Väitöskirjat

Recent Submissions

  • Parkkinen, Markus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Tibia plateau fractures are relatively uncommon, but they are among the most challenging intra-articular fractures to treat. These fractures can lead to early posttraumatic osteoarthritis (OA) and cause disability and constant pain. Currently, the most common treatment is open reduction and stable internal fixation (ORIF), allowing early mobilization of the knee. Tibial plateau fractures can be associated with several concomitant soft tissue injuries of the knee. Historically, the operativetreatment with internal fixation has also been related to an increased risk for serious wound complications. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current management and outcome of proximal tibia fractures. The study population consisted of various groups of patients with proximal tibia fractures treated between 2002 and 2013 at our level I trauma center. The study aimed to determine factors predicting the development of posttraumatic OA following tibial lateral or medial plateau fractures. Another focus was on the incidence of concomitant injuries after the most common lateral plateau fracture type and the need for MRI as a diagnostic tool when treating these fractures. Finally, the predictors for deep surgical site infection after plate fixation of proximal tibia fracture were examined. The results showed that relatively good functional outcome can be predicted after internal fixation of lateral and medial tibial plateau fractures. However, patients with lateral plateau fractures with residual depression of the articular surface >2 mm or valgus deformity >5° had significantly more severe (Kellgren-Lawrence grade 3–4) posttraumatic OA. The most significant predictor of posttraumatic OA after medial plateau fracture was the amount of initial depression of the articular surface measured from the preoperative computer tomography, while the quality of reduction was not found to predict OA. MRI had low sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of concomitant injuries in the lateral tibial plateau fracture setting. Also nearly all of the clinically relevant concomitant injuries could be treated through the same lateral arthrotomy at the time of ORIF without the need for additional arthroscopy. There is high morbidity associated with deep SSI in plated proximal tibial fractures. Patient’s age ≥50 years, obesity, history of alcohol abuse, and AO type C fracture are independent risk factors for infection. Performing a fasciotomy also increases the risk of deep infection and should be done with meticulous technique only when deemed necessary.
  • den Broeder, Chantal (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    ABSTRACT The first objective of this dissertation is to identify and analyze the challenges encountered by Ghanaian tomato farmers when they cultivate and sell their crop. Set within the context of low, national productivity in the tomato sector, this dissertation focuses on a case study of the village of Matsekope, located in one of the three main tomato-producing regions in Ghana. Both the cultivation and selling processes are analyzed because they are interlinked - tomatoes are cultivated in order to be sold, while markets provide the incentive for and possibly influence cultivation practices. This research utilizes value chain analysis (VCA) - input, output, geographical destination, governance and institutions - since it allows for a detailed study about the development of a commodity from the initial stages of production or cultivation to the eventual sale on the market. By utilizing VCA, this research also addresses a second objective, which is to contribute to the current debate concerning the parameters of VCA research. In other words, to see if every process and actor from input to the end-use product ought to be included in VCA, or if rather only specific segments and actors along the chain can be analyzed. While information on input, output and the geographical destination of tomatoes proved to be integral parts to this value chain, the governance and institutions portion of the analysis (utilizing the Kaplinsky and Morris model) was key to obtaining a better understanding about how and why the value chain was operating as it was, and more specifically why farmers were encountering certain challenges. These challenges were namely obtaining access to credit, farming irrigation, input supply (tractor services) and improved cultivation practices, as well as difficult price negotiations with traders, limited access to markets, and price fluctuation throughout the season. The overall picture that evolved was a complex set of relationships between actors and their respective rules or legislation. In addition, utilization of VCA in this research also demonstrated that it can be used as an analytical framework to focus on a specific segment and set of actors within a larger value chain, and that the departing point of analysis does not necessarily have to be the global firm. Keywords: value chain analysis, governance, Ghana, farmers, tomato sector
  • Gregow, Erik (Erweko, 2018)
