Doctoral dissertations

Recent Submissions

  • Savonen, Tuomas (The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, 2020)
    This study examines the life and political line of Gus Hall (1910-2000), the long-time general secretary of Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). The first main part of the study examines Hall’s Finnish American background and his life until 1959 when he became the general secretary of the CPUSA. The second main part focuses on the 1960s and looks closely at Hall’s political line during the first decade of his general secretaryship. The study shows that Gus Hall’s political line went through several major changes over the decades. Young Arvo Halberg – as Gus Hall was then known – joined the Communist Party in 1927. His Stalinist upbringing was perfected in Moscow’s International Lenin School in which he studied in the early 1930s. In the 1930s, when he served as a leader in demonstrations and strikes in Minnesota and Ohio, Halberg/Hall was sometimes ready to resort to violence to improve the conditions of the working class. In the early 1940s Hall gave his support to the Americanized communism of the CPUSA’s general secretary Earl Browder. In the mid-1940s, as the party went through a dramatic leadership change, Hall re-invented himself as a supporter of the more Soviet-minded communism of the new party leadership. In the late 1950s Hall once again changed his political line as the party went through tumultuous change following Nikita Khrushchev’s revelations concerning Stalin. Hall now represented himself as a moderate centrist who was ready to reform the CPUSA. Reforms were few, however, during Hall’s first decade as general secretary. The party continued following closely the political line of the Soviet Union. As a consequence, the party was not seen as an interesting alternative by the young New Left radicals of the 1960s. Hall’s Soviet-minded line was best exemplified by the CPUSA’s reaction to the Warsaw Pact occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The CPUSA was one of the few Western Communist Parties which wholeheartedly accepted the Warsaw Pact measure. As Hall’s political line changed several times before the 1960s, he can be criticized of being an opportunist. In the 1960s, however, his line was consistent. It can be best described with the concept of proletarian internationalism. In the language of the international communist movement, proletarian internationalism self-evidently included the idea of Soviet Union’s unchallenged leadership.
  • Backer Johnsen, Hermanni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    (tiivistelmä lähetetään erikseen sähköpostitse)
  • Kurppa, Mona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Exposure to outdoor air pollution is a major environmental threat causing around 3 million premature deaths worldwide yearly. Particularly, aerosol particles are detrimental to human health. Urban areas are marked by both high population densities and degraded air quality due to high anthropogenic emissions and limited ventilation of air pollutants from the street level, making the study of urban air quality crucial. Urban air quality results from a complex interplay of meteorology, background concentrations, emissions, and chemical and physical processes of air pollutants. Yet, the lack of building-resolving neighbourhood-scale open-access numerical methods has been the bottleneck for properly solving these interactions. To narrow this gap, the main aim of my thesis is to embed the aerosol module SALSA into a large-eddy simulation (LES) model PALM to correctly simulate urban air quality. We evaluate the new PALM-SALSA model in Cambridge, UK, and Helsinki, Finland, against comprehensive aerosol particle measurements, and assess the role of different aerosol processes and boundary conditions on the pollutant concentrations in the time scale of one hour. Further, the influence of urban planning on local pollutant concentrations along boulevard-type streets is examined in real scenarios in Helsinki. The PALM-SALSA model captures well both the horizontal and vertical distribution of aerosol particle concentrations and number size distributions in an urban environment. Incorporating aerosol processes to PALM is important for correctly simulating air quality, as we show that dry deposition of particles on vegetation and other surfaces decreases number concentrations by up to 20%, whereas condensation and dissolutional growth increase aerosol mass by over 10%. Still, dispersion and emissions govern concentration fields, and thus setting the correct model boundary conditions is a determining factor. Concentration fields at street level are sensitive to the atmospheric stability and wind speed, and vertical dispersion especially to the wind direction. Furthermore, my work demonstrates how choices in urban planning can favour local air quality conditions and how particularly height variation of buildings and trees is preferential for street-level air quality and ventilation. This thesis introduces a novel, open-access model for high-resolution urban aerosol simulations, and the first LES studies on the role of urban planning on air quality and ventilation in entire neighbourhoods. Along with research purposes, the model is suited to supporting urban planning and producing data for exposure studies and monitoring network development.
  • Käkönen, Mira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This is a study of expertise and power relations in riverine resourcification processes. With a focus on the hydraulic infrastructuring and hydrosocial ordering efforts in the Mekong Region, I seek to contribute new perspectives to the analysis of water, energy and climate change governing. The central research question is how water resources are made and governed in the Mekong Region and with what effects, especially in terms of the consequent new power formations and implications for the lives of the Mekong’s riverine residents. This question is timely. Currently, the rivers in the region are being dammed and engineered at accelerating pace, making the Mekong Basin a scene for one of the most intensive hydropower developments in the world. Around two hundred large dams are at different stages of development in the mainstream and tributaries of the Mekong. The study has global relevance because the actors, rationales and techniques involved, exemplify those shaping the current resurgence of hydropower development and other large infrastructure projects in the global South. As I argue, the emergent governmental assemblages enabling the hydropower development are not only intensively present in the Mekong but also partially created there. I begin the analysis with the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the early colonial frontier for water resourcification that has since formed the part of the Mekong Basin where the plans of ‘full control’ with aspirations of ‘acclimatisation’ have been materialised to the fullest extent. I sketch out the main continuities and ruptures in the Delta’s intensive hydrosocial and agrohydraulic ordering efforts, and outline their major effects. I then shift attention to the more recent hydropower boom in Laos and Cambodia, and the various elements enabling it in terms of knowledge production, the new sustainability standards of hydropower dams and climate change-related rationalisations and techniques. Finally, I bring to the fore how enclavistic, postneoliberal hydropower projects in Cambodia get entangled with other processes of resource-making, with illiberal processes of state formation and the intensification of Chinese influence. The research contributes to studies of hydrosocial relations by examining the continuities and changes in the rationalisations and techniques of Mekong’s water resourcification. It bridges the political-ecological research on water and climate change by examining how climate change-related governmental rationales and techniques have opened a new space for hydraulic infrastructuring. Moreover, it provides new insights on the co-constitutive relations between resources and power formations bearing relevance on recent political ecology discussions on resource- and state-making. The constituent and constitutive power formations of resourcification include technoscientific, infrastructural, discursive, corporate and sovereign as well as territorial state powers. I also analyse the socio-spatial configurations that emerge from resource-making processes. The analysis of the ways technoscience and technical infrastructures are implicated in the possibilities of hydrosocial ordering forges connections with science and technology studies.
