Recent Submissions

  • Amorosa, Paolo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In the interwar years, international lawyer James Brown Scott wrote a series of works on the history of his discipline. He made the case that the foundation of modern international law rested not, as most assumed, with the seventeenth-century Dutch thinker Hugo Grotius, but with sixteenth-century Spanish theologian Francisco de Vitoria. Far from being an antiquarian assertion, the Spanish origin narrative placed the inception of international law in the context of the discovery of America, rather than in the European wars of religion. The recognition of equal rights to the American natives by Vitoria was the pedigree on which Scott built a progressive international law, responsive to the rise of the United States as the leading global power and developments in international organization such as the creation of the League of Nations. At the same time, Scott associated the authority of Vitoria with projects he invested with personal meaning but were controversial within the US foreign policy establishment he belonged to. Scott claimed the authority of Vitoria in order to obtain the blessing of international adjudication by the Catholic Church and the recognition of equal rights for women by treaty. The dissertation describes the Spanish origin project in context, relying on Scott’s biography, changes in the self-understanding of the international legal profession, as well as on larger social and political trends in US and global history. Keeping in mind Vitoria’s persisting role as a key figure in the canon of international legal history, the dissertation sheds light on the contingency of shared assumptions about the discipline and their unspoken implications. The legacy of the international law Scott developed for the American century is still with the profession today, in the shape of the normalization and de-politicization of rights language and of key concepts like equality and rule of law.
  • Björkenheim, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In aiming to help service users cope with a major life change imposed by, for example, a serious chronic illness or a severe impairment, social workers in health and mental health often, although not always explicitly, take a biographical perspective. Biography, shaped over time through the interplay between human agency and social structure, seems a relevant concept for social work, which focuses on the relationship between the individual and society. The aim of my research was to make the biographical perspective in health social work more explicit and to suggest ways in which practitioners can take into account their clients’ past without sliding into the field of psychotherapy. The questions set for the summary article ask what applying the biographical perspective in health social work could imply, and whether this perspective is compatible with social work practice theory. The study positions itself within the field of research on theoretical frameworks and knowledge production for health social work practice. Six papers, published during the years 2007–2016, form the base for this thesis. The first sub-study was based on a survey exploring issues of knowledge and competence in health social work, and laid out the context for the biographical perspective in social work practice as presented in the other five sub-studies. Three of the sub-studies were conceptual and published within an educational curriculum in the EU research project INVITE. The last two sub-studies were empirical and use qualitative content analysis; one analyses a biographical research interview from a social work perspective, and the other presents an analysis of 16 social workers’ views on biographical approaches as expressed in their final essays of a course on the biographical perspective in social work practice. Drawing on the sub-studies and on additional literature, the summary article takes the conceptual analysis further by outlining biographically informed health social work practice using ideas, concepts and methods developed in biographical research. My research maintains that the biographical perspective in health social work practice can be expressed by the notion of supporting clients’ biographical agency. This idea provides a general perspective for viewing clients as not totally determined by their past but as biographical actors in their social world, with a future they can influence. It is argued that the general concept of supporting biographical agency can be used with most clients. In cases when biographical interviewing is indicated, it implies listening to clients’ life stories, encouraging their biographical work, and helping them reconstruct their biographical identity in the midst of a major life change. In this type of work, building trustful relationships is essential. I found the biographical perspective in social work practice to be compatible with several social work practice theories. The ethical issues in biographical approaches concern the interpretation of clients’ life stories and the risk of clients becoming stuck in their past. The conclusion of my research was that the biographical perspective, defined in terms of supporting clients’ biographical agency, can provide a useful framework for health social workers in a multidisciplinary environment. Further research is needed to examine the benefits and possible risks of biographical approaches and to explore, in particular, clients’ own experiences of such approaches.
