Doctoral dissertations

Recent Submissions

  • Saarinen, Aino (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In the recent years, a decline in Finnish students’ learning outcomes has been reported in several investigations, such as in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Further, variance in learning outcomes between students coming from different backgrounds has increased in Finland. This dissertation investigated (i) whether self-directed learning practices, use of digital learning materials at school, and participation in early education and care (ECEC) are associated with students’ learning outcomes at 15 years of age and (ii) whether these associations are modified by students’ background factors. The participants (N=5660, 5037, and 4634 in Studies I‒III) came from the Finnish PISA 2012 and 2015 datasets that constitute a representative sample of the Finnish 15-year-old students. Learning outcomes in reading, mathematical, and scientific literacy and collaborative problemsolving were evaluated with a comprehensive set of standardized tests. The frequency of learning practices (student-oriented, inquiry-based, and teacher-directed practices, and use of digital learning materials at school) were evaluated with questionnaires fulfilled by students. Participation in ECEC was evaluated with age at entry into ECEC. Background factors under investigation included gender, repetition of a grade, truancy behavior at school, family wealth, maternal education, single-parent family, and immigrant status. The data were analyzed with structural equation models that were controlled for age, gender, and parents’ socioeconomic status (the index of economic, social, cultural status). Frequent use of self-directed teaching practices or digital learning materials at school were associated with students’ weaker learning outcomes in several knowledge domains. Instead, frequenct teacher-directed practices were related to students’ higher learning outcomes. Moreover, frequent use of self-directed teaching practices or digital learning materials had more negative impact on students’ learning outcomes in students with (vs. without) risky background. Additionally, participation in ECEC before preschool was not associated with learning outcomes at 15 years of age. This association was not significantly moderated by parental socioeconomic status (as measured with the index of ESCS). At a trend level, the impact of participation in ECEC before preschool was slightly more positive for offspring of parents with high (vs. low) socioeconomic status. In conclusion, some pedagogical practices within the school system, such as frequent use of self-directed learning practices or digital learning material, were found to increase variance in learning outcomes between students coming from different backgrounds in Finland. No evidence was found that participation in ECEC would be related to learning outcomes at 15 years of age or would increase equality between students coming from different family backgrounds.
  • Arsenovich, Tatyana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerator at CERN will be updated into High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) between 2025-2027, and as a result, all of the LHC experiments have to be upgraded to meet the goals set for high-quality physics data taking. Also the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Tracker will undergo several planned upgrades aimed to improve the characteristics of its detectors without negative impact on physics potential. In the HL-LHC, the level of radiation will increase significantly, thus, the radiation hardness of the detectors should be improved while at the same time also improving their capability of handling the higher amounts of data. The candidate materials and technologies for the development of the detectors need to be reviewed taking the requirements of the HL-LHC data taking into account. The quality assurance of these detectors is of utmost importance to identify possible failures as soon as possible in the design phase and later during the production of the devices. The quality assurance methods should be verified to be able to reliably provide the needed characterisation parameters. In this thesis, the processing of the samples and their characterisation are described from the reliability point of view. Descriptions of processing steps, theoretical models and measurements methods are accompanied by the discussion of possible failures and suggestions how to prevent them. Special attention is put on the impact of the so-called human factor and the importance of knowledge transfer. The purpose of this work is to study the long-term stability of silicon detectors with Al2O3 thin films grown with the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) method and implemented as an insulation and surface passivation layer. The test samples for these studies were processed during 2011-2015 in the cleanroom facilities of the Micronova centre for Micro and Nanotechnology by Dr. E. Tuovinen. Electrical characterisation and characteristic measurements with source were performed in 2014-2018 in the Detector laboratory and cleanroom facilities of Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP). In addition, Highly Accelerated Temperature and Humidity Stress Tests (HAST) like those performed in the HIP Detector laboratory facilities is suggested as a new approach for studies of the long-term stability of the detectors. Electrical characterisation demonstrated good long-term stability of capacitance, depletion voltage and leakage current characteristics of the test samples with Al2O3 insulation and surface passivation layer. The result of the characterisation demonstrates that samples with surface passivation are able to withstand higher bias voltage than samples without such passivation. Characteristic measurements with a Cs-137 source confirmed that the surface passivation with Al2O3 does not affect the general detector performance. Characterisation of single pixel sensors coated with the Al2O3 after the flip-chip bonding demonstrated that the additional ALD run is not harmful for the structure of the detector and does not affect its behaviour. Thus, ALD-deposited alumina coating can be recommended as a material for additional protection of silicon detector structures.
  • Vennerström, Pia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) was isolated for the first time in Finland in 2000 from a Finnish brackish water fish farm farming rainbow trout in net pens in the Province of Åland, Baltic Sea. The efforts to eradicate the disease from the Åland islands were not successful. Epidemical factors, needed for VHS management in viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) positive brackish water fish farms, were studied in a 3-year project, the results of which are presented in this thesis. The study compared the ability of four different surveillance procedures and three diagnostic tests to reveal whether a fish population was infected with VHSV. The programme that was conducted as syndromic surveillance, where the farmers sent in samples for diagnostics if any signs of possible fish disease were noticed, clearly outperformed the other three programmes, which were based on active surveillance. A real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction method proved to be at least as sensitive in detecting acute VHSV infections as virus isolation in cell culture, which is considered the gold-standard method for diagnosing VHSV. An ELISA method was used to test fish serums for antibodies against VHSV and was found to be a promising tool in VHSV eradication, particularly for screening populations during the follow-up period, before declaring an area free of infection. During the epidemics it was a common suspicion wild fish being the most likely source of the reinfections of VHSV in infected fish farms in the restriction area. Wild fish of 17 different species from VHS-positive fish farms were screened for VHSV during 2005-2008. In addition, uninfected wild perch, roach and farmed whitefish were introduced to a fish farm with rainbow trout experiencing a clinical outbreak of VHS. The wild fish did not test positive on any occasion, but whitefish were infected and started to replicate VHSV for a short time. The replication of the virus in whitefish was verified using a new qRT-PCR method that tests separately for positive- and negative-sense viral sequences in infected organ samples. The presence of VHSV in the environment on fish farms or processing plants farming or handling VHSV-positive fish was studied by testing samples for VHSV from wild blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) living in infected fish farms. Sea water and sediment from infected fish farms were also tested for VHSV. Wild uninfected blue mussels were also challenged with VHSV in two different challenge tests. Wastewater from a processing plant was tested before and after disinfection treatment. Blue mussels were not found to be carriers of VHSV on any occasion. Sea water tested positive for VHSV RNA more often during the wintertime when water temperature was close to 0°C and sunlight (UV light) sparse. Most wastewater samples collected before the disinfection treatment were positive for VHSV, but samples collected after disinfection were all negative regarding VHSV RNA. Contacts between the processing plants and the fish farms in the restriction area of VHS were very common during this study. Processing plants are usually the place where fish food and farming equipment are stored, including boats that are used for the daily servicing of the farming localities. According to the results of this study, this contact was considered a major risk for disease spread, especially during the cold part of the year when daylight is also short. Altogether, this thesis compiles the results of a series of studies targeting factors that could affect the infection pressure of VHSV.