  • Tamminen, Tuire (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation focuses on canine dystocia and is based on three individual studies conducted with client-owned pet animals. The aim was to elucidate the role of oxytocin receptors in uterine inertia. The suitability of human cardiotocography on parturition monitoring in bitches was tested. Oxytocin is one of the most potent uterotonic hormones; its effect is mediated through specific oxytocin receptors, thus increasing the uterine contractions to expel the puppies through the birth canal. Oxytocin receptor distribution and expression in canine uterus were investigated with immunohistochemistry and qPCR. Progesterone prevents uterine contractions and prostaglandin F2α has a key role in the initiation of parturition. Therefore, the role of progesterone, prostaglandin F2α, as well as, oestradiol and ionized calcium in uterine inertia were investigated. The preparing contractions in the first stage of parturition are not externally visible, and the second stage of normal parturition may last up to 24 hours, which complicates the follow-up of the parturition in the bitch. Human cardiotocography was tested in uterine contraction and foetal heart rate monitoring to improve diagnosis of dystocia. Oxytocin receptor expression and distribution were demonstrated in full-thickness uterine samples in non-pregnant, pregnant, and dystocic bitches; receptors were localized in all bitches in the endometrial luminal, superficial and deep glandular epithelium, in the stroma, and in the longitudinal and circular myometrium. The relative expression of oxytocin receptors was higher in pregnant than in non-pregnant bitches. Progesterone concentrations were significantly higher in samples taken prior to the first stage of parturition in group of elective Caesarean section bitches than in obstructive dystocia or combined dystocia groups. Prostaglandin F2α metabolite concentrations were significantly higher in bitches with normal parturition than in bitches of elective Caesarean section or combined dystocia groups. Ionised calcium concentrations did not differ between the groups and no hypocalcaemia was detected. The absence of progesterone as such cannot be the only stimulation for oxytocin receptor expression in uterus, because the anoestrous basal level progesterone did not upregulate the oxytocin receptors. The gradual decrease of progesterone in late pregnancy is more likely involved in oxytocin receptor upregulation than sudden prepartum drop, because the upregulation of oxytocin receptors seems to occur before the sudden prepartum decline of progesterone. The decline of oestrogens two days prior to parturition may have regulatory role in oxytocin receptor expression. Our results suggest that in complete primary uterine inertia the aetiology is not the absence or downregulation of oxytocin receptors but more likely in the uterine functional level. The cardiotocography complements clinical and ultrasonographic examination of periparturient bitches. It detects uterine contractions and can be used to confirm diagnosis of uterine inertia and to monitor the response to uterotonic medicine treatment. The cardiotocography’s ultrasonographic doppler probe appeared to be sensitive to artefacts, which may compromise foetal distress monitoring.
  • Salonen, Markku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The complex formation equilibria of pyridine-2-aldoxime and its methyl or amido derivatives (HL) with cobalt(II), zinc(II), and cadmium(II) ions, and the protonation and complex formation equilibria of pyridine-2,6-carboxamidoxime (H2L) with copper(II) and nickel(II) ions were studied in aqueous 0.1 M Na(Cl) solution at 25 C by potentiometric titrations with the use of glass electrode. The experimental data were analyzed with the least-squares computer program SUPERQUAD to determine the complexes formed and their stability constants. In addition, the structure of the crystallized pyridine-2,6-carboxamidoxime complex with the formula [Ni(HL)2]∙4H2O has been determined with X-ray measurements. The complexes of types Co(HL)2+ and Co(HL)22+ are mainly octahedral with a high spin d7 electron structure (t2g5eg2) and their oxidation states are stable. The deprotonated bis complexes of type Co(HL)L+ are often low spin (t2g6eg) and because of the easy loss of their only eg electron they are easily oxidized to very inert low spin cobalt(III) complexes (t2g6). Only small amounts of cobalt(III) complexes cause the very slow attainment of equilibrium often already in the pH range 2–5. Pyridine-2-carboxamidoxime and pyridine-2-aldoxime and probably also 1-(2-pyridinyl)ethanone oxime forms also tris complexes Co(HL)32+ and/or Co(HL)2L+. The complex formation of pyridine-2-aldoxime in the pH range 5–10 could be studied by using very small cobalt(II) ion concentrations. There, all the cobalt(II) form the low spin CoL2, which quantitatively displaces also the tris complex Co(HL)2L+. 6-methylpyridine-2-aldoxime forms complexes Co(HL)2+, CoL+, CoL2, Co2L2OH+, Co2L3+, and Co2L3OH, mainly in the pH range 6–10. The stabilities of the low spin CoL2, Co2L3+, and Co2L3OH and their oxidation reactions are decreased by the steric requirements of the 6-methyl groups of the ligands. Pyridine-2-acetamidoxime forms also a complex Co(H2L)3+ and pyridine-2-carboxamidoxime forms a complex Co2(HL)2H2L5+ with a positively charged ligand (H2L+). Zinc(II) and cadmium(II) ions form with 6-methylpyridine-2-aldoxime only Zn2L22+, Zn2L2OH+, and Zn2L2OH)2, and CdL+, CdL2, and Cd2L2OH+. With pyridine-2-acetamidoxime, they form only Zn(HL)2+, Zn2L2OH+, Cd(HL)2+, and CdL+. The other oximes form also Zn(HL)L+, ZnL2, Cd(HL)L+, and CdL2. Cd(HL)22+ reaches only with pyridine-2-carboxamidoxime and Zn(HL)22+ also with 1-(2-pyridinyl)- ethanone oxime measurable concentrations. Pyridine-2-carboxamidoxime forms also Zn4(L–H)2L22+ and Cd4(L–H)2L22+. The stability constants of the mono complexes M(HL)2+ increase with few exceptions in the order 6-methylpyridine-2-aldoxime < pyridine-2-acetamidoxime < pyridine-2-aldoxime < 1-(2-pyridinyl)ethanone oxime < pyridine-2-carboxamid-oxime < pyridine-2,6-dicarboxamidoxime and Cd < Zn < Co < Ni < Cu.
