cellular mechanisms in the developing brain by utilizing in vitro neurosphere model to study the differentiation and migration of neural progenitors, by combining gene and protein expression analysis, and immunocytochemical stainings with intracellular calcium imaging and time-lapse video microscopy. In addition, in vivo immunohistological staining methodologies, in situ hybridization studies and in utero electroporation were utilized to study neocortical development in the absence of functional Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), in a mouse model for FXS. Taken together, results presented in this thesis provide new information on the molecular mechanisms that guide neural progenitor cells and their interactions with radial glia (RG) cells. It sheds key insights into NPC functional responses as they mature and differentiate, identifying key molecular players as well as providing compelling evidence that neural-glia interaction during cortical formation plays an important role in brain development. Additionally, timing, and region-specific modulatory role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-TrkB signaling during neocortical development and abnormalities particularly in glutamatergic neurogenesis in the absence of FMRP was demonstrated.
  • Sirén, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Background: Shoulder diseases are common among working populations, especially among manual workers. Symptomatic shoulder lesions predominantly manifest as pain while loading and abducting the arm, which often continues at rest. Shoulder pain is known to cause disability, absences from work and significant healthcare costs. Because the pathomechanisms of most shoulder lesions are degenerative, they become more prevalent with age and usually affect individuals in the middle or latter part of their working careers. However, little is known about how a shoulder lesion impacts work participation or how prolonged work disability due to a shoulder lesion could be prevented. Aims: The first objective of this thesis study was to examine the impact of a disabling shoulder lesion on work participation and working life expectancy. Further objectives were to identify the occupational risk factors as well as the occupations with a high risk of disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion. The final aim was to determine the associations of lifestyle factors and cumulative workload factors with SA due to a shoulder lesion. Methods: Studies I–III used large, nationwide, administrative register data enriched with occupation-specific information on work-related factors. Cohorts, which were formed from a 70% random sample of individuals aged 18–70 living in Finland, were followed for nine to ten years. The cohort of Study IV was nationally representative and consisted of participants of the Finnish Health 2000 Survey. This cohort was followed for 15 years. Results: People with prolonged SA due to a shoulder lesion lost a considerable number of their potential working life years, mainly due to preterm old-age retirement and disability retirement. Among both genders, physically heavy work showed the strongest association with disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion. Altogether, physical workload factors explained 46% and 41%, and psychosocial work-related factors 49% and 41% of disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion among men and women, respectively. The risk of disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion was generally higher in manual occupations and heavy physical work significantly explained the excess risk in most of the occupations. Risk factors for SA due to a shoulder lesion included being exposed for at least ten years to physically heavy work, being exposed for more than ten years to at least two specific physical workload factors, and daily smoking. In addition, obesity was a risk factor among men. The modifiable risk factors explained 60% of SA among men and 49% among women. Conclusions Work participation is notably reduced among people with prolonged SA due to shoulder lesion. Reducing work-related factors to a low level has great potential to prevent disability retirement due to shoulder lesions. Avoiding regular cumulative exposure to physical workload factors also showed potential to prevent SA due to a shoulder lesion.