  • Saarinen, Aino (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study investigated i) the relationship of temperament and character with paranoid ideation over age in adulthood ii) the association of explosive temperament profile with the development of character dimensions self-directedness and cooperativeness, and whether this association is modified by social support and attachment security iii) the co-occurrence of depressive symptoms with paranoid ideation from late adolescence to middle age in the general population. The participants (n = 2028, 2137, and 2109 in Studies I‒III) were selected from the prospective Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, which started in 1980. Paranoid ideation and depressive symptoms were assessed at several time points over a 20-year follow-up in 1992‒2012. Temperament and character, social support, and attachment security were measured multiple times between 1997‒2012. We used multilevel models for repeated measurements, which were controlled for participants’ age, gender, and socioeconomic status both in childhood and adulthood. The results revealed that single temperament dimensions of high novelty seeking, high harm avoidance and low reward dependence and also explosive temperament profile (consisting of high novelty seeking, high harm avoidance, and low reward dependence) were related to a higher level of paranoid ideation in adulthood. These associations appeared to be mediated by character dimensions. Specifically, high self-directedness, high cooperativeness, and low self-transcendence could protect individuals with temperament-related susceptibilities from paranoid ideation. Explosive temperament was associated with lower self-directedness and cooperativeness as compared to other temperaments, but high social support and secure attachment had a positive influence on character development in individuals with explosive temperaments. Additionally, we found that depressive symptoms were linked with the course of higher paranoid ideation, especially in late adolescence and early adulthood. Regarding various depressive subsymptoms, high negative attitude and high performance difficulties were associated with the course of more severe paranoid ideation over age in adulthood, whereas the influence of somatic symptoms became significant only after early adulthood. Finally, depressive symptoms appeared to be more strongly related to the development of trait- than state-level paranoid ideation. Specific variants of single temperament dimensions and profiles represented susceptibilities for paranoid ideation. The presence of supportive and confidential relationships was linked with more mature character (i.e. higher self-directedness and higher cooperativeness), which appeared to have a protective role against paranoid ideation in individuals with risky temperaments. The co-occurrence between depressive symptoms and paranoid ideation was especially evident in late adolescence and early adulthood. Individuals, who have temperament-related susceptibilities for paranoid ideation, might benefit from interventions, which promote the abilities to form confidential and supportive social relationships. This might help them to internalize more mature concepts about the self and interpersonal relationships, which, in turn, could enhance the self-regulation of temperament-related susceptibilities and lower the risk for paranoid ideation. Individuals with co-occurring depressive symptoms and paranoid ideation might benefit from neurocognitive rehabilitation, social skills training, and community-based treatments in order to enhance interpersonal activities and metacognitive abilities.
  • Almeida, Patrick (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology have paved the way for a new era in cancer medicine. Among the myriad of nanotechnology-based systems that have been revolutionizing the field of cancer nanomedicine, porous silicon (PSi) nanoparticles have recently emerged as a promising nanoplatform, owing to advantageous physicochemical and biological properties. Nevertheless, the successful establishment of PSi nanoparticulate systems as effective cancer nanomedicines is challenged by several shortcomings associated with the instability in biological fluids, the poor tumour targeting efficiency and unfavourable pharmacokinetics, the limited capacity to overcome extra and intracellular biological barriers, and the ubiquitous and uncontrolled release of the therapeutic payloads. This dissertation aimed at designing and developing novel strategies, including the surface modification of PSi nanoparticles with biofunctional polymers and the engineering of advanced multifunctional PSi-based nanocomposites, in order to overcome some of the aforementioned deadlocks, improving the tumour targeting and drug delivery efficiencies, and ultimately potentiating the application of PSi nanomaterials in cancer nanomedicine. First, the biofunctionalization of PSi nanoparticles with a hyaluronic acid (HA) derivative was proven to improve the colloidal and plasma stabilities and to significantly enhance the cellular internalization of the nanosystems in breast cancer cells. The HA-modified PSi nanoplatforms exhibited higher affinity and endocytic activity in the cells overexpressing the CD44 receptor, thus evidencing a great potential for further development as active targeted drug delivery systems to CD44-overexpressing tumours. Next, a bilayered zwitterionic PSi nanocomposite was fabricated by successive conjugation of polyethyleneimine and poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic acid) polymers on the surface of PSi nanoparticles. In addition to satisfactory cytocompatibility, and high colloidal and plasma stabilities, the designed polymeric surface modification was shown to enhance the non-specific cellular association and uptake, and to improve the intracellular trafficking of the PSi nanoparticles in breast cancer cells. Moreover, this strategy contributed to increase the drug loading of methotrexate (MTX), sustain the release of the drug and potentiate the in vitro antiproliferative effect of the MTX-loaded PSi nanocarriers. In addition, PSi nanoplatforms were used to engineer multifunctional PSi-based nanocomposites, envisioned for cancer therapeutic and theranostic applications. In one approach, both sorafenib-loaded PSi and gold nanoparticles were simultaneously encapsulated into a self-assembling polymeric nanocomplex. In another study, the same nanocomplexes were used to encapsulate DNA-capped PSi nanoparticles, as an innovative strategy to bioresponsively deliver hydrophilic and hydrophobic drug molecules into the cytosolic compartment of cancer cells. The potential of the fabricated multifunctional PSi-based nanocomposites stemed from the versatility to incorporate a combination of nanosystems, hydrophilic or hydrophobic drug molecules, and fluorescent dyes within a single nanostructure, and the capability to enhance the cellular interactions, endocytosis and cytoplasmic delivery of the encapsulated nanoparticles and therapeutics. In conclusion, the developed PSi-based nanocomposites exhibited great potential for cancer targeting and drug delivery, representing an advanced contribution for the successful implementation of PSi nanomaterials as the next generation of cancer nanomedicines.
