Recent Submissions

  • Fogarty, Christopher (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a disease characterized by the autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic β cells. Diabetic nephropathy is a life-threatening complication of T1D, characterized by the progressive loss of kidney function. Approximately one-third of all patients with T1D develop diabetic nephropathy. Bacterial DNA and bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are two categories of bacterial remnants that are known to induce inflammation. Inflammation and elevated levels of bacterial remnants have previously been shown to be associated with the development of diabetic nephropathy, and there is evidence in mice that these factors play a causal role in disease progression. The general aim of this thesis is to identify biological factors that modulate bacterial remnant-mediated inflammation in patients with T1D. Specifically, we aimed to better understand the composition, origin and consequences of bacterial remnants in circulation in the context of T1D by (1) evaluating the presence of bacterial DNA in the sera of patients with T1D and controls (Study I) and (2) measuring LPS activity, inflammation, inflammatory potential and gut-related factors in the context of multiple high-fat meals given to patients with T1D and healthy controls (Studies II & III). Study I found a higher frequency of Pseudomonal (Pa) DNA in circulation as well as elevated anti-Pa IgA levels in patients with T1D. These Pa-specific IgA antibodies correlated with higher C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, suggesting that patients with T1D undergo recurrent or chronic Pseudomonal exposure and potentially explaining the chronic inflammation in patients with T1D. Contrary to our hypotheses, study I found no correlation between LPS activity and either bacterial DNA composition or antibodies against identified bacterial species. This may be attributable to differences in the half-lives and host clearance mechanisms of bacterial remnants. However, it is also possible that the entry mechanisms and points of entry for LPS and bacterial DNA are different. The identification of numerous bacteria known to be present in the oral cavity suggests that one possible point of entry is the oral cavity. Another possible point of entry for bacterial remnants is the gut. Circulating LPS was previously shown to increase after the ingestion of high-fat meals by healthy adults. Study II found a pronounced increase in serum markers of inflammation after multiple high-fat meals; however, our data suggest this inflammation was not attributable to increases in circulating LPS. Indeed, circulating LPS levels appeared to have no effect on immune cell activation or systemic inflammation. This led us to investigate factors related to intestinal homeostasis, particularly focusing on factors such as alkaline phosphatases, which might affect the potency of intestinally derived LPS. In Study III, we found a general disturbance in factors related to gut homeostasis in patients with T1D. Specifically, low levels of fecal alkaline phosphatase found in patients with T1D contributed to increased LPS potency in the intestine, which in turn boosted intestinal inflammation. These studies help shed light on the potential routes of entry for bacterial remnants and the possible mechanisms underlying the inflammatory response induced by high-fat meals.
  • Samppala, Marja-Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of this dissertation is to describe and analyze the phenomenon of workplace learning. The theoretical background of workplace learning, work life as a learning environment, and learning changes in the boundaries of school and the workplace are discussed. The research questions focus on the conceptions and experiences that the respondents have about students’ workplace learning as well as on the significant learning incidents. This study can be methodologically described as a qualitative case study. The data are collected from the county of Häme from 2011–2012. Altogether, 24 institutional cleaning students and 10 supervisors participated. The data are comprised of theme interviews, learning diaries, and the field notes of the researcher. The data are analyzed by qualitative content analysis and phenomenographic analysis. The first set of results focuses on the students’ conceptions of learning and how they are built in a social and cultural learning environment. As a result, seven qualitatively different categories of descriptions are revealed. In them, learning is comprehended from the perspectives of processing knowledge and changing behavior. The results show differences and similarities in conceptions of learning between the students and supervisors. Similarities were found related to using knowledge, learning by doing, and understanding and comprehending. Differences were seen based on features of learning theoretical orientations. The second set of results focuses on the students’ conceptions of workplace learning. Five qualitatively different categories of descriptions are revealed. In them, learning is understood from the perspectives of professional competencies, skills of self-regulation and the general competencies of working life. The results show that both students and their supervisors had parallel conceptions of workplace learning. Both groups’ conceptions emphasize professional competencies and self-regulation skills; however, these conceptions are more connected to individual features of learning than to cooperative learning. The third set of results focuses on the significant learning and tutoring incidents gained during the workplace learning periods. As a result, 14 themes are revealed, and they form the model of significant learning and tutoring incidents. These themes are shown in three levels: individual, contextual, and value loaded. In conclusion, it is essential to recognize learning theoretical orientations, the importance of social interaction and supervision in a working community, and cooperation, which crosses the boundaries of school and the workplace.