  • Hiippala, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The present doctoral thesis examines the epithelial host-microbe interactions of different Gram-negative commensal bacteria in the human gastrointestinal microbiota, which consists of bacteria, viruses and eukaryotic organisms. Under steady-state conditions, commensal gut bacteria are harmless symbionts co-existing with the host as part of the normal, balanced microbiota and supporting intestinal homeostasis. On the contrary, dysbiotic microbiota with reduced species richness and altered composition is associated with many intestinal and systemic diseases. Constant communication between the microbiota and the host is enabled either by direct contact or secreted effector molecules. During the last decades, the beneficial effects of commensal bacteria on intestinal mucosa, as well as the related molecular mechanisms, have been increasingly investigated. Currently, the research focus is shifting from traditional probiotics to so-called “next-generation probiotics” and their potentially health-promoting molecules, “post-biotics”. In addition to the traditional treatment strategies for intestinal diseases, novel bacteriotherapy alternatives could be utilized to increase the presence or activity of commensal species with immunoregulatory capacity and the ability to enhance the barrier function. First, the colonic mucosal microbiota of pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC) patients was compared to non-inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) controls using colonic biopsies and pyrosequencing. Microbiota richness and diversity did not differ significantly between the UC and control subjects. Compositional microbiota changes were observed in the mucosa of UC patients with increased abundance of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, especially the family Sutterellaceae, and decreased proportion of Bacteroidetes. Furthermore, the expression of selected host genes related to the barrier function was studied in the UC subjects. Most notably, the expressions of inflammatory cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8), inflammation marker lipocalin-2 and calcium binding proteins, forming the IBD biomarker calprotectin, were elevated supporting previous findings in the literature. Next, the abundance and prevalence of Sutterella spp., belonging to the family Sutterellaceae that displayed increased abundance in the mucosa of UC patients, were studied using biopsies from IBD, celiac disease (CeD) and non-disease controls. In addition, epithelial interactions of the genus Sutterella were assessed in vitro. A decreasing gradient from the duodenum to the rectum was observed in the abundance of Sutterella spp. in non-disease adult subjects. No difference was detected in the prevalence of Sutterella between pediatric CeD or IBD patients and controls. Sutterella wadsworthensis was able to adhere to mucus, while Sutterella parvirubra had a higher adhesion capacity to enterocytes and showed competitiveness in adhesion against S. wadsworthensis. Sutterella spp. harbor a penta-acylated, less toxic lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which caused only a mild release of proinflammatory IL-8 from the HT-29 enterocyte cell line compared to hexa-acylated Escherichia coli. S. wadsworthensis and its LPS induced a higher IL-8 response in the HT-29 enterocytes compared to the other two species, indicating differences in their proinflammatory capacity. Overall, these findings implicated Sutterella spp. as a highly prevalent, benign gut commensal with mild proinflammatory mucosal interactions. A high-throughput screening method was developed to isolate anti-inflammatory strains from a healthy volunteer who had acted as a donor for fecal microbiota transplantation. In the screening, isolates capable of attenuating inflammation in vitro, i.e. decreasing E. coli LPS-induced IL-8 levels in enterocytes as compared to the LPS control, were considered as potentially anti-inflammatory, and identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and finally whole genome sequencing. The majority of the isolates eliciting anti-inflammatory activity belonged to the order Bacteroidales. In vitro epithelial interaction assays studying the Bacteroidales strains revealed no correlation between attenuation capacity and adhesion, indicating that the effect was independent of cell-cell-contact. Furthermore, the culture supernatants of attenuating isolates were also effective in decreasing the LPS induced IL-8 response in enterocytes, which supported our hypothesis concerning the presence of effector molecules. Lastly, one of the Bacteroidales strains isolated from the fecal donor was Odoribacter splanchnicus, which is known as an abundant, short-chain fatty acid producing gut commensal. Bacterial-epithelial interactions of this less studied commensal were assessed in vitro. O. splanchnicus did not adhere to enterocytes or enhance epithelial monolayer integrity, yet the bacterium and its cell-free culture supernatant displayed in vitro inflammation attenuation capacity. Furthermore, the spent medium of the O. splanchnicus strain induced a higher anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 release in relation to tumor necrosis factor alpha in peripheral blood mononuclear cells compared to O. splanchnicus cells or the E. coli control. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) were isolated from O. splanchnicus culture medium. The treatment of enterocyte monolayer with O. splanchnicus OMVs prior to LPS stimulation caused a significant decrease in IL-8 levels. The anti-inflammatory effect was more consistent with OMVs than bacterial cells. Taken together, O. splanchnicus seems to primarily exert beneficial interaction with the host. Commensal bacteria and intestinal gut epithelium are engaged in constant cross-talk mediated by direct cell-cell contact and/or secreted bacterial effector molecules. The delicate balance of mucosal microbiota enhancing the barrier function and keeping the intestinal immune cells alerted at an appropriate level is susceptible to disturbances potentially leading to dysbiosis. In this context, the identification of gut homeostasis promoting bacteria and their metabolites, as undertaken in this study, is a vital part of novel, personalized bacteriotherapy using a defined bacterial cocktail to assist in restoring intestinal equilibrium.