    Observations have been and are an important part of today's meteorological developments. Surface observations are very useful as they are, providing weather information for a point location. Though they do not give much information, if any, on what happens between the stations across a larger area. With models one can create an analysis of the meteorological situation, i.e. calculate and estimate what happens between these fixed observation points. Remote-sensing data, such as radar and satellite, are being processed and the output is given over a domain as an analysed product of their measurements. For example, radar gives a plot of where the rain is located, i.e. an analysis of the current precipitation. With a series of radar images, a human (subjectively) or a computer (objectively) can process this information to estimate where the rain will move and be located within the next few minutes (even hours), i.e. a short forecast also called "nowcast". This applies to some extent also for other observations, such as satellite data (cloud propagation). But for most quantities (such as temperature, wind, etc) it is significantly harder to make such a nowcast, since these are influenced by many other factors and there is no linear development of them. Therefore, there are forecast models that solve physical and dynamic equations, so that one can estimate the future weather for the coming hours and days. A prerequisite for generating a forecast of high quality is to capture the initial weather conditions as best as possible. This is done using observations and they are introduced into the forecast model through different techniques, where the model creates its own analysis as the initial step. There remain problems since forecast models often are affected by physical disagreements, as the dynamic conditions are not in balance. This results in the model having a spin-up effect, where the meteorological quantities are not yet in balance with each other and the resulting weather conditions are not always reliable during the first hours. Hence, a lot of research is spent on how to reduce this spin-up effect and on the use of nowcast models, in order to deliver the best model results for the first few hours of the forecast period. In this dissertation, the research work has been to improve the meteorological analysis, algorithms and functionality, using the Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) model. Different kinds of observations were used and their interdependencies have been studied, in order to combine and merge information from various instruments. Primarily focus has been to improve the estimation of precipitation accumulation and meteorological quantities that affect wind energy. The LAPS developments have been used for several end-users and nowcasting applications, and experimentally as initial conditions for forecast modelling. The studies have been concentrated on Finland and nearby sea areas, with the available datasets for this domain. By combining surface-station measurements, radar and lightning information, one can improve the precipitation-amount estimations. The use of lightning data further improves the estimates and gives the advantage of having additional data outside radar coverage, which can potentially be very useful for example over sea areas. In addition, the improved LAPS analyses (cloud-related quantities) and a newly developed model (LOWICE), calculating the electricity production during wintertime (e.g. icing which reduces efficiency), have shown good results.
  • Tsuruta, Aki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is a useful Bayesian inverse modelling method to make inference of the states of interest from observations, especially in non-linear systems with a large number of states to be estimated. This thesis presents an application of EnKF in estimation of global and regional methane budgets, where methane fluxes are inferred from atmospheric methane concentration observations. The modelling system here requires a highly non-linear atmospheric transport model to convert the state space on to the observation space, and an optimization in both spatial and temporal dimensions is desired. Methane is an important greenhouse gas, strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities, whose atmospheric concentration increased more than twice since pre-industrial times. Although its source and sink processes have been studied extensively, the mechanisms behind the increase in the 21st century atmospheric methane concentrations are still not fully understood. In this thesis, contributions of anthropogenic and natural sources to the increase in the atmospheric methane concentrations are studied by estimating the global and regional methane fluxes from anthropogenic and biospheric sources for the 21st century using an EnKF based data assimilation system (CarbonTracker Europe-CH4 ; CTE-CH4). The model was evaluated using assimilated in situ atmospheric concentration observations and various non-assimilated observations, and the model sensitivity to several setups and inputs was examined to assess the consistency of the model estimates. The key findings of this thesis include: 1) large enough ensemble size, appropriate prior error covariance, and good observation coverage are important to obtain consistent and reliable estimates, 2) CTE-CH4 was able to identify the locations and sources of the emissions that possibly contribute significantly to the increase in the atmospheric concentrations after 2007 (the Tropical and extra Tropical anthropogenic emissions), 3) Europe was found to have an insignificant or negative influence on the increase in the atmospheric CH4 concentrations in the 21st century, 4) CTE-CH4 was able to produce flux estimates that are generally consistent with various observations, but 5) the estimated fluxes are still sensitive to the number of parameters, atmospheric transport and spatial distribution of the prior fluxes.