  • Lehtonen, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Mitochondrial diseases are inheritable, often progressive diseases, where the function of the ATP producing organelle of the cell, is compromised. This leads to a wide variety of phenotypes, known to arise from defects in over 200 genes. Typically manifesting organs are brain, heart, muscle, liver, endocrine organs and sense organs. Careful clinical assessment with investigation of family history helps to predict the cause, but other diagnostic assessments play a central role in diagnosis. Elevation of blood or cerebrospinal fluid lactate has traditionally been an indicator of mitochondrial dysfunction, but this biomarker lacks sensitivity and specificity, and more accurate biomarkers are required. Muscle biopsy sample is the gold standard of mitochondrial disease diagnosis. Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) negative, succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) positive fibers and ragged-red fibers (RRFs) are hallmarks of mitochondrial dysfunction. Reduced respiratory chain enzyme activity in tissue verifies diagnosis. Solid diagnosis requires genetic evidence, but the expanding number of disease-causing genes makes it difficult to choose which genes to sequence. We report here a novel diagnostic serum biomarker, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), which is more sensitive and specific to muscle-manifesting mitochondrial disorders than any of the conventional biomarkers used before. It correlates with COX-negative muscle fibers and is most likely produced and secreted by them. We also studied another recently discovered serum biomarker, growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15). We report that both FGF21 and GDF15 correctly distinguish mitochondrial myopathies from non-mitochondrial myopathies and controls, making them the most accurate biomarkers for mitochondrial myopathies to date. The trigger for induction of these biomarkers seems to be upstream of respiratory chain defect, most likely initiates from the mitochondrial translational machinery. In another study, we used next generation sequencing to search for a pathogenic mutation in a patient with fatal infantile Alpers hepatoencephalopathy. We identified two compound heterozygous mutations in a novel disease gene, FARS2. This gene encodes for a protein, mitochondrial phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase (mtPheRS), responsible for the charging of mitochondrial phenylalanyl-tRNA with its cognate amino acid. Structural prediction of the mutated proteins together with functional studies in E. coli showing decreased activity of mutant mtPheRS, verified the diagnosis. Our results strongly support the use of FGF21 and GDF15 as first line diagnostic assessments. Rapid progression to next-generation sequencing is advised if both of these biomarkers are elevated, with positive predictive value being 95%. This would reduce the need for invasive diagnostic tests.
  • Tuomaala, Emilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Taita Hills are situated in southeastern Kenya (03°20’S 38°15’E), only 350 km from the equator. Ecology and biodiversity of the area is one of a kind and has been subject to multiple studies of natural sciences during the last decades. Taita Hills belong to the Eastern Arc Mountains, an ancient chain of mountains in Eastern Africa and one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world. To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot an area must have lost significant amounts of its original vegetation and inhabit a number of endemic plant species. Both of these criteria are met in Taita Hills where the favorable climate enables endemic species to thrive. Large areas of forest has been cut down in order get more room for agriculture, the main source of livelihood in Kenyan countryside, making the environment threatened. The diverse environment of Taita Hills produces a multitude of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services can be defined as all benefits people obtain from nature. They are often divided into four categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and supporting services. Ecosystem services link ecological knowledge and economics together by enabling monetary valuation of abstract aspects of nature (e. g. water retention). This link helps decision makers to take environmental issues into consideration by providing a possibility to compare concrete and abstract aspects of nature with each other through tangible monetary values. Research on ecosystem services has grown exponentially in the recent years and decades. However, most of this research has been conducted in developed countries and only little research has been completed in developing countries such as Kenya. It has been established that provisioning services are considered the most important services in developing countries, though. This was the case in Taita Hills, too; the majority of ecosystem services recognized by the local people were provisioning services. Services like firewood, medicinal usage of local plants and scenery were familiar to local people and the role of water was also emphasized in their perceptions of ecosystem services and biodiversity as a whole. Phoenix reclinata was one of the keystone species of ecosystem services. People’s perceptions of biodiversity can vary a lot. Like ecosystem services, biodiversity is a subjective concept that can be understood differently by different people. Understanding how people see nature that surrounds them and biodiversity it beholds can help e. g. in planning nature conservation areas. When people agree on decisions made about their environment and recognize their own basic values in the decisions made they are more eager to support them. Even so, research on people’s perceptions of biodiversity is currently lacking. Results that have been obtained have suggested that plants’ role in people’s perceptions is emphasized and people respond better to beautiful and imposing species than modest or ugly species. This was true also in Taita Hills where people linked plants and forest directly to biodiversity. They also recognized local plant species well, regardless of their nativeness, and had a close relationship with nature overall.