  • Tikkanen-Dolenc, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Background: Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition with risk of severe long-term complications (cardiovascular disease, diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy) that increase the risk of premature mortality, reduce quality of life and cause a huge economic burden to society. The main cause of death and inability in individuals with type 1 diabetes are cardiovascular events, and it has been shown that diabetic nephropathy is the main driver of the increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in developed countries. Physical activity has been shown to improve the risk profile of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Consequently, previous cross-sectional data show that lower physical activity is associated with a higher degree of diabetic complications, but the causal relationship is unclear. Aim: The aim of this thesis is to assess how the total amount of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and its components of intensity, frequency and duration are associated with the development of diabetic nephropathy, cardiovascular outcomes, diabetic retinopathy and mortality in type 1 diabetes. Subjects and methods: The study subjects of this thesis are participants in the ongoing nationwide, multi-centre Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy (FinnDiane) Study. Currently, more than 5000 individuals with type 1 diabetes have been recruited and thoroughly characterized from all over Finland. LTPA was assessed at baseline by a validated self-report questionnaire. The study design is prospective and observational. Results: The intensity of LTPA was associated with the initiation and progression of diabetic nephropathy. Of the other LTPA components, frequency was also associated with the progression of diabetic nephropathy. A larger amount of total LTPA and its components were associated with lower risk of CVD events during follow-up. Only the association between LTPA frequency and incident CVD remained significant after adjustment for potential confounders. LTPA and all its components were associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality after adjusting for several confounders. However, only the LTPA intensity was associated with cardiovascular death after adjusting for covariates. Also, total LTPA and frequency of LTPA were independently associated with lower risk of mortality in individuals with type 1 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. In addition, frequent LTPA was associated with lower risk of severe diabetic retinopathy. Conclusions: Physical activity was associated with reduced risk of diabetic complications and mortality in individuals with type 1 diabetes. In addition, physical activity also seems to benefit those with diabetic complications – notably, diabetic nephropathy – and appears to be safe.
  • Peltonen, Reetta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Background and aims Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide. In Finland, 3,538 new cases were diagnosed in 2018. While the incidence of CRC is generally increasing, the mortality rates have been decreasing in many countries due to reduced risk factors, screening, and advances in pathological diagnostics, surgical techniques, and oncological treatments. Approximately half of all CRC patients develop metastatic disease, and up to 75% of the metastases are diagnosed in the liver. Contrary to many other cancers, even metastatic CRC may be treated curatively, if the metastases are limited and can be surgically removed. Currently, approximately 20–30% of the liver metastases can be resected, but over 50% of the patients develop recurrent disease afterwards. Estimating the prognosis after liver resection is of utmost importance, as identifying the patients with a high risk of recurrence enables adjusting the surgical and oncological treatments accordingly, and thus, improving postoperative survival. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the prognostic significance of 12 biomarkers measured in serum, plasma, and tissue samples of both the primary colorectal tumors and the liver metastases in patients undergoing curative-intent liver resection for colorectal metastases. Materials and methods Altogether 442 patients who underwent liver resection for colorectal metastases at the Helsinki University Hospital between the years 1998 and 2013 were included in this thesis. The four studies are based on the serum samples from all patients (I–III), the plasma samples from a subset of 168 patients (I), and the tumor tissue specimens from a subset of 111 patients who had both primary colorectal tumors and liver metastases operated on at the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (III and IV). Serum and plasma samples were drawn before liver resection and approximately 3 months afterwards. Tissue specimens included samples of both the primary colorectal tumors and the liver metastases. The concentrations of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were retrieved from clinical records (I and II). Those of human chorionic gonadotropin β (hCGβ) in plasma, tumor-associated trypsin inhibitor (TATI) in plasma, and matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) in serum were measured by time-resolved immunofluorometric assay (IFMA) methods (I and III). YKL-40 (chitinase-3-like protein-1, CHI3L1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) were determined in the serum samples using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits (II and III). The expressions of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-8, MMP-9, and transketolase-like protein 1 (TKTL1) were analyzed in the immunohistochemically stained tumor tissue samples. Clinical data were retrieved from patient records, and information about the dates of death was obtained from the Central Statistical Office of Finland. Survival analyses were performed using the Kaplan-Meier method and the Cox proportional hazards model. Results Postoperatively elevated CEA (>5.0 µg/l) was found to predict shorter disease-free/relapse-free survival (DFS/RFS) and overall survival (OS). Preoperatively elevated CEA associated only with shorter OS (I and II). Pre- and postoperatively elevated CA19-9 (>26 or >37 kU/l) indicated shorter DFS/RFS and OS, but the additional value compared to CEA was limited (I and II). Preoperatively elevated TATI (>13 µg/l) associated with poor 3-year DFS after liver resection in the whole patient cohort, and especially in patients with synchronous liver metastases. Postoperatively elevated hCGβ (>1.0 pmol/l) associated with poor 3-year OS in the whole cohort, and it was a sign of impaired prognosis especially among male patients and those with primary rectal tumors (I). A biomarker panel comprising YKL-40, IL-6, CRP, CEA, and CA19-9 was found prognostic, as patients with 2–5 elevated biomarkers pre- or postoperatively were at an increased risk of recurrence and death after liver resection (II). High expression of MMP-9 in primary colorectal tumors and high preoperative MPO in serum indicated improved prognosis after liver resection. Additionally, the prognostic significance of these biomarkers, as well as that of MMP-2 and MMP-8, were found to depend on the clinical characteristics of the patients (III). High TKTL1 expression in the primary colorectal tumors associated with impaired prognosis after liver resection in patients with synchronous liver metastases, but with improved prognosis in those with metachronous metastases. Similar tendencies were observed concerning the expression in the liver metastases (IV). Conclusions In conclusion, CEA is a useful prognostic biomarker for most patients undergoing liver resection for colorectal metastases. However, about half of the patients do not have elevated serum levels of CEA despite of metastatic disease, and those patients may benefit from measuring other biomarkers. A biomarker panel comprising YKL-40, IL-6, CRP, CEA, and CA19-9 could be used to identify patients at a high risk of recurrence after liver resection already before the operation. MMP-9 and TKTL1 in primary colorectal tumors may serve for assessing whether the patients benefit from liver resection or need more aggressive chemotherapy, but the synchronicity of the liver metastases should be taken into consideration. Elevated preoperative serum levels of MPO indicate improved prognosis, and low levels imply a high risk of recurrence. The prognostic value of MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO varies according to clinical factors, possibly due to immunological or hormonal mechanisms. The investigated biomarkers provide new information about CRC with liver metastases and increase our understanding of the disease. They help us define the prognosis after liver resection and adjust the individual patients’ treatment accordingly. Thus, they contribute to enabling the best possible care.