  • Peräsaari, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Renal transplantation is a preferred choice of treatment for patients who have lost their kidney function due to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Transplantations in Finland have been centralized to Helsinki University Hospital for both paediatric and adult patients. The results of the kidney transplantation program in Finland have improved over the years and are now excellent, with a one-year graft survival of over 90 %. The major improvements concern short-term problems, and the main challenge today is chronic rejection and long-term survival. The key to further improvements is prevention of chronic rejection and the adequate level of immunosuppression. This thesis was designed to study the prevalence of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies and to evaluate the relevance of identified donor-specific antibodies (DSA) in the graft outcome. The focus was on graft function, as assessed by the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and occurrence of delayed graft function (DGF). Another goal for this study was to evaluate various techniques for measuring the immunisation status of a patient and the sensitivity and specificity of different crossmatch techniques with the aim of developing practices in histocompatibility testing. Several cohorts were used in this study. HLA allele frequency, haplotype and panel reactive antibody (PRA) calculations included the data provided by the Finnish Bone Marrow Donor Registry (19807 individuals) and the Finnish Cord Blood Bank (2699 individuals). In addition, 30 immunised patients were included. A total of 235 patients waiting for kidney transplant and 40 deceased donors were used in the prediction of crossmatch outcome. Retrospective clinical studies included 123 pediatric and 771 adult kidney transplant patients. In our study of the Finnish population, a limited amount of allelic diversity was found. For many HLA antigens, practically only one allele is identified. For example, it is extremely unlikely that A3, A11 and A24 are found to be alleles other than A*03:01, A*11:01 or A*24:02, respectively. Also, the most common Finnish HLA haplotypes have very high frequencies when compared to other populations and some haplotypes are unique to the Finnish population. In virtual PRA, HLA antibodies identified against all potential donors were assessed and reported as a PRA% value. This value describes the percentage of donors that present antigens that the patient is immunised against. Due to the uniqueness of the Finnish HLA composition, the use of a calculated population-specific PRA provides a more accurate and reliable estimate of the level of immunisation against available donors Three different crossmatch methods were compared against virtual crossmatch (VXM) results. The flow cytometric crossmatch (FCXM) and Luminex crossmatch (LXM) proved to be the most accurate methods according to the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, with area under curve (AUC) values of 0.861 and 0.805, respectively. The performance of the complement-mediated lymphocytotoxicity crossmatch (CDCXM) was not as good (AUC: 0.724). There was no clear correlation between the serum samples providing false positive and negative results in each crossmatch technique, which indicates that the main reason for the differences is that each method identifies a different type of antibodies. In the pediatric cohort, HLA antibodies were detected in half of the samples. During the follow-up, one third of the patients presented antibodies against the transplanted kidney. We did not find any association between DSA and poor GFR at the time of sampling or later during the follow-up. In the adult cohort one third (265/771) of the patients were immunised. DSA was detected in 13% (103/771) of the patients at the time of transplantation, even with a negative CDCXM. DGF was more common in patients with DSA than in non-immunised patients (48% and 26%, respectively). DSA against all loci contributed a risk for DGF, but DRB1 seemed to provide the highest relative risk (RR) individually (RR 2.4). Also, the number of DSA and the strength of DSA as measured by cumulative mean fluorescence intensity were significant factors.