  • Aarnio-Linnanvuori, Essi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This doctoral dissertation discusses environmental education integrated into social school subjects and the challenges of teaching a cross-curricular, value-laden topic, with a data-set consisting of school textbooks and teacher interviews. The study concentrates on environmental education in school subjects of Lutheran religion, secular ethics, history, social studies, and geography. This is a qualitative study, where the main analysis methods were abductive content analysis and phenomenological analysis. The findings reveal difficulties in constructing suitable environmental subject-matter for social school subjects, originating from the wicked nature of environmental problems, especially climate change. The analyzed textbooks gave little space for environmental issues, and they included inaccurate information. Both textbook authors and social subject teachers seemed to have difficulties in recognizing the specific environmental content of their own disciplines. However, some interviewees had found such perspectives to environmental issues that draw on their discipline, and were able to use it for promoting critical thinking. Enthusiasm towards the topic and professional agency seemed to promote success in interdisciplinary education. The interviewees presented different perspectives to teaching value-laden issues. Some preferred neutrality, some aimed for plurality in educational discussion, and some preferred educational advocacy. Self-confidence and an identity as a value educator seemed to support pluralist education and educational advocacy. In addition, the findings support the view that that environmental education often concentrates too much on promoting insignificant individual behaviors. Even though the interviewees were well aware of significant environmental behaviours, they viewed their pupils’ range of action possibilities as narrow. Current school practices and traditions do not support environmental action integrated in school work. Based on the results, I suggest that collective responsibility be promoted in environmental education, and practitioners should develop easy options for youth participation. Key words: environmental education, interdisciplinarity, crosscurricular education, environmental responsibility, critical thinking, environmental citizenship
  • Cheas, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    My doctoral research creates and applies a methodology to systematically measure and compare the proportions of perspectives in world news. By perspectives, I mean news frames and the voices of people affiliated with different political, cultural, and economic institutions (i.e., institutional fields), quoted or paraphrased in the news. My method also assesses the relative positivity (tone) of frames. I focus on American and Finnish world news articles concerning South Africa and Brazil, as these Southern countries prepared to host the FIFA World Cup, thereby receiving global media attention. My primary sample consists of print and online news articles published in The New York Times and Helsingin Sanomat between 2006 and 2014. In their pursuit for more global democracy, South Africa and Brazil, along with other nations in the so-called Global South, have demanded a greater voice in the international public sphere. Building on Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory, I examine what the proportions of perspectives in American and Finnish news reveal about the power relations between Southern and Northern countries and the institutions involved. The findings of this research challenge the prevailing claims that the Global South is voiceless or marginalized in Northern news: in both American and Finnish news, Southern sources received between 70–80 percent of total quoting space, on average, to express their views. However, the Southern fields were also depicted more negatively than the Northern fields. I found that American journalists try to maintain a neutral tone: negative definitions of Southern institutions in American news mostly appear in quotes from other Southern institutions and anonymous sources. Finnish journalists express critical opinions toward Southern institutions more explicitly than American journalists. My study also revealed significant differences between the American and Finnish forms of news: While the American news manages to reveal the complexity of the South African and Brazilian situations at the article level, which Finnish news does not, the views in American news articles are not developed as fully as in the Finnish news articles. My study concludes by providing concrete suggestions as to how the American and Finnish forms of news could be combined to create world news that abounds in both depth and a larger quantity of diverse perspectives.
  • Sipilä, Reetta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the Western world. In Finland, approximately 5000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Due to advances in treatments, disease prognosis has improved markedly. Pain after breast cancer treatments is a common adverse symptom. The purpose of this prospective study was to identify factors associated with the pain experience in women treated for breast cancer, and to uncover clinically feasible factors associated with acute and persistent pain to develop an easy-to-use screening tool to identify women at the highest risk for persistent pain. The whole cohort included 1000 patients (18-75 years) recruited at the Helsinki University Hospital. Preoperatively, they filled in questionnaires about medical history, overall health, and pain symptoms, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and anger regulation. Experimental pain tests (cold 4°C and heat 48°C) were performed preoperatively. Anesthesia protocol and perioperative pain treatment were recorded. Patients documented pain on the first postoperative week (days 1-7) three times daily in the area of surgery. In the follow-ups (1 month, 6 months, 1, 2, and 3 years) patients completed again the same questionnaires about pain, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. The range of pain sensitivity between women treated for breast cancer was high. Of the women treated for breast cancer 13.5% had developed clinically significant persistent pain at the one-year follow-up. The best predictors of pain of any kind; experimental, acute clinical, or persistent pain, were found to be quite similar. Pain (other chronic pain condition, pain in the area of surgery, or intensity of acute pain), more invasive surgery (axillary clearance), and psychological distress (mainly anxiety) were found to be consistent predictors of heightened pain experience. In addition to these, pain expectation and higher need for oxycodone to achieve satisfactory pain relief after surgery were associated with higher pain intensity during the first postoperative week. Obesity was associated with persistent pain at six months and one year after surgery. The adjuvant treatments added to the risk for persistent pain at one year. Screening tools for preoperative and acute phase use to identify women at risk for persistent pain at six months and at one year after surgery were developed. The one-year prediction tool was validated in two other prospective patient cohorts. The average levels of psychological burden were quite low. However, there was a group of women whose distress remained quite stable during the first year. Anger regulation had only a modest association with pain, and was influenced by age and mood. However, anger inhibition was associated with higher depressive symptoms throughout the three-year follow-up. COMT rs4680 was associated with anger-out.