  • Rai, Neha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Solar UV-B radiation (290–315 nm), UV-A radiation (315–400 nm), and blue light (400–500 nm) regulate multiple aspects of plant growth and development, and these are mediated by different photoreceptors. In plants, UVR8 is described as a UV-B photoreceptor, while cryptochromes (CRYs) are described as UV-A/blue photoreceptors, based on their absorption maxima and action spectra. However, these photoreceptors are also sensitive to other wavelengths outside the wavelengths of maximum absorption. Based on this property, their roles could differ in full-spectrum sunlight than those reported from experiments performed in controlled environments. In sunlight, both UV-B and UV-A/blue photoreceptors are simultaneously activated, and there is a possibility that their signaling pathways interact. However, an interaction between UVR8 and CRYs regulating transcriptome-wide responses remained unexplored. Furthermore, persistent high solar irradiance is often followed by drought in the field, and studies have indicated that UV and drought interact to regulate plant physiological responses. However, an interaction for metabolic and transcript abundance responses has not been well-described. These gaps in knowledge are addressed in my thesis through three main aims: (1) to identify the individual roles of UVR8 and CRYs in the perception of solar UV-B, short-wave UV-A (315–350 nm, UV-Asw), long-wave UV-A (350–400 nm, UV-Alw) radiation, and blue light by plants, (2) to test the interaction between UVR8 and CRYs under solar UV radiation, and (3) to determine if pre-exposure to solar UV radiation could provide acclimation to subsequent drought stress in plants. To achieve the first two aims, I used Arabidopsis thaliana wild type and mutants impaired in UVR8 and CRYs photoreceptors and exposed them to different ranges of wavelengths of solar or simulated solar UV radiation and blue light under optical filters. To achieve the third aim, I used two accessions of Medicago truncatula (Jemalong A17 and F83005-5). I exposed them to solar UV radiation using optical filters and subjected them to drought stress by restricting watering in a factorial experiment. The results indicated that UVR8 mediates the perception of both UV-B and UV-Asw radiation. In contrast, CRYs mediate the perception of UV-Alw radiation and blue light. A further novel finding is that UVR8 and CRYs interact antagonistically to regulate transcriptome-wide responses under UV-B and UV-Asw radiation. My thesis also provides evidence that UV-B+UV-Asw radiation and mild drought can interact positively to trigger acclimation through an increase in epidermal UV screening in the drought-intolerant accession, F83005-5, and through an increase in transcript abundance of CHALCONE SYNTHASE in the moderately drought-tolerant accession, Jemalong A17. Furthermore, all three studies showed a distinct response to solar or simulated solar UV-B+UV-Asw and UV-Alw radiation, suggesting a need to split UV-A into short and long wavelengths for future studies on UV-A radiation.
  • Liu, Haiqin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    During the past decade, the demographic changes brought about by international mobility have diversified education in Finland. One type of diversification is the increasing number of teachers of immigrant background. However, how immigrant teachers experience the Finnish educational system has not yet been amongst the topics of full-scale academic research (Nishimura-Sahi, Wallin & Eskola, 2017). There is an emerging need to address this research gap by giving voice to immigrant teachers who are rarely heard. This doctoral thesis sets out to investigate the experiences and perceptions of immigrant teachers working in Finland, taking Chinese immigrant teachers of the Chinese language as a case study. The findings of this PhD study are presented in the form of three academic publications and an extended summary. The first article looks into the social discourses on Finnish education in general and Chinese language education in particular, that could potentially influence immigrant Chinese teachers’ presumptions and expectations about being a Chinese language teacher in Finland. The first article forms the background of the doctoral study. The second article and the third article examine the intercultural experiences and the perceptions of Chinese immigrant teachers in Finland. The second article reveals the multiple facets of immigrant teachers’ experiences which are connected to how the teachers perceive their positions in Finland. The third article examines the teachers’ cross-national comparisons on Chinese language education, which also reveal how the teachers perceive their positions in comparison with colleagues working in another context. The findings in all of the three publications suggest a strong link between experiences, perceptions and intercultural imaginations, as well as constructed discourses. The findings of this doctoral study lead to both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, a new model for understanding the experiences of immigrant teachers was developed. This model takes into account the multiple facets of immigrant teachers’ experiences, the power relations in the context under review and their influence on intercultural imagination and discourses. Practically, the findings suggested that 1) stakeholders should listen to the needs and concerns of immigrant teachers and provide equal treatment to all kinds of teachers; 2) regular continued professional development training plays a very important role in helping teachers to update their subject knowledge and teaching skills, but also in providing opportunities for all types of teachers to learn together; 3) intercultural teacher education and training should also help the teachers to become aware of the ongoing discourses, and reflect critically on their own cultural assumptions.
  • Maaperä, Ilona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    CONSENT, ENGAGEMENT AND THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY The Educational Activities of The Settlement Movement in Helsinki 1920–1939 This doctoral dissertation focuses on the educational activities of the Finnish Settlement Movement in Kalliola Settlement in Helsinki between 1920 and 1939. Kalliola Civic Institute, a part of the settlement, concentrated in educating the working class living in Helsinki. The theoretical base of this thesis relies on the concepts of consent and engagement. I study how consent was created and maintained. I study the work of Kalliola Settlement and especially the work of its civic institute and the clubs for children and youngsters. I look at the whole process of governing, with a special interest in the role of Christian faith in the work and as the motivator of the work. This study is based on data preserved in Helsinki City Archives: action reports, registration forms, minutes of meetings, diaries, instructions and financial details. In the settlement the governing was constructed by personal interaction and the sense of community. In building up this community and its governing system the settlement used many methods: indoctrination for the younger ones, softer influencing for the adults. The settlement had a large number of regular meetings, which helped to control all the activities of the settlement. The sense of community was enhanced in many ways. An individual could spend almost all his or her leisure time in the settlement. An important feature was the students’ union, which arranged regular parties and meetings. There were a lot of religious activities to attend. The participants had a total freedom of choice. One did not have to be a member of the organization – as a result it was probably easier for a worker to try for example religious activities as there was no coercion of doing that. The activities of the settlement movement differed from other organizations doing the same. The work of the settlement comprised all ages of man, from children to adults. There were Sunday schools and clubs for children, educational courses for adults, an organization inside the settlement doing social work and a wide variety of options for spending one´s leisure time. All these were important for the totality of the settlement. The civic institute offered education, but it was also an important passage to the other functions of the settlement. Other similar institutes called workers' institutes emphasized a scientific base for their teaching. The settlement wanted to offer an option which took into account even the spiritual, religious needs of its students. The founders of the settlement had a religious conviction for their work. The work of the settlement was supported by society. The most important financiers were industrial companies, who willingly supported work whose aim was to ensure the peaceful development of society in the difficult situation after the civil war. The church financed the settlement, because it was interested in maintaining its role in the lives of the workers. The civic institute also had a role for the financing, it got state aid. The governing system worked well in the beginning. Gradually the workers disappeared and were substituted by middle class women doing office work. In this process the hold of the settlement started to loosen, the students were no longer willing to comply with the system and spend their whole leisure time in the settlement.