  • Tervola, Jussi (Kela, 2018)
    Contemporary welfare states actively promote their key values and goals, such as gender equality and high employment. In family policy, these goals are pursued with allocated parental leave for both parents and subsidized day care services, for instance. However, it is known from previous research that parental leave is divided less equally between parents in immigrant families than in other families, and children with immigrant background participate less in centre-based day care despite the evidence that they would benefit from it the most. This study sets out to scrutinize immigrant families’ care choices and their determinants in Finland and Sweden. The study is based on comprehensive administrative register data, and the choices are observed from the take-up of different benefits. Economic and demographic factors are considered through regression analysis. Immigrant fathers in both Finland and Sweden show clearly lower take-up rates of paternity and parental leave than native-born fathers. Generally, though, the takeup rates of immigrant fathers are much higher in Sweden than in Finland, and the gap between the countries is largely traced back to differences in policy systems. However, the study also provides evidence that social norms play a role in fathers’ parental leave use, even between Finnish-born and Swedish-born fathers. Moreover, immigrant families’ choices between child home care and day care follow the pattern previously found in some European and US studies. In Finland, with strong policy support for both home and day care, immigrant families take care of their children at home longer than native-borns. However, after the child turns three, immigrants demonstrate an increasing preference for day care, even more so than native families. This may reflect immigrant-specific preferences for children’s integration and language acquisition. All in all, it seems that care choices in immigrant families have many distinct features compared to the majority families. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence that care choices can be steered and family policy goals approached through efficient and consistent policies also among immigrant populations.
  • Siitonen, Virpi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Abstract In my thesis, I examined how relations between the Church and society were reflected in journals in the light of the news coverage of parish elections in the 1970s. I chose three different parishes from all over Finland for my thesis: Forssa, Merijärvi and Vihti. The research material consisted of journal articles on parish elections in ten journals, as well as of the documents on the parish and municipal elections of the examined parishes. This thesis falls within the field of practical theology. In the implementation of my thesis, I used the historical method, and in the examination of the journal articles, content analysis. In 1970, proportional representation was introduced in the parish elections. The candidate lists included only Roman numerals. Party symbols were not allowed to be used, but parties could set up constituency associations. The success of the parties in the parliamentary and municipal elections was reflected in the activity in the parish elections. The strong interest of the parties towards the elections was visible both nationally and in the examined parishes. In the 1970 elections, the constituency associations established by political parties formed almost half of these associations in the whole country, two-thirds in 1974 and three-quarters in 1978. The parties also compiled church policy programs, while becoming more active in each election. In the Church, the activity of the parties and their use of symbols on the candidate lists divided opinions. It was acknowledged that politics had always been somehow part of the Church, but cooperating too closely with the parties was also feared. The parishioners wanted the symbols, but were suspicious of the involvement of politics in the parish elections. Through active news coverage, the journals inspired parishioners to stand for election and to vote. They believed that with the electoral reform, democracy would move forward within the Church, and they called for permission to use party symbols. Throughout the country, the turnout percentage remained below 20 and varied approximately from 13 to over 43 in the examined parishes. The new electoral process allowed the parishioners to influence the Church's decision-making, but only a small portion took part in it. The matter did not interest the majority of the parishioners, or they were simply content with the status quo. In Forssa, the Social Democratic Party participated most visibly with its list in the 1970 elections, and included other parties during the next elections. In the 1970 election in Vihti, the Social Democratic Party participated most visibly with its own list, and the non-socialist parties of the 1974 and 1978 elections were in electoral alliance. In Merijärvi, the Centre Party was in power, although the Finnish People's Democratic League had its own list of candidates in the 1974 election. The Evangelicals in Forssa and the Laestadians in Merijärvi put up candidates. The candidacy of people representing different social classes in the elections portrayed an interest in and appreciation for the Church. In the examined parishes, many were part of the parish administration throughout the whole 1970s, but many new people were also selected. The thesis showed that although the Church was criticized from many directions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was nevertheless considered a significant institution in Finnish society.