  • Kilpiä, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Pro gradu – tutkielmani tavoitteena oli tarkastella ironiaa argumentointikeinona sanomalehtikolumneissa. Tarkoitus oli selvittää piirteitä, jotka tukevat figuurien ja erityisesti ironian argumentatiivisuutta, ja miten ironia tekstissä toimii argumentointikeinona. Figuureita pidetään usein retorisena tyylikeinona. Työssäni lähtökohtana oli kuitenkin halu tuoda esiin ironian argumentatiivisuus. Ironia on vahvasti diskursiivinen figuuri ja sen voi tulkita ainoastaan kontekstin kautta. Niinpä suuressa roolissa ironian kautta tapahtuvassa argumentoinnissa ovat kolumnien kirjoittajien aikomukset ironisoida, ja vastaanottajien kyky tulkita tekstien sisältämä ironia. Tukeudun teoreettisessa viitekehyksessä argumentoinnin osalta Chaïm Perelmanin ja Lucienne Olbrechts-Tytecan teoriaan La Nouvelle rhétorique, jonka mukaan argumentointi on nimenomaan diskursiivista toimintaa. Mitä tulee figuureihin ja erityisesti ironiaan, konsultoin työssäni pääosin Marc Bonhommen, Laurent Perrinin ja Ekkehard Eggsin ajatuksia. Aineistoni koostuu viidestä Le Monde – sanomalehdessä julkaistusta kolumnista vuosina 2009–2010. Jokaisella kolumnilla on eri kirjoittaja ja aihe, lisäksi kirjoitustyylit eroavat toisistaan. Kolumnit on tarkoitettu ensisijaisesti ranskalaisille lukijoille, mikä teki analyysistä osin hankalaa. Tutkimukseni taustaksi esittelen työssäni ensin Perelmanin ja Olbrechts-Tytecan argumentaatioteorian, sekä figuurien ja ironian tulkinnan erityispiirteet. Sitten perehdyn tarkemmin aineistooni määrittelemällä jokaisen kolumnin kommunikatiivisen viitekehyksen ja mahdollisen tekstien sisältämän ironian. Analyysiosiossa syvennyn kolumnien niihin kielellisiin kohtiin, jotka mielestäni ovat tulkittavissa ironisiksi. Tutkimukseni myötä voin todeta, että ironia on mitä tehokkain argumentointikeino. Kielellisesti ilmaistaan väite, joka on ristiriidassa tai suoranainen vastakohta sille, mitä oikeasti halutaan sanoa. Näin ironia tuo esiin kaksi erilaista näkökulmaa, ja asettaa samalla vastapuolen naurunalaiseksi. Voisi siis sanoa, että ironia on avartavaa argumentointia ja yhteiskunnallisten ilmiöiden (kuten köyhyys) esiin nostamista. Analyysini kautta havaitsin, että kolumnin aihe ja kirjoittajan tyyli määrittivät ironisten ilmausten määrää teksteissä. Mielenkiintoista oli huomata, että puhekieliset kolumnit sisälsivät enemmän ironiaa kuin asiakieliset. Jokapäiväiseen elämään ruohonjuuritasolla liittyviä aiheita (kuten köyhyys ja jalkapallo) käsiteltiin vahvemmin ironian keinoin kuin esimerkiksi politiikkaa tai taloutta. Tämä havainto antaa olettaa, että ihmistä lähellä olevat aiheet jakavat vahvasti mielipiteitä ja luovat tarpeen argumentoida ironian keinoin tuoden esiin nimenomaan myös vastapuolen mielipiteen.