  • Koskelainen, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
  • Miettinen, Ilkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Treatment-resistant bacterial infections pose a major challenge to healthcare. In order to establish a chronic infection, bacteria must tolerate antimicrobial treatment and evade clearance by host immune system. The ability of bacteria to form biofilms, which are sessile communities of adherent microbes encapsulated in self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances, contributes crucially to both of these traits. Biofilm bacteria produce numerous virulence factors that facilitate their adherence, invasion into host tissue, and evasion of the host immune system. Variable microenvironments within the biofilm give rise to metabolically sedentary subpopulations of bacteria, known as persisters, which can transiently tolerate antimicrobial chemotherapy. The biofilm matrix provides additional mechanical barrier against a selection of therapeutics. This thesis presents the optimization and validation of a Staphylococcus aureus model for persistence. Bacteria were monitored past the stationary phase transition to detect metabolic switching and a culture with halted energy metabolism and replication was confirmed to withstand extreme levofloxacin concentrations in a manner that was reversible by resurrecting growth. This model culture was used to study the effect of the metabolic status of the inoculum on biofilm characteristics. A label-free proteomics-based analysis of surface-associated proteins was carried out, and persister model-derived biofilms were shown to display boosted tolerance traits, such as oxidative stress defense and immune evasion, when compared to biofilms created from metabolically active cultures. This was reflected to increased survival in macrophage-like cells. A mixed biofilm model based on S. aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, common co-habitants in chronic wounds and cystic fibrosis lung infections, was also established to study the effect of interspecies interaction on biofilm virulence and tolerance. A label-free proteomics approach was applied to concurrently compare surface-associated and extracellular protein profiles between mono- and co-cultured biofilms. This study provided proteomics-level insight that simultaneously covered multiple facets of virulence and tolerance in mixed-species biofilms. Several of the key findings here were found to be aligned with previously published functional studies. The proteomics studies also involved the compilation and improved annotation of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa theoretical proteomes, which are now fully accessible for future studies involving these or related bacterial strains. Altogether, this work demonstrates the applicability of label-free proteomics approaches in two different, clinically relevant settings involving bacterial biofilms. It also proposes models, methods, and proteomic workflows for the study of bacterial virulence and tolerance.  
  • Saarinen, Tuure (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Obesity is a vastly growing global health concern. In 2014, 39% of the adult population in the world was overweight or obese. Bariatric surgery is the most efficient means of obesity management. The most commonly performed operations in the world are Sleeve gastrectomy (SG), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and one anastomosis gastric bypass (OAGB). Excellent weigh-loss results and remission of comorbidities have been reported for all bariatric techniques. Distinct adverse effects are, however, typical to each technique. SG has been shown to cause gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). OAGB has been suspected to cause a potentially cancerogenic form of GERD (bile reflux). Objective evidence of increased bile reflux after OAGB is, however, lacking. A scintigraphic method for detecting postoperative bile reflux after OAGB has not been applied in previous studies. A gastric bypass operation entails a risk of leaving a significant lesion in the excluded portion of the stomach or duodenum. Pre- and postoperative endoscopies are reliable methods for investigating the upper gastrointestinal tract for significant lesions and for detecting signs of GERD. There is no clear consensus on whether a preoperative esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (EGDS) should be done routinely prior to bariatric surgery and how frequently significant findings are detected This thesis aims at finding out how often significant findings are detected in preoperative EGDS and evaluating whether preoperative EGDS should be routinely done for all patients prior to bariatric surgery. This thesis also aims at finding out whether a scintigraphic method is feasible for detecting bile reflux and to what extent bile reflux is found after OAGB. In Study I, 13 consecutive OAGB patients were invited to undergo a bile reflux scintigraphy and postoperative upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (UGE) at mean 10.7 months after OAGB. In Study II, findings of all (n=1275) preoperative EGDSs prior to all bariatric operations during a 9.5-year period are reported. All reoperations after SG for the same period are studied in the same cohort. Study III is a part of an open-label randomised controlled clinical trial comparing RYGB and OAGB (RYSA trial). In Study III, 40 patients underwent preoperative EGDS prior to OAGB. A bile reflux scintigraphy and a postoperative UGE were studied six months after OAGB. In Study II, significant finding regarding SG was detected in 23.0% of patients and in 1.6% regarding gastric bypass in a preoperative EGDS. Reflux symptoms were reported for 49.0% of patients with a significant EGDS finding. During the follow-up of Study II, 26 SG patients required a reoperation, half of them due to GERD. Scintigraphy verified bile reflux into the gastric pouch after OAGB was found in 55.5% and 31.6% of patients in Studies I and III, respectively. One patient also had bile reflux activity in the esophagus in Study III. Postoperative UGE after OAGB revealed lesions suggestive of GERD in 39.5% patients in study III. Significant findings in asymptomatic patients regarding SG are often encountered in preoperative EGDS, but significant findings regarding gastric bypass are quite rarely found. Based on this evidence, preoperative EGDS should be done for all patients prior to SG and for patients with a known risk for gastric pathology prior to gastric bypass. Bile reflux scintigraphy is a reliable tool for detecting bile reflux after OAGB. Roughly one-third of patients had GERD lesions in endoscopy and bile reflux in scintigraphy after OAGB.