  • Clavert, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Developing the quality of teaching as a part of organisational transformations requires identifying effective ways to harness academics’ activities in pedagogically oriented and discipline-specific communities of practice. This dissertation examines how academics’ activities at the interfaces of these two communities can contribute to the processes of pedagogical development. Transformative learning theory is applied to examine the processes of peda-gogical development from two perspectives: developing as a teacher and acting as an informal pedagogical change agent. The dissertation consists of four separate but interrelated sub-studies (I–IV). The participants were 23 engineering educators that lack an institutionalised developer or leadership position. At the time of data collection, the participants had completed at least 10 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, Studies I–II) or 25 ECTS (Studies III–IV) of pedagogical development studies. The data were collected with semi-structured interviews in a Finnish technical university before and during a period of organisational transformation. The data comprised of interviews with 10 participants before the transformation in 2009 and longitudinal interviews with another 13 participants during a three-year period of organisational transformation in 2011–2013. The data were analysed by means of qualitative content analysis. The dissertation culminates in a theoretical conceptualisation and an empirical model of 1) pedagogically oriented and discipline-specific communities of practice as a network that enables transformative learning related to developing as a teacher and 2) brokering as a way of acting as an informal pedagogical change agent at the interfaces of academic communities of practice. The findings suggest that universities could harness informal change agency to create connections between academics’ transformative learning experiences in pedagogically oriented and discipline-specific communities of practice as well as the organisational objectives of developing the quality of teaching.
  • Raissadati, Alireza (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Heart transplantation is often the last resort for end-stage heart disease. Despite increasing success in this medical field, transplant recipients remain at significant risk for both early and late allograft failure. The cascade of events leading to heart transplant rejection are initiated by donor brain death, progress throughout ex vivo preservation of the organ, are exacerbated during reperfusion, and culminate in cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV). The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the efficiency of adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a vector for gene therapy of the heart transplant, elaborate on the role of vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) in heart transplant ischemia-reperfusion injury (TX-IRI) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in the inflammatory properties of allograft-infiltrating myeloid-derived cells. The long-term kinetics and safety of AAV serotypes 2, 8, and 9 were evaluated by perfusing the coronary tree of rat heart transplants with each serotype and comparing the reporter gene expression at set time-points and inflammatory response at the end-point of the study. We studied the role of VEGF-B in ischemia-reperfusion injury of cardiac allografts by transgene- and AAV-mediated overexpression of VEGF-B in rat cardiac allografts. The significance of HIF as an immunoregulatory switch in myeloid-derived cells was determined by using transgenic mice with myeloid cell-targeted activation or knock-out (KO) of HIF-1α and -2α as heart transplant recipients. We found that AAV2 was most effective in transducing heart transplants after intracoronary injection, whereas AAV9 was most effective when injected systemically into the transplant donor. Adeno-associated virus serotype 9 caused a mild inflammatory response in cardiac allografts, whereas AAV2 and 8 did not. Chronic, but not short-term, VEGF-B overexpression in rat cardiac transplants resulted in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and higher energy demands, with subsequent higher susceptibility towards TX-IRI. HIF-1α and -2α activation in recipient myeloid cells established an immunoregulatory phenotype that significantly suppressed both TX-IRI and acute rejection and prolonged allograft survival. Our results highlight the importance of the route of administration on heart transplant AAV gene therapy and suggest AAV2 as the preferred vector for intracoronary perfusion and AAV9 for systemic delivery in experimental rat heart transplant models. Vascular endothelial growth factor B may regulate heart energy demand and thus might play an important role in transplant ischemic tolerance. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and -2α act as important switches for the immunoregulatory phenotype of myeloid cells, and may offer a viable therapeutic target to alleviate allograft rejection.