  • Linnupöld, Kristiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Tämän tutkielman tarkoituksena on selventää ortognaattis-kirurgisen prosessin läpikäyneen potilaan hoitopolkua, mitä erityistä se sisältää ja millainen hoitopolku käytännössä on. Ortognaattis-kirurgisia leukaleikkauksia tehdään HUS:n Suu- ja leukasairauksien klinikassa (SLK) ja Pää- ja kaulakeskuksessa vuosittain noin 70–80. Hoitoprosessiin kuuluu ennen leikkausta suoritettava prekirurginen sekä leikkauksen jälkeinen postkirurginen oikomishoito. Tutkimus tehtiin perehtymällä kirjallisuuteen sekä seuraamalla yhden potilaan ortognaattis-kirurgista hoitoprosessia sekä haastattelemalla häntä. (60 sanaa)
  • Mähönen, Ilona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Selvitän Pro gradu -tutkielmassani, onko Ibn Qutayba saanut vaikutteita kreikkalaisesta, arabiaksi käännetystä Artemidoroksen unikirjasta. Unien tulkintaan on suhtauduttu pääosin positiivisesti. Perimätieto sisältää anekdootteja profeetan ja hänen kumppaniensa unista, mutta varhaisin tunnettu unien tulkintaan keskittynyt kirja on ajoitettu 800-luvulle. Kyseinen kirja on Ibn Qutayban kirjoittama, ja osuu ajankohtaan, jolloin arabit ryhtyivät kääntämään kreikkalaisia tekstejä, muun muassa Aristotelesta, arabiaksi. Onkin kiehtovaa selvittää, näkyykö myös unien tulkinnassa, jota pidettiin siihen aikaan tieteenä, kreikkalainen vaikutus jo 800-luvulla. Pääosa tutkijoista katsoo, että kreikkalaisvaikutus on nähtävissä vasta 800-luvun jälkeen arabialais-islamilaisessa unikirjallisuudessa. Tärkeimmät tutkimushypoteesit aiheesta ovat esittäneet Toufic Fahd, John Lamoreaux sekä Meir Kister. Meir Kister on pohtinut, voiko Ibn Qutayban teos olla vastalause kreikkalaiselle unikirjalle. Suoritin tutkimuksen vertailevalla menetelmällä. Taustalla vertailussa huomioin sitä, mitkä piirteet ovat olleet yhteisiä koko muinaisen Lähi-idän unien tulkinnan perinteelle. Silloin voi erottaa selkeämmin ne seikat, jotka ovat todennäköisemmin yleisiä, yhteisiä piirteitä kuin yksittäisiä, omaksuttuja vaikutteita. Selvitin vaikutteita tarkastelemalla kirjojen rakenteellisia ja sisällöllisiä piirteitä. Poimin kirjojen rakenteesta niiden lukujen järjestystavan ja tarkemmalla tasolla yhden unien tulkinnan osalta tulkintakaavan rakenteen. Tarkastelin, onko kirjojen rakenne samanlainen ja näkyykö yksityiskohtaisemmissa rakenteissa samankaltaisuuksia. Tutkin sisällön yhtäläisyyksiä vertailemalla uniteoriaa sekä unien tulkintoja. Analyysin tuloksissa selvisi, että sekä unien teoreettinen tausta että unien tulkinnat ovat hyvin samanlaisia sisällöllisesti, mutta Ibn Qutayban kirjassa on vahva uskonnon korostus sekä uskonnollisten lähteiden läsnöolo. Sisällölliset samankaltaisuudet voi selittää muinaisen Lähi-idän yhteisellä tulkintaperinteellä. Toisaalta rakenteelliset piirteet ovat ylätasolla yhteneväisiä. Se voisi olla merkki siitä, että Ibn Qutayba on omaksunut kirjan rakenteen Artemidoroksen kirjasta, ja hänen tarkoituksenaan on ollut kirjoittaa islamilainen vastine kreikkalaiselle, arabiaksi käännetylle unikirjalle, mikä vahvistaisi Meir Kisterin hypoteesin.