  • Mäntyneva, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Tämä väitöstutkimus on institutionaalisesti orientoitunut etnografinen tutkimus kuntouttavasta työtoiminnasta. Kuntouttava työtoiminta on perustettu ja institutionalisoitu palvelujärjestelmään 2000-luvun alussa. Hyvinvointivaltion palveluna se yhdistää paitsi monenlaisissa elämäntilanteissa olevia ihmisiä elämänkuluissaan mutta myös viranomaisia ja eri hallinnonaloja monialaisesti ja -ammatillisesti. Tutkimus syventää ja laventaa sosiaalitieteellistä tutkimustietoa kuntouttavasta työtoiminnasta osallisuuden, toimijuuden ja toimintamahdollisuuksien näkökulmista. Tutkimuksessa avataan teoreettisten käsitteiden ja viitekehyksen avulla uudenlaista hahmotelmaa siitä, miten harjoitettu politiikka ja politiikan toimeenpano eivät ole irrallaan ihmisten arkitodellisuudesta. Aktiivisella sosaalipolitiikalla on ollut konkreettisia vaikutuksia ihmisten elämään pitkittyneen ja kroonistuneen työttömyyden tilanteissa. Tutkimuksen metodologisena lähestymistapana oli institutionaalinen etnografia. Aineistonkeruu toteutui monipaikkaisena etnografiana vuosina 2015–2016 kolmessa työtoiminnan yksikössä. Vaiheittainen kenttätyö kesti ajallisesti kahdeksan kuukautta, mitä edelsi noin puolen vuoden suunnittelu ja käytännön valmistelutyö. Tutkimusaineisto sisälsi kuntouttavaan työtyötoimintaan osallistujien haastatteluaineiston (yhteensä 37) sekä kenttäpäiväkirjat muistiinpanoista kolmesta työtoiminnan yksiköstä. Tutkimusta taustoittivat yhteensä 25:n sosiaaliseen kuntoutukseen, työharjoitteluun, työkokeiluun osallistujan ja työntekijän haastattelua. Lisäksi empiirisestä tutkimuksesta kerääntyi kirjallisia dokumentteja työtoiminnasta ja sen käytännöistä eri yksiköistä. Tutkimus purkaa myyttiä siitä, että kuntouttavaan työtoimintaan osallistujista kaikki ovat kuntoutuksen tarpeessa. Siihen osallistuu tutkimuksen mukaan työkuntoisia ihmisiä, joille ensisijainen syy osallistumiselle oli palkkatyön puute. Työtoiminnan käyttötapa osana sosiaalipolitiikkaa onkin muuttunut. Osallisuuden kannalta kuntouttavan työtoiminnan olemassaolo on epäselvä. Mielekäs toiminta, yhteenkuuluvuus ja kokemus autonomisuudesta vahvistivat osallisuutta. Kuntouttava työtoiminta osoittautui tutkimuksessa myös osaksi kielteistä työttömyyden kierrettä ja umpikujaksi, mikä heikensi osallistujien tulevaisuudenodotuksia. Kuntouttavan työtoiminnan seuraukset osallisuudelle, toimijuudelle ja toimintamahdollisuuksille olivat eriytyneet. Lisäksi toimintakäytännöissä oli eroja. Ilman myönteisiä siirtymiä ja tulevai- suushorisontteja kuntouttavan työtoiminnan lupaavat mahdollisuudet osallisuuden edistämiseksi ja toimijuuden vahvistumiseksi jäivät väliaikaisiksi ja katkonaisiksi. Hyvistä aikomuksista huolimatta kuntouttava työtoiminta ja sen tarjoamat toimintamahdollisuudet voivatkin lujittaa yhteiskunnallisia etäisyyksiä ja osattomuutta suotuisten toimintamahdollisuuksien sijaan. Tutkimuksen teo-reettiset käsitteet, osallisuus, toimijuus ja toimintamahdollisuudet, yhdistävät kaikkia ihmisiä. Toimintamahdollisuuksien politiikan vahvuus voi olla siinä, että sen avulla voi muuttaa sosiaalipolitiikan ja hyvinvointipalvelujen suuntaa kestävämmäksi. Avainkäsitteet: kuntouttava työtoiminta, institutionaalinen etnografia, osallisuus, toimintamahdollisuudet, toimijuus
  • Aniluoto, Arto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This is a comparative study of the formal organisational structures of well-established European universities. The intense contemporary scholarly discussion on the convergence versus divergence claims of universities has so far mostly not reached the actual empirical change dynamics of the universities’ organisational structures at their population level. This research contributes to that discussion by comparing the long-term development in the organisational structures of a large group of well-established European universities, and clarifies the evolution of historical university models (from their medieval beginnings, through strong 19th century national influences, to their 20th century national Higher Education System adaptations), through which both the organisational structures of universities and the higher education systems of European countries have been born, developed and replicated. The research belongs to the field of higher education research, with certain reliance also on university history. The study utilises Henry Mintzberg’s ‘structures in fives’ theory, and organisational ecology on the population level, within the framework of structural contingency theory. The research problem is to chart how the organisational structures of well-established European universities have developed since the Second World War and in relation to the convergence and divergence claims. This is achieved by comparing the universities’ organisational structures, their units and organisation levels, configuration sizes, shapes, dispersal, differentiation, attributes and affiliations with both the historical university models, and the universities as organisational populations of the higher education systems level. International longitudinal series and database data of 106 European universities are used to cover a 50-year study period from 1962 to 2013. The results demonstrate how the European universities have within the study period differentiated and multiplied many times over, both as institutions and within their internal organisational structures. In the 21st century, the changes have accelerated and their effects have differentiated, leading to new types of above-faculty layers and organisational reforms. The convergence versus divergence discussion of universities is clarified by parsing the exhibited phenomena to the three organisational levels of higher education: the local higher education institutions (HEIs), the mostly national higher education systems (HESs) and the global higher education network (GHEN). The results of the research presented can be utilised in designing university reforms and university organisations of the future, by consciously choosing from a greater set of compared structural alternatives.