  • Sallinen, Hanne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is caused by a rupture of a brain artery leading to blood penetration into brain parenchyma. The incidence of ICH is 10-22 per 100 000 persons per year worldwide. The prognosis is poor, with approximately 40% of the patients dying within one month, and a large number of the survivors remaining with major disabilities. There is no proven effective medical or surgical treatment option, treatment being mainly supportive in nature, with management in dedicated stroke units reducing mortality and morbidity. Major risk factors for ICH include hypertension and older age. Hypertension is a well-known risk factor for ICH, shown in several case-control studies. On many of the other potential risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, and alcohol intake, the results have been conflicting. In addition to the chronic risk factors above, certain preceding triggering events may temporally predispose individuals to ICH. However, data on such triggers in ICH are virtually lacking. Factors that take part in hemostasis and coagulation affect the prognosis of ICH patients. Calcium plays an important role in coagulation, and hypocalcemia has been associated with larger ICH volumes, severity of symptoms, ICH expansion, whereas elevated calcium levels with better outcomes, regardless of similar ICH volumes between hypo-, normo- and hypercalcemic patients. However, there are some contradictions in the results between different studies. Older age, longer hospital stay, poorer motor function at discharge, severity of the neurological deficits, use of antithrombotic medication, larger and deep ICH, and intraventricular extension of ICH have all been reported to associate with worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after ICH. These parameters are mainly associated with the severity of the index ICH, and little is known about the effect of other components of quality of life, such as mood and anxiety. We aimed to assess factors in our population-based cohort of ICH patients that have been less studied, and gained less attention in earlier studies, taking into consideration novel factors such as feelings of depression and fatigue prior to the index ICH. We wanted to assess whether triggering factors predisposing to the event exist in ICH. We also studied the effect of hypocalcemia on ICH volume and mortality. In addition to traditional prognostic measures, we attempted to assess quality of life and depression after ICH. We further determined how occipital location, the rarest single-lobe location, affects the outcome of the patients. The prospective part of the study included patients admitted to the Helsinki University Hospital between May 2014 and December 2016. An informed written consent was needed to participate (patient/proxy). Hemorrhages related to tumor, trauma, ischemic stroke, vascular malformations, and other structural abnormalities were excluded. The patients were interviewed during hospital stay, and given structured questionnaires. HRQoL at 3 months after ICH was measured using the European Quality of Life Scale (EQ-5D-5L), and the 15D scale. The recovery was evaluated by a combination of revisiting the electronic medical records and a telephone call. Controls were matched by age and sex, and randomly selected from the participants of the FINRISK study, a large Finnish population survey on risk factors of chronic non-communicable diseases. Ages were matched in 5-year age bands. However, as the oldest FINRISK participants were 74-year-olds, controls for the age group 75-84 were selected from the age group of 70-74 years, and patients aged 85 years were excluded. The retrospective part included a registry of 1013 consecutive ICH patients admitted to the Helsinki University Hospital between January 2005 and March 2010, and the substudy on hypocalcemia included 447 of the patients that had computed tomography (CT) of the brain and serum/plasma ionized calcium taken within 72 hours of symptom onset and within 12 hours of each other. A total of 277 primary ICH patients were recruited to the prospective part of the study, of which 250 could be included in the risk factor analysis, 97 were able to provide consistent answers on the trigger questions, and 124 returned the quality of life questionnaire. In the case-control study, the cases had more often hypertension, history of heart attack, lipid-lowering medication, and reported more frequently fatigue prior to ICH. In persons aged <70 years, hypertension and fatigue were more common among cases. In persons aged >70 years, the factors associating with the risk of ICH were premorbid fatigue, use of lipid-lowering medication, and overweight. None of the studied possible triggers alone was more frequent during the hazard period compared to the control period. However, when all physical triggers were combined, there was an association with the triggering event and onset of ICH (risk ratio 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.73). Predictors for lower HRQoL by both EQ-5D-5L and 15D scales were higher NIHSS, older age, and chronic heart failure. Feeling sad/depressed for more than 2 weeks during the year prior to ICH was a predictor for lower EQ-5D-5L, and history of ICH for lower 15D utility indexes. Prior feelings of sadness/depression were associated with depression/anxiety at 3 months after ICH. In our study, we found that ICH patients had more often fatigue prior to their ICH than the controls of similar sex and age. Hypertension was associated with risk of ICH, as expected. Of the triggering factors present immediately prior to the onset of ICH, physical triggers as a group were associated with the onset time. Hypocalcemic ICH patients had larger ICH volumes than normocalcemic patients. Their higher mortality rate is likely mediated through larger ICH volumes. HRQoL after ICH was associated with the severity of the stroke, comorbidities, and age. However, in our study, feelings of depression before ICH had stronger influence on reporting depression/anxiety after ICH than stroke severity-related and outcome parameters. Few were diagnosed with depression, or had antidepressant medication. This information could be used to identify patients at risk for post-ICH depression. Compared to other ICH patients, occipital ICH patients were younger, had milder neurological deficits, smaller ICH volumes, more often structural etiology, and better outcomes. The risk for epilepsy was similar with other ICH patients. Our studies brought novel insights in lesser studied aspects of ICH.
  • Annala, Eemeli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The first theoretical attempts to study neutron stars — the immensely dense remnants of massive stars — were conducted in the 1930s, but it took nearly 40 years for the first one to be detected. Ever since, these fascinating objects have been the subject of significant interest; both nuclear and particle physicists and astronomers have tried to understand their micro- and macro-scale properties. Regardless, the composition of neutron-star cores has, to large extent, remained unknown. This is somewhat surprising because the underlying microscopic theory — quantum chromodynamics — has been available for several decades. Because it is impossible to describe the structure of neutron stars using current ab initio techniques, other kinds of approaches need to be exploited. In this thesis, state-of-the-art nuclear and particle theory calculations were utilized to restrict the dense-matter equation of state at low and high densities, respectively. Between these two limits, there exists a region, where the equation of state needs to be approximated by employing various interpolation tools. Our analysis has revealed that both the mass-radius curve of neutron stars and the underlying equation of state can be efficiently constrained by making use of the latest astronomical observations — such as the tidal-deformability measurement from the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We have also shown that there exists convincing evidence that the most massive neutron stars have deconfined quark matter in their cores assuming that the equation of state is not very extreme. In addition, we have taken some first steps towards the realistic implementation of the gauge/gravity duality in neutron-star physics. This method allows one to investigate strongly coupled quantum systems using simpler gravity-based setups. This approach has already led to several promising results in many fields, from condensed matter physics to the study of quark-gluon plasma. It is, therefore, a worthy candidate to become a fruitful framework to examine neutron-star physics, complementing the current nuclear and particle theory methods. It is expected that the improvement of theoretical calculations together with new, more precise observations will likely resolve the equation of state within a decade or two. Moreover, this progress will eventually disclose, whether quark matter resides inside the heaviest neutron stars in existence. The development of holographic tools may also open up new and powerful ways to study matter at its most extreme densities.