  • Ritella, Giuseppe (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The present dissertation project investigated the organization of space-time in collaborative learning processes mediated by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The background of my argumentation is that we live in an historical moment in which the introduction of continu-ously evolving virtual spaces and the implementation of novel pedagogical approaches entail the transformation of the spatial and temporal relations of pedagogical activities. In order to examine these transforming space-time relations and the role that they may play in the learning process, I propose an adapted socio-cultural perspective based on the dialogical notion of chronotope. A chronotope depicts the emergent configuration of space-time relations during an intentional, collaborative learning activity. In sum, the perspective that I adopt considers cognition and learning as distributed in the environment, and space and time as interdependent social constructions. The dissertation report aimed to account for multiple types of physical, so-cial, virtual, real and imagined spatialities and temporalities as they are per-ceived, discursively negotiated, and bodily enacted by participants in ICT-mediated learning practices. I carried out four studies that examine various aspects of space-time re-lations. In Study I, I explored how participants in collaborative learning activities locate themselves and the others across multiple physical, social and virtual spaces; in Study II I investigated how the space-time frames detected in students’ discourse on the task affect the process of task inter-pretation; Study III was aimed at analysing if and how space-time configu-rations bodily enacted by participants affect the pace and the quality of the learning process; in Study IV I examined the significance and implications of patterns of organization of space-time during the process of instrumental genesis. All the studies adopt a qualitative ethnographic methodology that involves the triangulation of participant observation, discourse analysis, and video analysis. The results of my studies suggest that examining the organization of space and time can provide crucial insights into technology-mediated col-laborative learning activities, informing both theory and practice. Under-standing how participants locate themselves and the others in space and time might help us to design learning space-times that enhance coordination and collaborative processes. Considering the discursive framing of space-time by the students can help teachers and instructional designers to ensure that divergent assumptions concerning space-time frames will not induce students to deviate from the set task. Modelling the space-time configura-tions bodily enacted by participants may provide cues for scaffolding the learning process, helping students to orchestrate space and manage time, in line with the teachers’ pedagogical aims. Finally, detecting patterns of space-time organization may inform decisions concerning where and when to provide just-in-time information, scaffolds and tools to enhance students’ learning without interrupting their experience of flow.
  • Cederbom, Charlotte (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The purpose of this dissertation is to research the guardian (Sw. malsman) and the guardianship in the Swedish realm 1350-1450, with focus on how this affected married women’s legal capacity. The purpose is reached by comparing written law with practice. The medieval Swedish word malsman is usually translated into legal guardian, which is also the modern meaning of the word. In Magnus Eriksson’s Law of the Realm from 1350 – the first law to apply to the whole realm – it was stated that a husband should be the malsman of his wife once they were married. The malsman and guardianship are therefore frequently used in research on medieval and early modern women as an explanatory model for the gender related hierarchies within marriage. According to this, the husband, as malsman, was his wife’s legal representative, and supposed to represent her in all legal matters. By studying the history of the malsman, in the laws preceding the Law of the Realm, I provide evidence of that the malsman system was introduced into the realm wide legislation through the regional law of Östergötland, in southern Sweden. I further show that the only regional laws in which a malsman, and a gendered legal guardianship over women, even existed were the laws of the Göta regions in the south. In the laws of the Svea regions, in the north, neither the word malsman nor the function of the husband as guardian can be found. Since the Law of the Realm came to be derived from both the regional law of Östergötland and that of the northern region Uppland – of which only the former recognized the malsman system – the new law became an equivocal compromise regarding the legal capacity of women. According to the law, married women were legally able and had procedural capacity, but the husband was still malsman. In order to compare the law with practice, I have read more than 6000 original charters. Based on these, I have created a database containing all the charters in any way concerning women from 1350-1450. The database contains closer to 3700 charters, and enables statistical calculations of women’s de facto actions in a multitude of legal matters. Through these statistics, it becomes obvious that married women could represent themselves at the assembly (Sw. ting), and participate in legal rituals, and that they hence were legally able and had the procedural capacity described in the law also in practice. My dissertation also shows that married women had control over their own landed property, that they were especially active in donations, and that women by no means were passive transmitters of land between men as has been argued by previous research. Women could, and did benefit from what they owned. My dissertation further shows that women, regardless of marital status, participated in legal matters to a far lesser extent than what men did. Even if women had legal capacity, law and legal matters were still a heavily male dominated area. This can, however, not be tied to the malsman system even by the middle of the 15th century. The system incorporated into the Law of the Realm, from the Göta regions, had not spread to the rest of the realm in practice even a hundred years after the creation of the law. The hierarchies within marriage had significant regional differences during the whole period studied here, and a uniform malsman system did not exist.