  • Ahlberg, Sara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Aflatoxins continue to be a food safety problem globally, especially in developing regions. Prevalent food contaminating aflatoxins are B1 (AFB1) and M1 (AFM1). These are human carcinogens and have potentially severe health impacts. Almost all (99.5 %) milk samples from Nairobi were contaminated with AFM1, highlighting the urgent need to create functional solutions to improve food safety. Based on the aflatoxin levels and milk consumption, risks were calculated: cancer risk caused by AFM1 was lower among consumers purchasing from formal markets (0.003 cases per 100,000) than for low-income consumers (0.006 cases per 100,000) purchasing from informal markets. Overall cancer risk (0.004 cases per 100,000) from AFM1 alone was low. Because of AFM1 in milk, 2.1 % of children below three years in middle-income families, and 2.4 % in low-income families, could be stunted. Overall, 2.7 % of children could hypothetically be stunted due to AFM1 exposure from milk. Based on these results AFM1 levels found in milk could contribute to an average of -0.340 height for age z-score reduction in growth. The exposure to AFM1 from milk is 46 ng/day on average, but children bear higher exposure of 3.5 ng/kg bodyweight (bw)/day compared with adults, at 0.8 ng/kg bw/day. Aflatoxins are produced by Aspergillus flavus fungus, which is prevalent in soils. Certain strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been reported inhibiting fungal growth. 171 LAB strains were tested against aflatoxin producing A. flavus fungi. The three LAB strains showing the highest antifungal activity were identified as Lactobacillus plantarum. None of the strains was able to completely inhibit fungal growth under conditions favorable for fungi and suboptimal for LAB. The three indigenous LAB Lactobacillus strains and one Lactococcus strains were tested for their AFM1 binding abilities in different conditions and after different treatments along with two reference Lactobacillus strains. The binding of AFM1 by LAB strains varied between 11 to 100 % in the biocontrol solution analysis, being approximately at the level of 40 % throughout the analysis sets. A significant amount of effort and resources have been invested in an attempt to control aflatoxins. However, these efforts have not substantially decreased the prevalence nor dietary exposure to aflatoxins in developing countries. The growth reduction of aflatoxin producing fungi with LAB could be one potential option, but there are still major issues to solve prior to any practical applications. A different approach to control aflatoxins suggesting the usage of binding agents in foods and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been studied extensively for this purpose. However, when assessing the results comprehensively and reviewing the practicality and ethics of use, risks are evident, and concerns arise. In conclusion, there are too many issues with using LAB for aflatoxin binding for it to be safely promoted. Arguably, using binders in human food might even worsen food safety in the longer term. A more comprehensive food safety approach has to be taken to solve this ongoing crisis.
  • Khoramshahi, Ehsan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Optical systems are vital parts of most modern systems such as mobile mapping systems, autonomous cars, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and game consoles. Multi-camera systems (MCS) are commonly employed for precise mapping including aerial and close-range applications. In the first part of this thesis a simple and practical calibration model and a calibration scheme for multi-projective cameras (MPC) is presented. The calibration scheme is enabled by implementing a camera test field equipped with a customized coded target as FGI’s camera calibration room. The first hypothesis was that a test field is necessary to calibrate an MPC. Two commercially available MPCs with 6 and 36 cameras were successfully calibrated in FGI’s calibration room. The calibration results suggest that the proposed model is able to estimate parameters of the MPCs with high geometric accuracy, and reveals the internal structure of the MPCs. In the second part, the applicability of an MPC calibrated by the proposed approach was investigated in a mobile mapping system (MMS). The second hypothesis was that a system calibration is necessary to achieve high geometric accuracies in a multi-camera MMS. The MPC model was updated to consider mounting parameters with respect to GNSS and IMU. A system calibration scheme for an MMS was proposed. The results showed that the proposed system calibration approach was able to produce accurate results by direct georeferencing of multi-images in an MMS. Results of geometric assessments suggested that a centimeter-level accuracy is achievable by employing the proposed approach. A novel correspondence map is demonstrated for MPCs that helps to create metric panoramas. In the third part, the problem of real-time trajectory estimation of a UAV equipped with a projective camera was studied. The main objective of this part was to address the problem of real-time monocular simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) of a UAV. An angular framework was discussed to address the gimbal lock singular situation. The results suggest that the proposed solution is an effective and rigorous monocular SLAM for aerial cases where the object is near-planar. In the last part, the problem of tree-species classification by a UAV equipped with two hyper-spectral an RGB cameras was studied. The objective of this study was to investigate different aspects of a precise tree-species classification problem by employing state-of-art methods. A 3D convolutional neural-network (3D-CNN) and a multi-layered perceptron (MLP) were proposed and compared. Both classifiers were highly successful in their tasks, while the 3D-CNN was superior in performance. The classification result was the most accurate results published in comparison to other works.
  • Cervera Taboada, Alejandra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Cancer is a collection of diseases that combined are one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. Although great strides have been made in finding cures for certain cancers, the heterogeneity caused by both the tissue in which cancer originates and the mutations acquired in the cell’s DNA results in unsuccessful treatments for some patients. The genetic alterations caused by carcinogenics or by random mutations acquired during normal cell division promotes changes in the cell’s metabolism. These changes are usually reflected in abnormal gene expression that can be studied to understand the underlying mechanisms giving rise to cancer as well as suggest treatments that can exploit each tumor’s specific vulnerabilities. RNA-Seq is a technology that allows the identification and quantification of the genes that are being expressed inside the cell in a given moment. RNA-Seq has several characteristics and advantages that allow a diversity of applications to exist. For example, apart from quantifying gene expression, it can be used to detect different variants of the same gene, has base pair resolution which is informative of the gene sequence, and can also be used to quantify other RNA molecules besides messenger RNA (mRNA), such as microRNAs. The two main aims of this work are to provide computational methods for data analysis of RNA-Seq and to show specific applications of RNA-Seq that can shed light into cancer mechanisms. In Publications I and IV we developed the Sequence Processesing Integration and Analysis (SePIA) and the Fusion Gene Integration (FUNGI) toolsets that facilitate the creation of reproducible pipelines for investigating different aspects of the cancer transcriptome. SePIA’s utility is showcased with the analysis of datasets from two public data repositories. One of the analysis shows a standard RNA-Seq analysis, while the second one produced a pipeline for mRNA-microRNA integration. The second toolset, FUNGI, is aimed specifically at finding reliable gene fusions with oncogenic potential. To demonstrate FUNGI’s features, we analyzed 107 in-house samples and processed over 400 public samples from a public data repository. FUNGI allowed us to detect fusions in ovarian cancer with a higher prevalence than previously recognized. Additionally, we identified a fusion gene that has not been reported before in ovarian cancer, but that can be targeted with a drug currently in clinical trials. In Publication II we investigated the role of alternative splicing in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and were able to show that isoform-level instead of gene-level is better at discriminating between subtypes. Additionally, specific isoforms, such as APH1A, KCNH6, and ABCB1, were correlated with survival. In Publication III, we used RNA-Seq to complement the phasing of genetic variants with somatic mutations in tumor suppressor genes. In this study we found enrichment of haplotype combinations that suggest that haploinsufficiency of tumor suppressor genes is enriched in cancer patients. SePIA and FUNGI are tools that can be used by the community to explore their datasets and contribute to the acquisition of knowledge in the field of cancer genetics with next generation sequencing. The applications of RNA-Seq studies included in this dissertation showed that RNA-Seq can be effectively used to aid in the classification of cancer subtypes, and that RNA-Seq can be used in combination with DNA sequencing to explore gene expression mediated by genetic variation in cancer.