  • Marcenaro, Delfia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important legume crop grown widely around the world due to its high nutritional values. In developing countries of Africa and Latin America (e.g. Tanzania and Nicaragua) bean crop is linked to food security and income generation especially in poorest groups made up of small farmers. Disease problems, pests, unimproved seeds, inappropriate agricultural management and environmental conditions are often the main constraints in bean crop production. In Nicaragua and Tanzania, the unavailability of certified seed of local bean varieties causes significant losses in yield and quality. Other limitation present in Nicaragua and Tanzania concerning bean diseases is that seed-borne fungi and viruses has gained little attention. Thus, for better understanding in seed-borne fungi and viruses associated with beans we investigated seed-borne fungi in an important new local bean variety. Sampling from four seed storehouses and six seed lots of cv. INTA Rojo was done in the main bean production areas in Nicaragua. In addition, to detect viruses infecting bean plants, we surveyed seedborne viruses in landraces and new common bean varieties introduced to Nicaragua (Central America) as well as improved varieties grown in Tanzania (eastern Africa). The main results for seedborne fungi included 87 pathogenic isolates from eight genera: Fusarium spp. (F. chlamydosporum, F. equiseti, F. incarnatum), Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Macrophomina phaseolina, Corynespora cassiicola, Colletotrichum capsici, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Diaporthe sp. (Phomopsis), Aspergillus flavus, and Penicillium citrinum. Subsequently, results based on germination in seed lots of common bean (‘INTA Rojo’) from four bean production areas in Nicaragua showed that germination was constantly less than 40% and could be as low as 16%, indicating disastrous yield losses for producers. Four different species-specific primer pairs to detect F. equiseti, F. chlamydosporum, F. incarnatum, C. capsici, C. gloesporiodes and C. cassiicola were developed in this study based on sequence alignment of the internal transcribed spacer sequences (ITS1 and ITS2) from different fungi. They were tested in pure cultures of fungi and used successfully in detection of fungal pathogens from infected plants. These specific primers are able to give the basis to be used in seed health inspection (seeds and plants) for further research of the epidemiology, ecology, and control of the pathogenic fungi of common beans in the field. The presence of Phaseolus vulgaris endornavirus 1 (PvEV-1) and PvEV-2 was detected in Nicaraguan and Tanzanian bean varieties. Likewise, Cowpea mild mosaic virus was detected in one region of Tanzania. There is apparently indication that the new Nicaragua bean varieties are carrying virus resistance genes because no seedborne viruses were found in them. In Tanzania improved protection against pathogenic seed-borne viruses is developed by resistance breeding. These findings are the first report showing that several pathogenic seed-borne fungi occur in Nicaraguan beans. Previously, little information has been available on pathogenic fungi such as F. equiseti, F. incarnatum, L. theobromae, C. cassiicola, and Diaporthe spp in Nicaraguan common beans. This study has contributed in taking first steps to improve the pathological and genetic components in the national seed production system in Nicaragua and Tanzania by providing new knowledge concerning seed-borne pathogens associated with common bean.
  • Sammallahti, Sara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Background: Preterm birth (before 37 weeks of gestation) is a major cause of infant mortality and morbidity worldwide, and preventing its burden is a health care priority. Even in adulthood, individuals who were born preterm perform, on average, worse on tests of cognitive functioning than term-born peers do, and may have more mental health problems. Early growth failure is common among preterm individuals, and some studies have suggested that those preterm individuals who grow poorly in infancy have more neurodevelopmental problems later on in childhood. It is unclear whether these associations persist into adulthood and whether they extend beyond the smallest and most immature of preterm infants, to the majority of preterm infants who are born late preterm (at 34-36 completed weeks of gestation). It also remains unknown whether early postnatal growth patterns predict mental health outcomes - some partly conflicting evidence suggests that intrauterine growth restriction at least associates with mental health problems. The mechanisms explaining the associations between growth and neurodevelopment are also unclear. Early growth reflects a number of intertwined early-life environmental factors and individual characteristics, and while altering neonatal nutrition can affect growth, it is not known whether changes in nutrition can improve long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. It has even been suggested that faster growth and higher nutritional intakes during the early postnatal period can present a trade-off between improved neurodevelopment and increased cardiovascular risk. Methods: The 157 participants of the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults (HeSVA, birth weight <1500g) and the 108 participants of the Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study (AYLS, gestational age 34-36 completed weeks) examined in this thesis were born in Finland between 1978 and 1986. They were invited to adult follow-up visits between 2004 and 2012. Among these young adults, I examined whether growth in weight, length, and head circumference between different early growth periods (between preterm birth, term age, and 12 months of corrected age in HeSVA, and between late preterm birth, 5 and 20 months of corrected age, and 56 months of age in AYLS) was associated with performance in neuropsychological tests, with self-rated symptoms