  • Kujanpää, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This doctoral dissertation examines the rhetorical functions of scriptural quotations in Paul’s argumentation in the Letter to the Romans. The study addresses the following questions: 1. What functions do quotations perform in Paul’s argumentation? 2. Does Paul render the quotation accurately according to a wording known to him or does he adapt the wording himself? 3. How does the function of a quotation in Romans relate to the original literary context of the quoted words? 4. What kind of scriptural knowledge is required to follow Paul’s argumentation? What information does the audience possibly need to supply to understand Paul’s use of quotations? The study discusses only explicit quotations, not the entirety of scriptural references. The search for the origin of Paul’s wording of quotations is based on a careful text-critical comparison that takes into account the textual pluriformity of the first century CE. The wording of the quotations is compared with different readings of the textual tradition of the Septuagint and with various Hebrew readings. When analysing the rhetorical functions that quotations perform in Paul’s argumentation, the study draws upon modern research on quotations. First, it makes use of the observations and terminology that derive from the Demonstration Theory developed by psycholinguists Herbert Clark and Richard Gerrig. This theory explores various functions that quotations may perform in a discourse. Second, the study applies Meir Sternberg’s theory on recontextualizing quotations. The dissertation shows, first, that Paul’s use of quotations is characterized by diversity. This diversity manifests itself in the argumentative functions of quotations, in various degrees of continuity between the original literary context of the quoted words and their new context in Romans, in the degree of scriptural competence needed to follow the argumentation, and in Paul’s ways of handling the wording of a quotation. In several cases, the study offers completely new solutions to the textual problems that the quotations pose. Second, the study demonstrates that Paul actively controls the “meaning” of quotations. The study highlights the diverse techniques he uses to guide the reading process of the audience: he carefully selects which words of a passage to quote and which not, frequently modifies the wording of quotations, and actively creates a new frame for the quoted words. Third, it is suggested that if one seeks to determine Paul’s intention, one should give priority to the interpretive hints he gives over what may possibly “echo through” the quoted words. Paul remains in control of the message that emerges when the scriptural voices intermingle with his own words.
  • Korhonen, Essi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Dengue virus (DENV) serotypes 1-4 are mosquito-borne flaviviruses that are increasingly being diagnosed from travellers returning from subtropical and tropical regions. At present, 50-100 cases of dengue are diagnosed annually in Finland. A mosquito-borne flavivirus, Zika virus (ZIKV), was considered to be a relatively harmless virus found in Africa and Asia with low case numbers and mild disease associations. Since 2013, however, ZIKV has emerged and swept across Polynesia, the Americas and the Caribbean, causing massive outbreaks with new severe complications becoming apparent. Amongst these new complications, neurological symptoms have been observed in adults and, alarmingly, congenital infections resulting in severe developmental disorders, including microcephaly. Due to environmental changes and globalisation, the distribution areas of vectors of DENV and ZIKV have spread towards north, which emphasises the risk of introduction of new MBVs to new areas. This thesis aimed to explore the best possible practices in dengue and Zika diagnostics by studying the available methods of choice, their combinations and different sample materials collected from Finnish traveller patients at different phases of the illness. Additionally, this thesis includes studies exploring the molecular epidemiology of DENV and ZIKV and detailed characterization of a congenital ZIKV infection patient case. The detection kinetics of DENV NS1 antigen and RNA was explored from serum, urine and saliva samples. It was observed that NS1 antigen was detectable from the sera of travellers for notably longer periods than reported for populations living in endemic areas. Urine and saliva were demonstrated to be potential sample materials for DENV diagnostics. Urine, in particular, provides new opportunities for molecular diagnostics of DENV as the time window for detection of viral RNA is notably later during the infection when compared to serum samples. It was observed that also ZIKV RNA detection was successful from urine whereas the serum sample taken at the same time point remained negative. Nowadays, urine is considered to be a suitable sample material in diagnostics. By studying traveller patients, the DENV strain responsible for the Madeiran outbreak in 2012 was identified as DENV-1, most likely of South American origin. The characterization of a virus from a Finnish traveller revealed the circulation of ZIKV in the Maldives for the first time. This case was followed by a few additional traveller cases identified elsewhere. Subsequently, the local authorities conducted surveillance studies and confirmed local transmission of ZIKV by detecting the virus from local mosquitoes. Study in this thesis was among the first reports to provide concrete evidence for the causality between ZIKV infection in a pregnant woman and malformations of central nervous system in the foetus. In this study the virus was isolated from the brain tissue of the foetus. The mother’s viremia was noticed to be prolonged, an observation that later studies have confirmed to be a common phenomenon. Mother’s viremia was detectable weeks before the abnormalities in brain development were visible. The evidence provided by the studies herein, along with other recently published data, have shown that there is a need to update the diagnostic guidelines.