  • Raivisto, Teija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Periodontitis and dental caries are common chronic diseases, even adolescents suffer not only from caries but also from early stage of periodontitis, subclinical periodontitis. Both diseases are influenced by environmental, host-derived, and genetic factors. Recognition of these factors may reveal susceptibility to disease at an early stage, thus enabling preventive interventions. Oral fluids contain many potential biomarkers for periodontitis. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-8 and especially its active form aMMP-8 seems to be key biomarkers for periodontitis. The level of aMMP-8 in oral fluids can be measured by the specific aMMP-8 chairside test. The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1) together with its ligand peptidoglycan recognition protein 1 (PGLYRP1) are recently recognized salivary biomarkers amplifying proinflammatory processes in periodontal diseases. Studies were carried out at Kotka Health Center in Eastern Finland in 2004-2005 and/or 2014-2015 and at the Hämeenlinna Health Center in Southern Finland in 2017-2018. Participants were 14-17 years old. Altogether 501 participants in 2004-2005 and 47 in 2014-2015 consented to the study. With their permission DNA analyses were performed on 47 participants in 2004-2005 and on all participants (n=47) in 2014-2015. In 2017-2018 altogether 125 participants consented to the study and the mouth rinse analyses. The aMMP-8 chairside mouth rinse test identified and alerted adolescents with poor oral hygiene at risk for subclinical periodontitis without detectable and visible manifestations of the illness. Periodontal treatment and preventive intervention decreased aMMP-8 levels assessed by a change in test stick result from positive (+) to negative (-) during the monitoring period. Young patients at risk must be identified to enable early preventive interventions and treatment. Genetic polymorphisms of MMP3 and VDR genes are linked to subclinical periodontitis in Finnish adolescents. Only tentative genetic aetiology for dental caries could be observed. Elevated PGLYRP1 levels in adolescents with gingivitis and subclinical periodontitis and its positive correlation with TREM-1 and aMMP-8 may indicate an association of PGLYRP1 with early stages of periodontal disease. However, it has a lower discriminating capacity and is therefore a less reliable marker alone in the diagnosis of subclinical periodontitis in adolescents.
  • Zhang, Yuemei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The thesis aimed to study the effects and mechanisms of freezing-thawing treatments on myofibrillar protein denaturation and to explore the role of myofibrillar protein denaturation in causing the formation of thaw loss. The freezing-thawing of porcine M. longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) increased the free Ca2+ concentration and the subsequent chilled storage promoted an accelerated decrease of activities of calpain-1 and calpain-2, compared to unfrozen meat. Proteasome activity was observed to be around 40% lower after freezing-thawing. The observed increased purge loss and decreased water-holding capacity (WHC) of myofibrils indicated myofibrillar protein denaturation occurring during the freezing-thawing treatment. In the investigation of freezing-induced denaturation of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins of LTL in relation to freezing rate, fast frozen samples (cold metal plate/-80°C) had a characteristic freezing time of 12 min, while samples frozen at slow rate (air/-20°C) had a freezing time of around 174 min. Slow freezing led to around 30% larger thaw loss in parallel with reduced WHC and increased surface hydrophobicity of myofibrils, indicating more severe myofibrillar protein denaturation in slow compared to fast freezing. A model is proposed to explain the importance of myofibrillar protein denaturation in relation to the freezing rate in the origin of thaw loss: In slow freezing, protons are accumulated with concentrating solutes in the unfrozen water leading to a decline of pH causing denaturation of structural proteins. In fast freezing small ice crystals might trap protons inducing less decline of pH and thus less myofibrillar protein denaturation and reduced thaw loss when compared with slow freezing. Sarcoplasmic protein denaturation also was shown to occur in freezing-thawing as evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry and tryptophan fluorescence properties of drip, which was, however, independent of freezing rate. The role of decreased pH (from pH 5.5 to 5.2), combined with high ionic strength (2 M KCl), in causing myofibrillar protein denaturation was studied by exposing fresh minced meat to either high ionic strength only or to high ionic strength with decreased pH to mimic conditions estimated to be in the unfrozen water of frozen meat during freezing. Exposure to high ionic strength caused an increase of WHC of the isolated myofibrils, whereas exposure to high ionic strength combined with low pH reduced WHC and increased surface hydrophobicity of the myofibrils. These results suggest that decreased pH combined with increased ionic strength in the unfrozen water of frozen meat largely would explain myofibrillar protein denaturation and thus the thaw loss occurring in frozen-thawed meat. The storage at -3 °C of fast or slow frozen pork prior to final thawing at 2 °C diminished the impact of the freezing rate on myofibrillar protein attributes, and differences between fast and slow freezing were no longer significant for WHC and surface hydrophobicity of the isolated myofibrils when frozen samples subsequently were kept at -3 °C for 7 days. The results suggest that a marked myofibrillar protein denaturation is taking place with extended storage time at -3 °C. In conclusion, freezing-thawing increases water loss in meat and slow freezing causes a higher increase when compared to freezing at fast rate. Myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic protein denaturation occurs in freezing and thawing. The rate of freezing produces a significant effect in the myofibrillar fraction: A slow freezing will develop a more severe protein denaturation than a fast freezing. Consequently, the myofibrillar protein denaturation, related to the freezing rate, is proposed to contribute to the generation of thaw loss. However, a subsequent storage of frozen meat at -3 °C before final thawing seems to diminish the beneficial effects of fast freezing on myofibrillar protein characteristics, compared to slow freezing, due to an additional protein denaturation. Therefore, it is recommended that meat industry adjusts the thawing capacity to minimize the passage time in temperature of -3 °C in meat.