  • Choque-Velasquez, Joham (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Immediate and long-term outcomes after treating patients with pineal region cysts and tumors are not well established. The centralized Finnish health care and the Finnish population register offer excellent registry systems for long-term retrospective studies. This thesis aimed to investigate the long-term outcomes of surgically treated pineal region cysts and tumors based on three elements developed in Helsinki University Hospital along the study period: a. the complete microsurgical resection; b. the praying sitting position, and c. the paramedian supracerebellar infratentorial approach. Pineal region neoplasms are well-recognized entities. However, quantitative parameters to differentiate normal anatomical variations from pathological benign pineal cysts are currently inexistent. Thus, we studied the correlation between the pineal cyst size and the clinical severity of the patients. This thesis presents one of the most comprehensive long-term studies of surgically treated pineal region cysts and tumors. The long-term survival, clinical, and radiological outcomes present here were superior to those reported in the literature. Each publication includes a subgroup of the 147 consecutive surgically treated patients with pineal region lesions operated in the Department of Neurosurgery of Helsinki University Hospital between 1997 and 2015. We found a direct correlation between the pineal cyst diameters and the severity of the disease. Thus, a surgically treated pineal cyst appeared a clinically progressive disease with average cyst diameters running between 15mm and 25mm and hydrocephalus at the last stage. The short- and long-term postoperative functional status of the pineal cyst patients improved after surgery in all except one patient. 97% of the pineal cyst patients achieved complete cyst removal without noticed recurrence nor mortality at 149 ± 62 months. The disease mortality of the patients with surgically treated pineal region tumors reached 18% at 125 ± 105 months of follow-up. Overall, patients with complete tumor removal had superior disease survival and tumor-free imaging outcomes compared to those with incomplete resected neoplasms. However, the extent of resection did not appear to influence the survival rates of diffuse glioma patients. Venous air embolism was present in 35% of patients undergoing praying sitting position for pineal region surgery. Severe venous air embolism was absent in the studied series. Among all pre- and intraoperative variables, the only venous injury was associated with venous air embolism. Thus, following proper anesthetic and surgical considerations, the sitting praying position in pineal region surgery does not harbor high risks for severe venous air embolism. Lately, the developed paramedian approach resulted in more functional and safer modification of the conventional midline supracerebellar approach. The effectiveness of the two approaches remained similar in terms of clinical, radiological, and survival outcomes.
  • Bahrt, Nicklas N. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation is a typological study of the cross-linguistic diversity in the syncretism between two or more of the following seven voices: passives, antipassives, reflexives, reciprocals, anticausatives, causatives, and applicatives. The study is primarily based on a survey of 222 genealogically and geographically diverse languages, but also addresses data from dozens more. The main goal of the dissertation is to systematically describe variation in voice syncretism across the world’s languages from a range of different perspectives both synchronically and diachronically, including formal marking, combinations – or patterns – of syncretism, and distribution. The findings of the dissertation show that voice syncretism is a cross-linguistically prevalent phenomenon attested in almost half of the surveyed languages. More than forty different patterns of syncretism are attested in these languages, many patterns of which have hitherto received little or no prior treatment in the literature. These patterns vary greatly in marking, complexity, frequency, and distribution, which suggests that voice syncretism is a more diverse phenomenon than hitherto acknowledged. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the said syncretism can evolve along various diachronic pathways, several of which appear to be bidirectional, indicating that the diachrony of voice syncretism is more intricate than previously assumed. The dissertation is structured in a manner that allows for information on individual patterns of voice syncretism to be conveniently accessed, and it is thus hoped that it will serve as a reference and starting point for further research on the topic.
  • Syrjä, Pernilla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis aimed at describing the pathology of a novel progressive neurologic disease in dogs of the Lagotto Romagnolo (LR) breed, at testing the hypothesis of altered autophagy in affected dogs, derived from genetic investigations, and at testing the hypothesis of a lysosomal storage disease affecting the dogs, derived from the histopathologic changes. Autophagy is a degradative cellular process, responsible for the turnover of damaged organelles and clearance of protein aggregates, that is disturbed in several neurodegenerative diseases in man. Histologically, altered autophagy commonly leads to neuronal proteinaceous inclusions as well as spheroid formation. Occasionally, neuronal vacuoles have been linked to altered autophagy. Cytoplasmic vacuolation is histologically more typical for lysosomal storage diseases, a group of inherited diseases characterized by defective lysosomal degradation, which often affect the nervous system. Compensatory rerouting of cargo during defective autophagy and lysosomal degradation may affect the content and release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from cells. Post mortem examination of 13 affected LRs confirmed a distinct histopathological phenotype, consisting of intracellular vacuole storage in neurons, axonal damage and neuronal loss. Secretory epithelial cells and selected mesenchymal cells were also affected by vacuolation. In order to link the histopathologic findings to altered autophagy, affected organs and age- as well as breed matched control tissue, were immunohistochemically stained with markers for autophagosomal, lysosomal and endosomal membranous antigens, autophagy receptors and autophagic cargo. Electron microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy with the same membranous markers were used in order to obtain more specific results regarding the subcellular morphological changes. Autophagy was functionally monitored by the LC3 I/II conversion assay and by quantifying autophagosomes with immunofluorescence in cultured fibroblasts from affected dogs in comparison to control. The screening for a lysosomal storage disease included urine analysis to detect excessive oligosaccharide or glucosaminoglycan excretion. Histochemical staining and electron microscopy were used to examine the affected tissues for lysosomally stored material. In addition, the activity of three lysosomal enzymes were measured in fibroblasts from affected dogs and controls, as well as in culture medium, in order to identify alterations in lysosomal function. The size, amount and cargo of EVs released from fibroblasts of affected dogs were compared to those released from control cells, in order to detect changes in EV release or content that could support or contradict either hypothesis. Nano-particle tracking analysis of EVs, as well as mass spectrometry and functional enrichment analysis of the EV proteomes were performed. Both autophagosomal markers and autophagic cargo accumulated within the lesions of the nervous system in affected dogs. The stored vacuoles in affected tissues represented hybrid organelles of the autophagic and endolysosomal pathways, displaying membranous markers of both pathways. Fibroblasts showed changes in basal, but not starvation-induced autophagy, as both basal LC3II levels and basal number of LC3 positive spots were significantly elevated. In addition, the basal EV release was significantly increased and the basal EV proteome enriched in substrates of basal autophagy in the cells of affected dogs in comparison to control cells. These findings suggest altered basal autophagy as a pathogenetic mechanism in this novel disease. Lysosomal storage of a specific material or a lysosomal enzyme deficiency were not detected. The genetic groups in the collaborative research where this thesis was part discovered a novel candidate gene for neurodegeneration, ATG4D. In aspects of comparative pathology, altered basal autophagy was uncovered as an additional etiology and morphological differential diagnosis for cytoplasmic vacuolation reminiscent of lysosomal storage diseases in dogs, and functionally linked to the ATG4D variant through this thesis. The importance of basal autophagy in cells was also hereby shown, as disease occurred despite starvation-induced autophagy being functional in the dogs. For veterinary medicine, the characterization of this novel inherited progressive neurodegenerative disease provides a broader scientific knowledge as basis for veterinarians regarding prognostication of affected dogs, and for LR owners regarding breeding.