  • Pehkonen, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This research addresses immigration and migrant life and integration in Finland. . Immigration has been examined mainly in the Finnish context as an individual process and for women. The study is located in the research of education, educability, study and learning, but above all, as individually experienced. More precisely, the study examines the orientation training of immigrants at one university of applied sciences. The focus of the research is to examine the overall life of female students with immigrant backgrounds at the university of applied sciences. The starting point is to examine the individual stages of the life cycle, the various aspects of life and the current point of the life path in Finland. The narrative of life flow is approached through the concepts of identity and learning. Identities are considered variable, contextual, and narrative. Learning is widely understood as a life broad, a lifelong and narrative learning. The research task is to look at constructing identities and learning processes in the context of education. The two research questions are the following. First: What kind of identities and learning processes are immigrant female students constructing in their telling? Second: What kind of learning process can be conceptualized from telling? The philosophical bases of the research are the relativity of knowledge, contextuality, and the idea of constructing knowledge. This research aims to provide a place and a voice for female students with immigrant background in terms of their diverse experiences between different cultural frameworks. Cultural frameworks are viewed as a dialogue between the former and the current cultural framework. Twelve students have been interviewed after the first year of study. The qualitative data is read as telling and is analysed with the help of inductive content analysis. The results of the data analysis describe themes in immigration, studying and gender. According to this study, identities are constructed as a process between a patriarchal and individualistic cultural framework. The identity definitions range between the various subjects of life that are examined. Identities are positioned in relation to the cultural frameworks either attaching to the former or to the new, or moving flexibly between them. Identities are constructed in a variety of ways between conflict and balance, as well as uncertainty and confidence: a constant contradiction, a cautious hesitation, a negotiating and strengthening balance. The identity transition is constructed within a holistic learning process that is described as stages, a model and type reports on the learning process. They allow looking at individual paths as a process and movement between different factors. My research shows that challenges in the educational context of being a student, on the other hand, allows more readily for the redefinition of one's own life, identities and learning. In this process of learning, the present is edited and matched to correspond better to a changed life situation. The learner's learning identity is built between these different factors individually. The factors that influence the lives and life situations of students with immigrant background at the university of applied sciences should be examined in a variety of ways comprehensively. Their experience of studying and the needs of learning-support should also be considered a part of the development of education and pedagogical solutions.Education that is envisioned along these lines can better promote inclusion in society.
  • Wirtanen, Tom (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The research of this thesis was initiated when we made an unexpected discovery that a carbon support of a heterogeneous catalyst, which was assumed to be inert, was capable of oxidatively coupling indoles. We later showed, that carbonyls / quinones were formed on the carbon that could act as a redox mediator for this reaction. The results of this work are based on three peer-reviewed publications. In publications I and II, the oxidative power of heterogeneous quinones is established and harnessed for the synthesis of new carbon-carbon sp2 bonds between two organic molecules. In the third publication, this discovered reactivity is transferred to homogeneous conditions. In this research, both heterogeneous and homogeneous quinones were used. Although the underlying chemistry between them is similar, they still form two different conceptual entities and therefore the discussion is also divided into two separate parts: homogeneous and heterogeneous quinones. As this thesis and other publications have shown, heterogenous and homogeneous quinone-mediated reactions can be interconnected. Therefore, the scientific importance of this dissertation is not in the different kinds of organic transformations per se, but in showing that the transformations are accessible with the both heterogeneous and homogeneous quinones.