  • Eskola, Seppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines cameral bookkeeping in Sweden in the mid-sixteenth century. At the time, the Swedish state was moving away from the medieval Union period towards a centrally led nation state. At the core of this process was the control of resources through improved bookkeeping practices. This study shows that the Swedish cameral administration adopted a version of bookkeeping known as charge and discharge, commonly used in certain contexts in medieval and early modern Europe. The system emphasized the accountability of bailiffs to the Crown and enabled the Crown to effectively gather information and extract resources from local communities. The study analyzes in detail the records produced by this system as well as the processes behind them. Additionally, the structure and content of the surviving archival collections is also examined. The cameral records produced by the Swedish sixteenth-century tax administration are known as the bailiffs’ records (Fin. voudintilit, Swe. fogderäkenskaper), and they comprise the largest surviving literary material of their time. These sources have been widely employed by historians in a plethora of studies starting from the nineteenth century. However, the records themselves have been studied in only a limited capacity, leaving many open questions. The present study addresses the current status of research from two viewpoints. First, emphasis is placed on understanding the provenance of the existing records, that is, their origin and the process of composing them. The lack of knowledge concerning this issue has at times been raised in previous studies, with calls for more scholarly engagement. Second, this study views Swedish cameral bookkeeping in the wider context of European bookkeeping traditions, an approach in stark contrast with previous studies, which typically discuss the bailiffs’ records in isolation from the general history of bookkeeping. Empirically, this study focuses on the duchy situated in south-western Finland in 1556−1563 and ruled by Gustav Vasa’s second son Johan (as King Johan III, 1569−1592). The duchy consisted of the provinces of Egentliga Finland, Satakunda, Åland, and Raseborg, providing this study with a clearly defined administrative context and source material. The cameral records of the duchy consist of more than a thousand bookkeeping records, adding up to approximately 27 000 folios. This material is first engaged by methods associated with manuscript studies, analyzing scribal hands, watermarks, and other codicological features of select sets of records to identify patterns and clues explaining the process of bookkeeping. All of the material is then analyzed quantitatively, to better understand how the bookkeeping records were produced as well as the structure of the current archival collections. Structurally, the study consists of seven chapters. Following the introduction, chapter two discusses the history of the archival collections containing the bailiffs’ records. Chapter three provides the codicological analysis and focuses on the question of the origin of the records. In chapter four, the characteristics of the bookkeeping system are analyzed, and the system is placed within the context of broader European bookkeeping traditions. Finally, chapters five and six describe the variety of surviving bookkeeping records. A catalogue of the records deriving from the duchy of Johan, used as a basis for the quantitative approach, is presented at the end of the study.
  • Lahtinen, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation considers the concept of performativity as it originates from philosopher of language J. L. Austin (1911–1960) and examines how the concept functions with respect to a theatre production. The focus of the study is two-fold. First the trajectory of the concept is examined and an appropriate interpretation to suit the purposes of performance analysis is formulated. Second, an analysis of a production is carried out. The discussion about the concepts of the performative, performativity and a speech act is multifaceted and ramified. It includes debates and contradictory interpretations. This study presents an introduction to Austin’s original theorization about exploring speech as action. The main source for this discussion is How to Do Things with Words (1962), a book that was posthumously composed and edited based on Austin’s lecture notes. The continuation of the discussion on performativity is presented selectively. A debate between Jacques Derrida and John R. Searle is discussed thoroughly because of its further influence, particularly in the fields of theatre and performance studies, which is the home ground of this study. Philosophers Stanley Cavell, who sustained the orientation of Ordinary Language Philosophy – the original context for Austin’s philosophy – and Judith Butler, who has expanded the range of performativity from speech to, for instance, the fields of gender theory and political activism, feature as the most important participants in the discussion. Literary scholar Shoshana Felman, who made an original reading of Austin both in terms of thought as well as speech (as action), is also included among the interlocutors of the study. Furthermore, adaptations of the concepts of the performative and performativity in the field of theatre studies are mapped in broad outline. The case study for which the majority of this dissertation is dedicated is called Tulitikkuja lainaamassa eli elämän ihmeellisyys (Gone to Borrow Matches or The Strangeness of Life) (adapt. Veijo Meri – Kalle Holmberg, dir. Kalle Holmberg) and it was performed at Tampere Workers’ Theatre as the 100th anniversary production of the theatre in 2001. The production was a multilayered and palimpsestuous composition that combined an adaptation of a popular classic, Tulitikkuja lainaamassa (Gone to Borrow Matches) by Maiju Lassila, with a selection of related texts both from literary and biographical sources. The analysis of the aesthetic features of the production, the conventions to which it relates, its contexts and intertexts as well as its relation to the assumed audience exposes fractures in the conception of theatre and the identification assumed to its spectators. My study shows how an analysis that explores a theatre production from the viewpoint of performativity offers a possibility for a nuanced understanding of a theatre production as a communicative act whose success is dependent on several aspects in the entirety of the deed.