  • Peemot, Victoria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study is an ethnography of human-nonhuman relationships in the Sayan and Altay Mountains of Inner Asia. It is an outcome of research that I conducted in collaboration with horsemen from my patrilineal Soyan clan, who live in the Tes-Xem province of the Tyva Republic (the Russian Federation). In this study, I explore phenomena related to the role of horses in post-Soviet Tyva—in particular, the horse’s participation in the moral economy of human-nonhuman relationships, its contribution to postsocialist identities, and its imbrication in politics. This research contributes to ongoing anthropological debates on animism and “the ontological turn” by focusing on Inner Asian steppe pastoralists’ understandings of their relationships with sentient nonhumans—homelands and horses. I argue that the communities with whom I work are inherently more than human. By this I mean that, first, more than human communities are comprised of a herding family and domesticated animals; pastoralists adjust their transhumance time and routes to the needs of their livestock. Second, the relationships between pastoralists and domesticates are embedded in relationships with their homelands, which are understood as sentient and superordinate to the interspecies communities inhabiting them. The horse holds a special position among domesticated animals by virtue of living simultaneously in proximity to humans and the superordinate homelands. The ambiguity of the horse characterizes its high status and the understanding that it serves as a communicative bridge between homelands and human-nonhuman communities. I theorize the inter-relations between homelands and their various inhabitants as a form of land-based, human-nonhuman kinship. By doing so, I expand on the Tyvan concept of “land-based kinship” (čer törel). I frame customary regulations, which apply to relationships within human-nonhuman kinship systems, as “guesting” (aaldaar). Aaldaar, the Tyvan practice of asking for help among kin. This allows me to define my research with Indigenous communities as responsible guesting (aaldaar), where a researcher and communities engage in sharing gift-knowledge. My emic experience as a Soyan with a background in herding life in Tyva has impacted the theoretical and methodological frameworks of my study and helped me to bridge the gap between academic and Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies. The relational epistemology of Indigenous research has allowed me to employ storying with my kin, horses, and our homelands as a way of acquiring and sharing knowledge in this study. Storying has been especially helpful in analyzing the post-Soviet rise of the horse’s importance in Tyvan politics and identity negotiations among the pastoralists. It has revealed how a human-nonhuman community experiences sociopolitical and ecological transformations, and jointly responds to changes and threats. Storying allows me to show how various agents in human-nonhuman communities depend on each other in order to heal from past traumas and ensure resilience and survival. In addition to storying, my main field research method was participant-observation with human-nonhuman communities via photography and audiovisual documentation of pastoralists’ practices. Making, sharing, and discussing audiovisual stories obtained through fieldwork formed an important part of the collaborative methodology with pastoralists and helped to shape the theoretical framework of my study around gift-knowledge sharing.
  • Saarinen, Auli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    An ePortfolio is an evolving electronic resource that acts to record and store the artefacts of learning and reflections for an individual learner. It may reflect the progression of a student’s learning process, or it can testify the level reached. This thesis analyzed the longitudinal use of an electronic portfolio in craft studies for a period of six years (2013-19). The Educational Design Research (EDR) was implemented in three parts containing year-long iterations. The students (ages 9 to 14 years) traced their craft process activities by photos, narratives, recordings and assessment assignments. In the first study, the functions, and the benefits of the ePortfolio method were emphasized and general user experiences based on pupil interviews (N=38) were outlined. The results indicated that an ePortfolio (realized through the iPad application, Book Creator) is a workable method in craft education. The identified key functions were collection and management of information, communication, and verification of development. The experienced benefits were related to supporting the working process: memory, understanding and activities. In the second study the data comprised of the textual and visual content of the students’ (N= 38) ePortfolios. The results indicated that the most emphasized areas in the textual and visual content of students’ ePortfolios were a combination of the process and free learning reflection. The results confirmed that if ePortfolios are used in a flexible way with open assignments, variations on use and the end-product are self-evident. In the third study the data contained a six-year-long tracing of learning and the final interviews (N=8). The interview focused on students’ experiences of the eportfolio method and its development. The longitudinal textual content was conceptualized by applying Anderson and Krathwohl’s “Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing”. The results indicated that the students’ knowledge type was transformed from versatile to a more limited, and cognitive process levels were transformed from concrete to a more abstract level. The interview data confirmed the findings. Suggested improvements were technical and platform issues, and practical functionalities. The implications drawn were linked with the ePortfolio’s pedagogical foundation and the development of the method. Diverse functions and benefits helped provide the answer to the main research question of the ePortfolios’ pedagogical dimensions: memory and communication support, learner-centered activity to consolidate the ownership of the learning process, and the versatile use of technological tools to train ICT skills, as well as more general skills. The long-term progress showed the transformation of knowledge type and cognitive process, and that the model of progress in ePortfolio usage simulates development.