  • Siilasto, Jenni (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Tutkielmassa tarkastellaan argumentaation keinoja ja tekniikoita keskustelussa, joka käytiin keväällä 2010 kotimaisen dokumenttielokuvan Reindeerspotting ikärajasta. Osallisina keskustelussa olivat tuotantoyhtiö Bronson Club Oy, Valtion elokuvatarkastamo, valtion elokuvalautakunta ja korkein hallinto-oikeus sekä viisi eri alan asiantuntijaa. Tavoitteena työssä on selvittää, miten osapuolet argumentoivat ja vasta-argumentoivat väitteitään ja näkemyksiään. Tutkielmassa tarkastellaan kieltä sosiaalisena ja yhteiskunnallisena toimintana sekä pohditaan kielellistä vaikuttamista ja vallankäyttöä. Lisäksi tutkielmassa analysoidaan muun muassa auktoriteetteihin ja asiantuntijuuteen vetoamisen merkitystä. Keskeisimpänä teoreettisena menetelmänä tutkielmassa käytetään Chaïm Perelmanin argumentaatioteoriaa ja siinä jaoteltuja argumentointitekniikoita. Tutkimuksessa hyödynnetään myös diskurssintutkimuksen ja kulttuurintutkimuksen näkökulmia sekä nojataan kevyesti kriittisen tekstintutkimuksen ajatuksiin vallasta ja kielellisestä vaikuttamisesta. Tutkimusaineisto koostuu kahdesta valituksesta, kuudesta lausunnosta ja kahdesta päätöksestä. Tutkielmassa keskitytään argumentointitekniikoiden lisäksi viranomaisen käyttämän ja sille suunnatun kielenkäytön vertailevaan analyysiin. Keskustelun jäsenet on siten ryhmitelty kahteen osapuoleen: valittavaan tahoon ja viranomaistahoon. Työssä osoitetaan, että osapuolten argumentoinnissa korostuu vertailun, auktoriteettiin vetoamisen ja havainnollistamisen tekniikoiden käyttö. Osapuolet käyttävät vertailun tekniikkaa ennen kaikkea perustellessaan näkemyksiään faktan ja fiktion valistuksellisuudesta ja vaarallisuudesta. Auktoriteettiin vetoaminen on aineistossa huomattavan suosittua molempien osapuolten argumentoinnissa, mikä tutkielman valossa on seurasta siitä, että keskustelun toisena osapuolena on juuri viranomainen. Tutkielmassa todetaan vertailun olevan paitsi Perelmanin määrittelemä sidosmuotoinen myös erottava tekniikka. Yhtäläisyyksiä vertaillessa argumentoijan on tunnustettava myös ilmiöiden eroavaisuudet. Muutoin vertailu olisi yhdenmukaistamista tai rinnastamista. Tutkielmassa haastetaan Perelmanin teorian yleisökäsityksen kahtiajako, sillä myös universaaliyleisön käsite viittaa lopulta aina rajattuun joukkoon. Laaja ja tarkemmin rajaamaton joukko sulkee aina jotain myös ulkopuolelleen. Kulttuurintutkimuksellinen näkemys toiseudesta, sen ymmärtämisestä ja rajaamisesta tarjoaa uudenlaisen tavan lähestyä Perelmanin teorian yleisökäsitettä. Tutkielma avaa poikkitieteisyyttä hyödyntävän näkemyksen aiheeseen ja aineistoon, jota juurikaan ei ole tutkittu. Tutkimuksen perusteella voidaan sanoa, että elokuvan laaja ala tarjoaa tutkittavaa aineistoa fennisteille myös muussa kuin suosittujen elokuva-arvostelujen muodossa. Viranomaiskieli yhteiskunnallisesti ja sosiaalisesti merkittävänä tutkimuskohteena tarjoaa edelleen aiheen tämän työn jälkeenkin pohdittavaksi. Yksi jatkotutkimuksen aihe olisikin elokuvatarkastamon muut asiakirjat, jotka heijastelevat paitsi ikärajapäätöksiin vaikuttaneita seikkoja myös aikaamme, kulttuuriamme ja yhteiskuntaamme.