  • Mattila, Mirjami (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of serious food-borne illness, listeriosis. The ability of L monocytogenes to survive and proliferate over a wide range of environmental conditions allows it to overcome various food preservation and safety barriers. To be able to control the risk of L. monocytogenes in the entire food chain, it is important to understand the mechanisms behind the stress tolerance of this pathogen. The aim of this study was to investigate the stress response mechanisms in L. monocytogenes strain EGD-e. Various cellular processes needed for growth and survival under unfavourable conditions are regulated through alternative sigma factors σB and σL. To gather deeper understanding about the role of these sigma factors at low temperatures, this study investigated the regulons of σB and σL, and the expression profile of the ΔsigBL double-mutant strain with a whole-genome expression analysis at 3°C and 37°C. This analysis revealed 198 and 86 genes positively regulated by σB during exponential growth at 3°C and 37°C, respectively. Altogether 29 genes were found to be under positive σB transcriptional regulation during exponential growth at both temperatures. At 3°C, 237 genes were detected to be under positive σL dependent transcriptional control, and at 37°C the number of down-regulated genes was 203. Only 47 of these genes exhibited positive σL transcriptional regulation at both temperatures. Of the 254 genes down-regulated in ΔsigBL at 3°C, 38% were detected also in ΔsigB or ΔsigL, and 62% were present only in ΔsigBL. At 37°C, 87% of the 139 down-regulated genes were present in either ΔsigB or ΔsigL and 13% were detected only in ΔsigBL. It thus appears that the growth at low temperature expands the specialized expression profile of ΔsigBL, but at optimal growth temperature the ΔsigBL expression profile resembles more the expression profiles of ΔsigB and ΔsigL. The phenotypic evaluation of the ∆sigB, ∆sigL, and ∆sigBL mutants revealed impaired growth in the presence of ethanol and organic acids at low growth temperature. The growth of the ΔsigB mutant was compromised in the presence of lactic acid, acetic acid, and ethanol, while both the ∆sigL and ∆sigBL mutants showed impaired growth in the presence of lactic acid, acetic acid, citric acid, and ethanol relative to the wild-type strain. The growth of the ∆sigL and ∆sigBL mutants was also slower at low temperature (4°C) in defined medium relative to the parental strain. In addition, phenotypic microarray analysis exposed significant differences in growth of the wild-type strain and the ∆sigB, ∆sigL, and ∆sigBL mutant strains on different carbon sources and in the presence of various chemical compounds, such as antibiotics targeting cell wall, membrane, DNA, or protein synthesis. Apparently, the deletion in both sigB and sigL increases the sensitivity of the L. monocytogenes towards different stress conditions and chemical compounds and exposes phenotypic characteristics absent from ∆sigB or ∆sigL mutant strains. The stress response mechanisms positively regulated by both sigB and sigL might thus be more relevant than has been previously suspected. Overall, this study provided an expanded insight into σB and σL phenotypic roles and functional interactions in L. monocytogenes. DEAD-box proteins are conserved RNA helicases that can be found in most living organisms. They are needed in RNA metabolism and other metabolic processes and have been linked with cold stress tolerance in L. monocytogenes and many other bacteria. To investigate the role of DEAD-box RNA helicase encoding genes under low growth temperature, transcriptomic and phenotypic analyses of lmo0866, lmo1246, lmo1450, and lmo1722 deletion mutants were performed at 3°C, 25°C, and 37°C. The relative expression levels of lmo0866, lmo1246, lmo1450, and lmo1722 were significantly higher during growth at 3°C than at 37°C and also 30 min, 3 h, and 7 h after cold shock from 37°C to 5°C. At 3°C, the growth of ∆lmo0866 and ∆lmo1722 was totally impaired, and ∆lmo1450 showed only slight growth. The minimum growth temperatures of these mutants were significantly higher compared to the wild-type strain. The results suggest that lmo0866, lmo1450, and lmo1722 play an important role in the cold stress tolerance of L. monocytogenes. The temperature-dependent induction of flagella is a well-characterized phenomenon in L. monocytogenes. However, the essentiality of increased flagellum production during growth at low temperatures is still unclear. The role of flagella synthesis and motility genes flhA and motA in the cold stress tolerance of L. monocytogenes was studied at 3°C, 25°C, and 37°C. The relative expression levels of flhA and motA were found to be higher at 3°C compared to both 25°C and 37°C. The growth of the ΔflhA and ΔmotA deletion mutant strains was compromised at 3°C relative to the wild-type strain. These results illustrate that flhA and motA have a role in the cold stress tolerance of L. monocytogenes, yet the exact functions and regulation of these genes at low growth temperatures remains unknown. Deletion mutant ∆sigL was completely non-motile at 3°C and 10°C, and un-flagellated at 3°C. The ∆sigB and ∆sigBL mutants showed similar swarming pattern compared to the wild-type at 3°C, but the flagella formation of ∆sigBL was slightly compromised at 3°C compared to the wild-type. The cold-sensitive deletion mutant strains ∆lmo0866 and ∆lmo1450 were completely non-motile in BHI at 3°C, while the swarming pattern of the ∆lmo1246 was similar to the wild-type strain. The deletion mutant strains ΔflhA and ΔmotA were completely non-motile at 3°C and 25°C, and flagella formation was deficient. The growth of these strains was also significantly compromised when grown in BHI at 3°C. These findings suggest that the motility and flagella formation may play a role in the cold response of L. monocytogenes.
  • Kaivola, Karri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In neurodegenerative diseases neurons gradually die leading to various symptoms based on the affected nervous region. Often memory, movements or both are affected, and the symptoms worsen over time greatly affecting the quality of life. Neurodegenerative diseases are often caused by many factors, both intrinsic and environmental. Genetics often play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases and genetic research can help to elucidate disease mechanisms. Since many neurodegenerative diseases share overlapping mechanisms, insights in one disease can elucidate the mechanisms of other diseases as well. The aim of this thesis was to study the genetics of three neurodegenerative diseases: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the closely related dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). ALS is characterized by a progressive loss of voluntary movements that leads to respiratory failure. AD and DLB lead to dementia but DLB patients often also have parkinsonism and visual hallucinations. In Publication I, we determined the C9orf72 GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat length of 3142 Finns. The C9orf72 hexanucleotide expansion is the most common cause of ALS and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) in populations of European ancestry, but the exact pathogenic repeat length and the role of intermediate length alleles in disease is unclear. Often 30 repeats is used as the expansion threshold. We presented the distribution of C9orf72 repeat length in older individuals and found that 0.38% have 30-45 repeats. However, these individuals had no apparent accumulation of neurodegenerative or psychiatric symptoms. We found no association with intermediate repeat length alleles (7-45 or 20-45) and AD or cognitive impairment. Intermediate-length alleles with ≥20 repeats were found to be more common in Finland than elsewhere. In Publication II, we utilized the same cohorts from the first study as controls and additionally determined the repeat lengths of 750 Finnish ALS patients and additional 800 younger controls aged 18-65 years. There have been mixed results on the association of intermediate repeat length alleles with ALS so we tested the association using several thresholds: 7-45, 17-45, 21-45, 24-45 and 24-30. None of these intermediate repeats associated with ALS when only the effect of the longer allele was considered. However, carrying two copies of intermediate-length alleles was associated with ALS especially when the longer allele was over 17 repeats (p=0.002, OR 5.32, 95% CI 2.02-14.05). In Publication III, we studied the distribution of Lewy-related pathology (LRP) in the Vantaa 85+ population cohort. Our results confirmed that LRP progresses caudo-rostrally in 64% individuals with LRP, whereas a third have amygdala-based progression pattern. Moreover, the amygdala-based progression pattern was associated with AD pathology and APOE ε4. Our findings suggest that DLB should not be viewed as a single entity, but two. In Publication IV, we studied the association of previously identified genetic risk loci for AD with the different neuropathological features of AD. These features were amyloid β deposition (CERAD score), tau pathology (Braak staging), cerebral amyloid angiopathy and capillary amyloid β. We identified risk loci for every neuropathological feature including capillary amyloid β for which there were no previously identified risk loci. Our findings help to match known AD loci to neuropathological changes elucidating the role of each gene in AD pathogenesis.