of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other mental health problems, or with diagnosis of mental disorder based on a psychiatric interview in adulthood. In the AYLS cohort, the participants also reported final grade point average and special education in comprehensive school. I further examined whether daily intakes of energy in total, of energy from human milk, and of carbohydrates, protein, and fats during the initial hospitalization, which were relatively low compared to modern recommendations, predicted adult cognitive functioning (HeSVA). As growth variables, I used standardised residual change scores from linear regression models where weight, length, and head circumference z scores were regressed on corresponding measures at previous time points, creating uncorrelated residuals that reflect growth conditional on previous history. These growth variables were then used as independent variables in linear and logistic regression models to predict the outcomes, while taking into account several potential confounders including child and parental background characteristics and neonatal morbidity. Results: Faster growth during the first months of life was associated with better adult cognitive functioning in both cohorts. The size and direction of the effects were similar: for each SD faster growth in weight, head circumference, and length between birth and term age, the HeSVA participants had 0.23-0.41 SD higher general intelligence quotient, executive functioning component, and visual memory scores. For each SD faster weight gain and head growth from birth to 5 months, and head growth from 5 to 20 months, the AYLS participants had 0.19-0.41 SD higher general intelligence quotient and executive functioning component scores and grade point average. Those who grew faster also had lower odds of having received special education at school. Growth after these time periods did not predict cognitive functioning or school outcomes. In contrast, there were no consistent associations between early growth and adult mental health in either cohort. Even when taking into account several important neonatal complications and illnesses, the associations between early growth and adult cognitive functioning could not be wholly explained. Neonatal morbidity however seemed to largely account for the associations between higher energy intake between the first six weeks of life and better cognitive functioning among the HeSVA participants. Conclusions: Faster growth during the first weeks and months of life after preterm birth is associated with better cognitive functioning, and these associations persist into adulthood. The mechanisms explaining these associations are largely unclear, but seem outcome-specific. Early intakes of nutrition may reflect or possibly even mediate the effects of neonatal morbidity on neurodevelopment, however the neonatal morbidities commonly associated with preterm birth do not wholly account for the associations between early growth and long-term neurodevelopment. Keywords: premature birth; infant, very low birth weight; gestational age; birth weight; cognition; intelligence; executive functioning; memory; mental health; depression; attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; substance-related disorders; anxiety disorders; education; growth; weight gain; body height; cephalometry; energy intake; milk, human; infant; adult; risk factors; follow-up studies; longitudinal studies; developmental origins of health and disease
  • Coloma, Sebastián (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Biotic and abiotic factors are known to influence the formation of blooms by diazotrophic cyanobacteria, which may dramatically modify the nutrient environment affecting the pelagic food web and the plankton community. Abiotic factors, e.g. nutrient availability and weather conditions, have been widely studied and discussed. However, biotic factors such as the impact of phages remain less studied. This study aims to describe the effects of a Baltic Sea cyanophage on a filamentous cyanobacterium (Nodularia spumigena) and other aspects in plankton communities utilizing an experimental approach. Specifically, the study addresses bacteria-phage interactions, plankton community dynamics, and nitrogen transfer between the plankton components (phytoplankton species and rotifers) in the food web. To perform the experimental study, a Baltic Sea cyanophage infecting Nodularia was isolated, characterized and named 2AV2. The cyanophage 2AV2 belongs to the Siphovirus family with a lytic life cycle between 12–18 hours with a restricted host range of 12 out of 45 tested Nodularia strains. Lysis of the susceptible host caused an approximately 80% reduction in the cyanobacterial population resulting in selection for phage-resistant Nodularia cells. The evolution of phage resistance significantly reduced the release of nitrogen resulting from lysis of susceptible host cells in the presence of phage. In addition, isolates from the phage-resistant population had two morphotypes, short filaments (40%) and long filaments (60%), while the susceptible population only displayed long filaments. Further, differences between these morphotypes were detected in traits such as growth rate and buoyancy. The divergence in phenotypic traits among phage-resistant cyanobacteria is suggested to represent an evolutionary trade-off between phage resistance and fitness in the absence of phage. This is the first study to show a change in morphology (filament length) in Nodularia spumigena after the evolution of phage resistance. In an experimental plankton community, Nodularia, cyanophage 2AV2, Chlorella and rotifer biomasses developed differently between treatments with different initial frequencies of phage phage-resistant Nodularia, determining the ecological succession and nitrogen transfer in the food web. This study supports the hypothesis that cyanophages not only affect cyanobacterial populations but they also have a wider influence on plankton community dynamics and nitrogen transfer in food webs.