  • Hintsala, Meri-Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Conservative Laestadianism is the largest and most international revivalist movement in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. Conservative Laestadianism has been widely present in Finnish social media during the 20th century due to its lived practices in relation to women’s rights and coping in everyday life. In this article-based doctoral thesis, I focused on the internet discussions of the Laestadian people on the selected discussion forums in Finland in 2011. First, I asked how the Laestadian teaching is embodied in the adherent’s everyday life. I presented my answer to this question in the three individual publications published in the reviewed academic journals. The second question in this work was: how is embodied lived life established in relation to lived theology through theological negotiation in the internet discussions? The data consisted of 380 autobiographical narratives collected from the different discussion forums. I developed a methodological tool for the analysis, which involved combining autoethnographic perspectives and the netnographic method. I concluded that the auto-netnographic method could be adapted in more general researches where the researcher plays a role in the research context in multidimensional ways. This study shows how theology and the body co-exists in tight interconnection in the Laestadian lived religious life. Theology and the body interact circularly: the body resists the theological teaching of rejection of contraception through negative emotions, illness and maladjustment, which creates a reinterpretation of the lived practices and the theological teaching. At the same time, the body approves the teaching by cultivating the experienced suffering through positive emotions and making them religiously essential in terms of the Laestadian understanding of redemption. My study shows that Laestadian lived religion is more adaptive than earlier studies concerning Laestadianism have been able to show. Flexible religious agency is formed between the religious tradition of the movement and secular society around the movement. An academic perspective of lived religion, which was the loose frame for this study, offers an overview of lived religious practices often outside the institutional religious community. Traditionally, it does not pay attention to dogmatic or religiosity through written official texts. The lived Laestadian life and religion is multi-layered, even though it is still tightly bound up with the core theological principles of the movement. Because of this complexity, I challenge the existing understanding of the academic tradition of lived religion by saying that the very concept of lived religion has to be patterned on the concept of lived faith. Lived faith, which emphasises the spiritual and cognitive theological nuances of the religious worldview, suits these kinds of contexts better; that is, contexts where theological interpretation is conscious and ambitious on the basis of the theological construction of the movement. In future researches, the created concept of lived faith in this study would enlarge the toolbox of researchers considering lived religious life and embodiment in connection with institutional theological formulations. As a result of this study, I indicate that the body is a permanent part of the relationship between a human and God in Laestadian lived faith. Net discussions on the embodiment of Laestadian people reflect the pain spots of the Laestadian community and postmodern Finnish society.
  • Pipatti, Otto (2017)
    This study offers an overall interpretation of the sociologist and anthropologist Edward Westermarck’s (1862–1939) moral and social theory. It focuses on the key elements of Westermarck’s theory of moral emotions as presented in The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas (1906-08) and summarized in Ethical Relativity (1932), and examines the importance of his work for understanding and explaining a wide range of social and moral phenomena that may be observed in all social environments. The study has two main aims. First, it lays out the key features of Westermarck’s theory of moral judgement, the nature of retributive emotions in which moral judgements are based, and the various psychological and social elements influencing them. At the same time, it shows that Westermarck’s account of morality is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the fundamentals of human social behaviour and social reality. By combining the moral-psychological and sociological aspects of Westermarck’s work, the study reconstructs his understanding of emotions, and the different forms of emotional contagion in particular, as the fundamental elements of human sociality. What emerges is that at the heart of Westermarck’s theory-building is his neglected account of sympathy, proving to be crucial to his understanding of morality and human social life. The second aim of this study is to examine Westermarck’s thought in the context of his main sources of inspiration, enabling a better understanding of his work. In this regard, it highlights the importance of Darwinian evolutionism to the different aspects of Westermarck’s project, especially to his approach to the human mind. In addition, the study demonstrates how Westermarck’s theory of moral emotions developed out of, and in response to, David Hume’s and Adam Smith’s moral philosophy, combining their views on human nature, moral sentiments, and sympathy with Darwinian evolutionary thinking. The first part of this work focuses on the central elements in Westermarck’s moral and social theory, especially with respect to the nature of moral emotions, the role of sympathy and society, reciprocity, the emergence and maintenance of moral norms, and moral responsibility. The remaining part of the study expands upon and deepens these discussions by looking at Westermarck’s theory of moral emotions in relation to the sentimentalist tradition in British moral philosophy, whose importance Westermarck himself emphasised as the background for his thinking. Today, his legacy serves as an example of sociological theory-building that is not organized around the dualisms of nature/culture and animal/human which penetrate much of the social sciences. The study demonstrates Westermarck’s sociological relevance and broadens the view of Westermarck as the forerunner of modern evolutionary approaches to morality.