  • Metsäranta, Niklas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The focus of this dissertation is on etymology and lexicon of Mari and Permic languages (Udmurt and Komi), two branches of the Uralic language family spoken presently in Central Russia. Using the etymological method, my aim is to study the development of their respective lexicons – often intertwined in etymological research – both from the point of view of inheritance and intra language family borrowing. In addition, several other topics related to this aim are discussed in length, these include historical word derivation and (Indo-)Iranian loanwords in Mari and especially in Permic. The reconstructed earlier stages of Mari and Permic languages, Proto-Mari and Proto-Permic, both contain several hundreds of words of unknown origin. Basic etymological research into this vocabulary has been wanting in recent years and in this dissertation an attempt is made to explain some of these words through inheritance by presenting etymologically valid cognates in other Uralic languages. As a result several dozen new etymological comparisons for Mari and Permic words arise. Taking a fresh look at inherited vocabulary is also done in order to determine what can be regarded as regular phonological development as assessing loanwords within the language family has to be done against what is thought to be regular in inherited Uralic vocabulary. Historical phonologies written on Mari and Permic are based on outdated data and thus contain several assertations about the historical phonology of these languages that cannot be maintained. An updated list of Uralic cognates in Mari and Permic is compiled and based on this list a brief overview of their historical phonology is provided in the dissertation. Along with inheritance, borrowing within the Uralic language family is the other main topic of this study. This dissertation examines critically two proposed historical loanword layers: Proto-Permic loanwords in Mari and Proto-Finnic loanwords in Permic. The assumed Proto-Permic loanword layer in Mari is shown to be of heterogeneous origin, consisting mostly of erroneous comparisons. A few words in Mari can be regarded as borrowings from Permic but even in these cases borrowing from Proto-Permic has to be rejected and instead a more recent Proto-Udmurt chronology can be established. With the help of (Indo-)Iranian loanwords in Permic, a more nuanced chronology of sound changes in Permic is formulated. After comparing Proto-Finnic loanwords in Permic against this newly acquired chronology, they are mostly deemed doubtful. A new (Indo-)Iranian loan etymology is also proposed for several dozen Permic words. Many of the new etymologies proposed for Mari and Permic rely on analyzing the words as historical derivatives. Because of this a significant portion of the dissertation is dedicated to examining this possibility in detail. The dissertation also discusses general questions concerning etymological research and Uralic lexicon.
  • Hanninen, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In the last couple of decades there have been considerable advances in the field of biotechnology, and biochemistry and gene technology have become especially important in relation to their potential applications in alleviating human suffering by the way of, for example, curing previously incurable diseases. This makes the field very interesting from the viewpoint of gaining patent protection for inventions which could produce vast financial profit. Simultaneously, the significance and consideration of fundamental and human rights has increased. The patentability of human based material in relation to fundamental and human rights is a legal research the aims of which are to systematize the legal rules affecting the patentability of inventions concerning human based material in Finland as well as analyze whether there are fundamental and human rights norms that are seemingly (in a way that can be resolved by means of interpretation) or actually in conflict with them. Furthermore, the study addresses the question of what is meant by the concepts of human dignity and personal autonomy in connection with the patentability of inventions in which human based material is used and what is the legal status of persons that have donated their material which is used in the inventions. The perspective of the research is of Finnish law but in a European context, as Finland is a member state of the European Union as well as the Council of Europe. The research has been conducted using the doctrinal approach in order to, as mentioned above, give systematic exposition to the legal rules and principles governing the research topic. Although the patent system and fundamental and human rights have traditionally been treated as separate and unrelated, according to the author it seems clear that in today’s world they cannot be understood this way anymore. Instead, they overlap and intertwine in many ways, and should be viewed as one systematic unity. Patent law in general must be interpreted taking into consideration the principles protected by fundamental and human rights norms. Especially, when material of human origin is utilized in connection with an invention intended to be patented, the protection of the individual human being donating the material, including their human dignity and the rights and fundamental freedoms, should always be a priority. This may, in certain situations, result in limitations of the patentability of inventions utilizing material of human origin. The interrelation between patentability legislation concerning biotechnological inventions should be emphasized also in the practice of patent authorities. Fundamental and human rights should at least function as a standard against which the morality of the commercial exploitation of inventions need to be compared. At the moment there are still some issues to this regard to be resolved.
  • Rantala, Tapio (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study analyzes the political legitimacy of forest and forest-related nature conservation policies in Finland. Legitimacy is defined here that the forest and nature conservation regimes and related political institutions are perceived as rightful among the people. The major contribution of this study is the comprehensive conceptual framework of legitimacy based on several theories, mainly from political science. The framework analyzes the objects of support, patterns of legitimacy, performance evaluations, and how these relate to one another. In this study, the objects of support refer to forest-related political institutions; these include regulations and public incentives, as well as decision-making processes, political programs, and administrative procedures. The framework is intended to be especially useful in the empirical analyses of pluralistic public political discussion and uses a methodology developed for this purpose. The study also analyses the social values of organized political actors. The empirical part of this study explores a data set from Finnish print media discourse, based on letters to editors in three newspapers and in one journal, along with comments given during the preparation of Finland's National Forest Programme 2010. Another empirical data set consists of qualitative semi-structured interviews and the writings of the organized interest groups. Many different groups of citizens were found to participate in public discussion on forests. Quite a large number of individuals shared the overall publicity, despite the fact that there were some very active writers. Nature conservation organizations, researchers, and politicians were well represented. However, the participation of governmental officials from both the forest and environmental sectors can be characterized as insufficient, considering their importance in the implementation of policies. The study of letters to editors found that groups of common social values served as patterns of legitimacy in the performance evaluations of forest policies. These include welfare and wellbeing derived from forests; values related to nature conservation; democratic values; distributive justice; good governance; core regime principles; and fair markets. Of all performance evaluations, 52% were negative while 26% were positive and 22 % were mixed. Domestic, EU-level, and international legality were commonly perceived as sources of the legitimacy of policies. Finland's good international standing and its role as a moral and economic forerunner were very common principles in the evaluations in both the forest and nature conservation policies, in all parts of data. The same idea was also found central in the national forest programs and strategies. The shared goal of the Finns seems to be that the nation would be best in the world both in forest and nature conservation policies. Keywords: forest policy, nature conservation policy, political legitimacy, democracy, justice, public discussion .

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