  • Ahti, Jonna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Jonna Ahti, 2018. Conventions, communication and conflicts in a Finland-Swedish chat room. Abstract This study explores conventions, communication and conflicts in a Finland-Swedish chat room. The data consist of chat conversations in a chat room called X3M Chat which was administered by Radio X3M from the late 1990s until the chat room was put down in 2011. The material consists of 8 days of data in the chat room of which 38 conflict episodes have been chosen for this study. The aim of the study is threefold. The first one is to study communicative characteristics and conventions in chat conversations. The aim is to show how these characteristics can be understood in this data and in realtion to previous studies on conflicts in spoken conversations. I present two different types of conflicts: one with a three-part structure (32 episodes) and another with a two-part structure (6 episodes). The first part is a trigger that is opposed by the second part. These first two parts are warning signals for an upcoming conflict whereas the last part can be used either to continue the conflict into a full conflict (the three-part structure) or to neutralize it (the two-part structure). The second aim of this thesis is to study the interactional development of conflicts – how do they begin, how do they develop and how do they end. This aim is structural and concentrates on which components the conflict episodes consist of and how the participants react to them. This part of the study doesn’t merely focus on the structure of utterances and sentences but also on the structure of the social behaviour of the participants. The third aim is methodological and aims at finding if and how the methods from studies in interaction and conversation analysis can be used when studying communication in a written medium happening in real time. The study shows that conversation analysis and studies in interaction can be used at many points when studying written communication. Chat conversations have features of both written and spoken language use but it still is a form of its own and should be studied accordingly. My study also shows that there are three elements that most often lead to a conflict: the topic, the home region and dialect and provocative utterances. Different ways to end a conflict episode were also studied and the most common way is to change the subject. I have analyzed both the social and the structural level of conflicts in the data. Conflicts are more than linguistic activities: they carry connotations that can only be seen in a certain situation or surrounding. They consist of the three parts but my analysis shows that there are also certain features in chat room conversations which may lead to conflicts. It is also obvious that the community has different ways to cope with the problematic situation and end the conflict. Keywords: conversation analysis, interaction studies, chat, web community, Finland-Swedish, youth, conflicts
  • Kosunen, Ilkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Physiological computing is a highly multidisciplinary emerging field in which the spread of results across several application areas and disciplines creates a challenge of combining the lessons learned from various studies. The thesis comprises diverse publications that together create a privileged position for contributing to a common understanding of the roles and uses of physiological computing systems, generalizability of results across application areas, the theoretical grounding of the field (as with the various ways the psychophysiological states of the user can be modeled), and the emerging data analysis approaches from the domain of machine learning. The core of physiological computing systems has been built around the concept of biocybernetic loop, aimed at providing real-time adaptation to the cognitions, motivations, and emotions of the user. However, the traditional concept of the biocybernetic loop has been both self-regulatory and immediate; that is, the system adapts to the user immediately. The thesis presents an argument that this is too narrow a view of physiological computing, and it explores scenarios wherein the physiological signals are used not only to adapt to the user but to aid system developers in designing better systems, as well as to aid other users of the system. The thesis includes eight case studies designed to answer three research questions: 1) what are the various dynamics the biocybernetic loop can display, 2) how do the changes in loop dynamics affect the way the user is represented and modeled, and 3) how do the choices of loop dynamics and user representations affect the selection of machine learning methods and approaches? To answer these questions, an analytical model for physiological computing is presented that divides each of the physiological computing systems into five separate layers. The thesis presents three main findings corresponding to the three research questions: Firstly, the case studies show that physiological computing extends beyond the simple real-time self-regulatory loop. Secondly, the selected user representations seem to correlate with the type of loop dynamics. Finally, the case studies show that the machine learning approaches are implemented at the level of feature generation and are used when the loop diverges from the traditional real-time and self-regulatory dynamics into systems where the adaptation happens in the future.
  • Weßel, Merle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The interest of first-wave feminists into eugenics was widespread internationally but the Nordic countries showed an especially keen engagement with these ideals. This link between eugenics and feminism is a controversial one, since eugenics is often thought to restrict women's reproductive choices, whereas feminism empowers women's reproductive choices. This dissertation examines the engagement of Nordic feminists with eugenic ideals between 1890 and 1940. It investigates prominent feminists and feminist organizations from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. I analyse if, and to what extent, Nordic feminists believed eugenics to be an appealing ideology to support their goal of female empowerment This study draws upon theories of the body, intersectionality and biopower to illustrate how eugenic feminists defined, middle class women as valuable, who contributed positively society with their reproductive function as opposed to questionable women from the working class and under class who were unable to contribute to the nation. Using content analysis, this dissertation examines the public writings of eugenic feminists and feminist organizations, such as medical and sexual health advice books, articles, pamphlets, lectures, and magazines. In order to demonstrate the widespread use of eugenic rhetoric by Nordic feminists. The dissertation's main findings are that the Nordic eugenic feminists supported the notion of women as mothers in society and as such defined female civil rights around the concept of motherhood. They argued that women were not only mothers to their own children but were foremost mothers of the nation. As such, the appropriate women needed to contribute their own reproductive function responsibly, preventing degeneration, to the success and survival of the nation, understood in the context of the race struggle and nationalism. This study paves the way for further research on eugenics and its connection to other social movements, as well as the impact of eugenic ideologies on women and welfare policy after the Second World War.