  • Stucki, Dimitri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Compared to solitary insects, the social organization and interactions in eusocial insects are expected to render them more vulnerable to parasitic exploitation. As a consequence, eusocial insects in turn evolved social immune defenses – sophisticated behaviors that complement the individual immune defenses and increase their resistance against parasitic exploitation. Thus, within the network of the eusocial community, host-parasite interactions occur not only between a single host and its parasites,but among all individuals in the network. Yet, although in eusocial insects host-parasite interactions and other ecological stresses affect the entire community, the individuals provide the basic physiological responses in the defense against external influences. Thus, individual stress responses are an important factor in mediating the variation within the colony to ecological stresses. In this thesis I investigated the physiological stress responses of the ant F. exsecta in the light of host-parasite interactions. I found that oral exposure to bacteria can have a beneficial effect on the survival of food deprivation. Yet, the response to the infection in combination with starvation showed temporal variation. Furthermore, I found striking similarities in the immune responses of young males and foraging workers,as compared to young queens and nursing workers. This suggests that the residual life expectancy may have a role in mediating immune defenses among the castes of F. exsecta. Stress responses not only varied among the castes, but also between two natural populations. I found different reaction norms to temperature and humidity, possibly due to the different environmental conditions that the ants experience in their natural habitat. Given that these reaction norms also affected the expression of immune genes, it is likely that variation in the environmental conditions can affect the immune defenses, and thus, may influence host-parasite interactions. In conclusion, this thesis provides insight into the impact of ecological factors on the resistance and responses to stress in a social insect. I show that individual stress responses are tightly linked to immune defenses, which in turn may affect the stress response of the entire community. As a consequence, variation in the environmental conditions, and thus, exposure to different ecological stresses, may result in different evolutionary trajectories among populations, and even among colonies.
  • Riuttanen, Laura (Aerosolitutkimusseura ry, 2017)
    Climate change and air quality are the big challenges of our time. In this work, air pollution transport to Finland, air pollution properties, their direct radiative effect on climate as well as their effect on upper tropospheric humidity are studied by using satellite data of aerosol optical properties, precipitation, clouds and upper tropospheric humidity, in situ measurement data of gases and aerosols at three measurement stations, combined with flight measurements, air mass trajectories, synoptic maps and meteorological reanalysis data. South-eastern transport routes with continental origin were found on average to bring the highest concentrations of anthropogenic gaseous and particulate pollution to southern Finland. The air masses coming from the north-east brought air that was clean of anthropogenic pollution but included high concentrations of nucleation and Aitken mode particles. Air mass trajectory statistical methods were found to be useful tools to study air pollution transport, but they were not able to reproduce emission source maps. The most severe air pollution cases in the history of air pollution measurements in Finland were produced by the biomass burning events in Eastern Europe in 2006 and 2010. The smoke was transported hundreds and even thousands of kilometres and the smoke particles were observed to grow in size during transportation. Particulate air pollution in southern Finland scattered solar radiation and had a cooling effect on climate. High absorption coefficients were measured in continental air pollution from Eastern Europe as well as in biomass burning smoke, but also these air pollutants were on average more scattering than absorbing. Based on satellite observations we were able to show the first observational evidence, with a strong emphasis on causality, that aerosols increase upper tropospheric humidity and have thus a so-far overlooked warming effect on climate. The magnitude of the observed increase is so big that the mechanism potentially has relevance for the global climate.
  • Tiainen, Joni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Pike (Esox lucius) is a keystone species and top predator, which has an important role in lake ecosystems and in recreational fishing. Recreational fishing is strongly size-selective on large fish, which can have detrimental effects on fish populations. The aim of this thesis was to study the ecologically sustainable recreational fishing of pike, and the importance of large pike to population resilience and ecosystem balance. The field studies of this thesis were conducted in four small and almost pristine forest lakes in southern Finland in years 2006-2013. Two different size-selective fishing procedure for pike were applied; minimum length limit -regulation (MLL) of 40 cm and harvestable slot length limit -regulation (HSL) of 40-64.9 cm. During the study, fishing-induced responses in pike population abundance, demographics, production and consumption, as well as reflection of these changes in prey fish populations were monitored. Changes of pike diet and trophic position were studied by stomach content and stable isotope analysis. Also the relation of size-dependent maternal and juvenile characteristics was examined. The main finding of this thesis is that HSL is capable to maintain viable pike populations. HSL preserved population density, biomass and diverse size-structure, as well as high pike production and consumption by diverse sized pike. By MLL those features were greatly degenerated. By protecting large fish, HSL is able to preserve the productivity of the fish population, because fishing mortality is compensated by increased recruitment and growth. In addition, HSL maintained stability of pike consumption, which enables a strong piscivore effect on the ecosystem. Based on the high quality and amount of reproductive products of large females, they are important for the reproduction of pike populations, which should be considered in fisheries management.