  • Jerney, Jacqueline (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Phytoplankton plays a pivotal role for aquatic ecosystem functioning and global biogeochemistry. Climate change has affected phytoplankton community composition and distribution in the last decades, including a higher prevalence for harmful algal blooms in many areas. The globally distributed dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii has for example started to form dense toxic blooms in the Baltic Sea and a new bloom location was recently discovered in western Japan. To survive unfavorable conditions this species forms resting stages, which may accumulate in sediments, forming a “seed bank”. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the relevance of the seed bank for the ecology and evolution of A. ostenfeldii and to understand the implications of these findings for persistence and possible expansion under ongoing global change. A combination of field surveys in Finland and Japan, experimental work and genotyping were carried out to address these aims. The results indicate that the seed bank stores a large clonal diversity, underlining its importance for stabilizing local populations against environmental fluctuations. No population structure was detected in temporal parts of a pelagic population, showing that differentiation does not happen during one season. The life cycle of A. ostenfeldii was found to be highly versatile, allowing overwintering of asexual resting stages without a pronounced dormancy period, and sexual reproduction throughout the season. Predicted future temperature and salinity did not affect germination of A. ostenfeldii, but affected growth rates, demonstrating their selective effect on the pelagic part of the population when detached from the seed bank. In addition, the importance of resting stages for colonizing new habitats, was stressed by the close relationship found between a recently discovered bloom population in Japan and geographically distant populations of similar habitats. Low genetic diversity indicated a recent introduction, potentially due to anthropogenic dispersal of resting stages. In conclusion, the seed bank plays a pivotal role for evolution and ecology of A. ostenfeldii. It ensures survival of a genetically diverse population, and slows down evolution, by linking contemporary populations to past populations via frequent re-seeding of resting stages. Although selection is buffered by phenotypic plasticity, future temperature and salinity may affect the pelagic part of the population, in the long run. A generalist life cycle of A. ostenfeldii and the presence of a seed bank support persistence and potential future temporal and spatial expansion under global change.
  • Stenroos, Marko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    “Social orders, tensions and saviourism” represents an ethnography on the implementation of Finnish national policy on Roma. It draws upon two and half years of fieldwork working in a Roma project. The project aimed to tackle the poverty, exclusion, unemployment and low level of education among Roma. The project budget was three million euros and thus can be categorized as a large-scale attempt to improve Roma conditions in a country of approximately 10,000–12,000 Roma. All the activities during the project were bolstered by the European Union’s National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS), which was active during the years 2009–2017. The name of the study, “Social orders, tensions and saviourism,” reflects the core findings of the study. It argues that the neoliberal policy-making applied to Roma people have an ideological premise that is incongruous with their social realities. The policy does not recognize the history, culture, tastes, desires or human conditions of the people it is targeting. While the social realities of Roma are incompatible with the neoliberal ideologies, such ideologies are forcefully implemented, with a combination of Roma participation and bureaucratic power, causing tension in the arena. The study identifies and elaborates three different ontological social domains which Roma are involved with during their life courses: the traditional power system, Pentecostal networks, and state order and bureaucratic power. These domains are categorical abstractions with embedded social orders and power relations. Consequently, the study argues, Roma deal with the three different forms of social orders and power relations; to characterize Roma solely as powerless people stems from the fact that commonly only one social domain – that of the state order and bureaucratic power – is elaborated. Identifying and analysing the other ontological social domains will provide a different, more holistic picture of Roma experiences. What is happening with Roma policies in Europe, including Finland, is not a new phenomenon. Similar paths are recorded and studied in development projects around the world. The theoretical framing of the study springs from the anthropology of development and anthropology of the state. The theoretical frame brings the “Roma issue” into wider developmental discourses and demonstrates how the development projects of Roma in Europe are actually backwards and not even as sophisticated as many development practices in Asia and in Africa. The neoliberal policy-making is not Roma-specific; nevertheless, that development projects inside Europe are targeting a specific ethnic group is what makes Roma development special. The theoretical frame in this study forces analysis of the Roma issue outside the Roma bubble, making it a wider issue, not a Roma issue. Each ethnographic chapter in this study introduces elements that together construct a Roma social ontology. To answer the question what social ontology means in respect to Finnish Roma is to elaborate on education, employment and Roma economy in the realm of the state and bureaucratic powers.
  • Salonen, Milla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Behavioural traits are complex, influenced by multiple genes and environmental factors and they can also affect the health and welfare of individuals. Behaviour is equally important for companion animals, cats and dogs. Furthermore, some of their behavioural traits resemble human psychiatric diseases. Despite behaviour’s importance, its biological background is still poorly known in these animals. This thesis examines the complexity of behaviour by studying the genetic and environmental factors influencing behaviour, as well as behavioural intercorrelations simultaneously in two companion animal species: the dog and the cat. This comparative perspective may reveal insights into the background of behaviour that could also be generalized to human behaviour. Specifically, this thesis aims to study 1) breed differences of dogs and cats and heritability of behaviour in cats, 2) behaviour correlations in both species, and 3) environmental factors influencing aggression in dogs and multiple behavioural traits in cats. Behavioural and background data was collected from the dog and cat owners through online questionnaires. In both species, the frequency of fear, aggression, and abnormal repetitive behaviour was examined. Sociability and level of activity was also examined in cats and impulsivity/inattention in dogs. Large datasets of 13 715 dogs and 5726 cats were collected and analysed with different methods, including multiple logistic regression for the environmental factors of behaviour and Bayesian multivariate model for heritability analyses. The results of this thesis show that both dog and cat breeds differ in behaviour, that behaviour is heritable, that many behavioural traits are correlated, and that many environmental factors are associated with behavioural traits. Heritability estimates varied between 0.40 and 0.53 for all behavioural traits and breeds. Especially fear and aggression correlated strongly and these traits were also associated with abnormal repetitive behaviour in both species. Social environment in both early life and at the time of answering was associated with lower incidence of aggression and abnormal repetitive behaviour. The results closely paralleled in both companion animal species and showed some parallels to human psychiatry as well. This finding indicates that the biological background of behaviour is similar in dogs and cats, and likely in humans as well. The findings of this thesis had great scientific and practical impact, as, for example, regulations for separating a kitten from its mother was adapted accordingly.

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