  • Gürbüz, Göker (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Oxidative reactions in food systems during processing and storage constitute a significant problem that determines the nutritional and sensory qualities of the food product as well as the textural and functional properties. Proteins and lipids, as essential components of foods, are highly prone to oxidative degradation that results in undesired modifications in food systems. Although lipid oxidation as a topic has been given a widespread attention, protein oxidation and its consequences in foods have been studied relatively recently. In particular, co-oxidation of food proteins and lipids, in terms of their interactions within the complex mechanism of oxidative reactions, has been gathering interest only lately. The behavior of proteins from various food sources and technological pre-treatments as well as the outcomes of this behavior under oxidative conditions in the presence of lipids is a much required subject on which to focus both by academia and industry. The purpose of this work was to elucidate the degradation of proteins and lipids within the oxidative system, and to characterize the consecutive modifications of oxidative interactions between food proteins and lipids in model investigations. In order to achieve this, experimental oxidation models were set up that investigate firstly the molecular level interactions between lipid oxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) and whey protein, β-lactoglobulin (β-Lg) peptides. In this work, LC-MS/MS methods were employed to characterize and identify the interaction products. Later studies focused on the oxidative behavior of plant proteins such as quinoa, amaranth and faba beans, utilized in emulsification of rapeseed oil. Results from the analyses of primary and secondary volatile lipid oxidation products as well as tryptophan fluorescence of proteins were gathered to assess the oxidative process. The results of the first study showed that two distinct compounds were generated through Schiff-base adduct formation between MDA and β-Lg peptides, one of which had strong fluorescent properties. Emulsions studies demonstrated that amaranth proteins produced oxidatively and physically more stable emulsions compared to quinoa proteins. However, due to protein oxidation neither type of emulsions were as stable as the commercial emulsifier Tween®20. Emulsions with proteins of faba beans that had undergone pre-treatments were less oxidized compared to native samples which was due to hindering of the endogenous enzyme activity. Proteins located at the lipid droplet interface were degraded more than those in the water phase. This thesis demonstrates that interdependent relations between proteins and lipids such as adduct formation, free-radical transfer, and reactions between oxidized species have a significant effect on the overall course of oxidation of the food system which affect the final observed modifications. Therefore, customized solutions against oxidation should regard the intricate relations of protein-lipid co oxidation in a food system that contains proteins and lipids as major constituents.
  • Saarinen, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In the pharmaceutical industry, novel analytical techniques are required to gain important insights about new drug candidates and their formulations as early as possible. This information can be used to develop more efficient, safe and also economically profitable medicines. Microscopy techniques can be used for example to follow the fate of nanoparticles in cells and tissues, but also to monitor the changes in solid-state forms of drug molecules during drug development and storage. The overall aim of the Thesis was to evaluate the capability of non-linear optical imaging, especially coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), second harmonic generation and sum-frequency generation (SHG and SFG) microscopies, in pharmaceutical applications including imaging of live cells, nanoparticle cellular uptake and pharmaceutical solid-state analysis. First, the capability of CARS microscopy to image live cell cultures on pharmaceutically relevant membrane inserts was evaluated. It was found that, label-free CARS microscopy can be used to image Caco-2 cells (used in drug permeation studies) grown on PTFE inserts in a non-destructive manner. Label-free CARS microscopy could probe lipid droplets and the size of lipid droplets increased substantially over a 21- day culturing period, which is important in the context of drug permeation studies, since lipid content of the cells will influence drug permeation. Next, CARS microscopy was successfully used to probe non-fluorescent nanocrystals in cells in a label-free and chemically-specific manner. In addition, electron microscopy could be used to visualize the subcellular location of nanocrystals in cells with nanometer spatial resolution in a chemically-specific manner by using a developed correlative imaging method with CARS and EM. At the end, multimodal CARS and SHG/SFG imaging was used to visualize the distribution and crystallization of indomethacin and its solid states on tablet surfaces. The combined use of two imaging modalities is beneficial, since data provided by using two techniques relying on different mechanisms (detection of molecular vibrations (CARS) and SFG signal produced by non-centrosymmetric crystals), can support each other. In summary, it was demonstrated that non-linear optical imaging can be a very useful tool in pharmaceutical applications including imaging of live cells, nanoparticle cellular uptake and solid-state analysis. The results were obtained by using a commercially available microscope, which suggests that there is plenty of potential in these techniques to be applied on a wider scale. The use of these techniques is likely to increase with further instrument commercialization in the near future.