  • Suvikas-Peltonen, Eeva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    In hospital care, many medicines require aseptic compounding or preparation before they are administered to patients. The parenteral administration of microbiologically contaminated doses can result in bacteriaemia, other morbidity and even death. The aim os this study was to review the literature for incorrect practices in aseptic drug preparation and administration and recommendations for safer practices in hospitals. The aim was also to develop and content validate an assessment tool for medicine compounding on hospital wards. And at the final stage of this study, the aim was to audit compounding of intravenous medicines on hospital wards by using the developed assessment tool and take microbiological tests for identifying issues posing patient safety risks. A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed. The first draft of the audittool was based on ISMP “Guidelines for safe preparation of sterile compounds” and a systematic literature search. The tool was then validated by using a two-rounded Delphi-method. A hospital pharmacist conducted external audit based on observation and interviews by using this validated 65-item assessment tool on 20 wards of a secondary care hospital in Finland. In addition microbiological test were collected. Associations between microbial sample results and audit tool results were discussed. In the review, the most reported incorrect practices were multiple use of vials and syringes and lack of overall disinfection during the aseptic preparation and administration. Recommendations to avoid contamination were classified into categories: equipment and medicines; disinfection; working envi-ronment; storing; catheter care; and quality of prepared medicines. The final audittool comprises of 64 items under the following topics: General principles of good compounding practices, Recording and con-firming medicine orders on the wards, Storage of medicines on the wards, Aseptic compounding of intravenous medicines and Quality assurance. The best practices related to logistic practices and quality assurance. Most of the obviated practices related to aseptic practices. All media fill tests were clean but in some of glove samples and settle plate samples were microbial growth. More contamination was found in wards where environmental conditions were inadequate or the use of gloves was incorrect.
  • Robciuc, Alexandra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The cornea is the first optical element of the eye and, together with the eyelids, eye socket, tears, and sclera, shares an important part in ocular protection. It is a thin, transparent, avascular tissue with a rigorous layered structure. The continuous contact with the outside environment exposes the ocular surface tissues, such as the corneal epithelium, to pathogens, mechanical traumas, irritants, toxins, allergens, or radiation from the sun. The cellular stress response represents an adaptive reaction to environmental stimuli and defines the health-state of the tissue, the absence/presence of clinical manifestations. We have aimed in this thesis project to study the stress response of the corneal epithelium to environmental stimuli and to determine its contribution to ocular surface diseases such as climatic droplet keratopathy (CDK), infection, or dry eye disease. A cell culture model of the corneal epithelium was exposed to environmental stress – UV radiation, LPS, or hyperosmolarity (HO) – to identify macromolecular alterations: mRNA expression, protein localization, enzyme activation, lipid conversions. CDK is a degenerative disease of the cornea with increased prevalence in warm, dry climate. Examination of corneal tissue and tears from patients with CDK suggested an involvement of metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the disease-associated tissue degradation. Our cellular model helped reveal the connexion between UV radiation and the unbalanced secretion of gelatinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and thus explain in part the pathogenesis of this rare disease. The evaluation of the inflammatory response to UV, initially, and then to LPS, or HO, highlighted IL-8 secretion as an acute stress marker and followed throughout the studies. Human corneal epithelial cells were found also to release lipid-modifying enzymes into the cell culture medium as a response to stress. Of particular importance to us were the enzymes of the sphingolipid metabolism, a lipid signalling pathway of great importance in the stress response. These enzymes were released as part of cell-derived extracellular vesicles, the vesicle-lipids, however, were the mediators of a significant decrease in IL-8 levels. The same sphingolipid enzymes appeared responsible for the intracellular response to HO, controlling the IL-8 production but also the stress-induced neutral lipid loading. We have therefore succeeded to establish a causative link between UV radiation and tissue degeneration in CDK, to determine the role of the sphingolipid signalling pathway in ocular surface stress and to discover more about HO consequences in the corneal epithelium. The stress response at the ocular surface is a thin balance between tissue protection and maintenance of function. Inflammation represents one of the most relevant clinical signs of distress and we aimed to identify targets for therapies that seek to restore tissue homeostasis.