Väitöskirjat

Recent Submissions

  • Poutanen, Petro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In concert with the emergence of cross-disciplinary collaborative working practices, the demands of creativity and innovation in working life have increased. The problems of the 21st Century are inherently complex and require the creative contributions of multiple stakeholders to solve them. Furthermore, working life settings are often ad hoc and diverse in their nature, making collaboration challenging in terms of creative synergy. However, creativity has been predominantly studied from the individual perspective, meaning the research tradition is out of step with changes in working practices as it does not provide guidance for complex creative and interactional processes. Therefore, new approaches that account for the complexity of human interaction and collaboration need to be developed to better understand what creativity is and how it can emerge from synergy between people who are very different from each other. This is the focus of the dissertation. This dissertation argues that creative collaboration can be approached through the lens of the theories about complex systems. These theories conceptualize creative collaboration as an interactive and emergent phenomenon, in which creativity emerges continuously and unpredictably from the interactions of the actors and elements of the system. This argument is investigated in this study by developing a research framework based on the theories of complex systems and examining creative collaboration through empirical case studies that were conducted in the context of innovation camps. The proposed research framework emphasises three important points of attention when studying creative collaboration: temporal patterns, social mechanisms, and meanings and communication. The findings of the explorative research suggest several interesting research avenues. Firstly, the creative process seems to follow unanticipated temporal orders, including points of sudden discontinuities. This suggests that a creative process requires patience for an efficient working mode to emerge. Secondly, the mechanism of emergence describes how a system of contributors includes both individual and collective level knowledge, skills and memory. This suggests that the emergence of shared practices in a group setting requires a certain level of autonomy and self-direction. Thirdly, human creativity is a process of symbolic exchange and meaning-making. The acknowledgement of the constructive communicative nature of the creative process helps individuals involved in a creative collaborative process understand how different interpretative frames can contribute to a creative process, which stands in contrast to the information transmission-based understanding of communication and knowledge building. This dissertation incorporates two conceptual and three empirical articles that are further developed in the concluding article.
  • Kara, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Latin American women represent an emblematic group in contemporary South to North labour migration. The Spanish immigration boom from the 1990s up to the time of the economic crisis has also shown a high propensity of women migrants from this region. While it is important to recognise women migrants as economically active workers and breadwinners, paying attention only to the work that migrants do, excludes a vast diversity of desires and trajectories. Migrants are often granted positions not connected with full subjectivity. This study creates knowledge collaboratively with Latin American migrant women on their everyday lives in Barcelona and studies their subjectivities as transnational migrants. Subjectivity is understood as formed and exercised in relation to individual life course, generational attachments and the larger fabric of intersecting structural hierarchies in a certain time-space context. The empirical phase was conducted in Barcelona between March and May 2012 in a collaborative process with fifteen participants from nine different Latin American and Caribbean countries. The empirical method consisted of two loosely-structured thematic interviews with each participant, complemented by the participative use of creative research methods which offered the participants the possibility to explore the research topics through different creative means. The ontological and epistemological framework draws from critical realism and postcolonial feminism. The main theoretical tools are found in: 1) migration theorising, specifically transnational migration research, 2) the notion of time in migration, 3) an intersectional approach on migration. The experiences and consequences of migration and migration status are analysed inside intersecting social hierarchies, namely the ones referring to country or region of origin, ethnic origin, social class, age and life course and gender. The results shed light to the ways in which time-space autonomy , migrancy and belonging are conditioned and yet negotiable. Irregular migration status often represented restricted movement in the city, insecurity and lack of information. Migration regulations were linked with time experiences of suspension, uncontrollability and liminality . Yet migration may also stand for an increase in time-space autonomy, even in a situation of migration status irregularity, as the consequences of migration status are relational, contextual and intersectional. The (in)visibility of certain intersectional locations is turned into (in)visibility of migrancy. The idea of detached, planned and informed migration does not hold, but risk-taking, surprises and uncertainty prevail. Liminality and unpredictability may also be desired consequences of migration. This addresses the complex intersectional contexts of privilege and disadvantage in which people move. Belonging was also connected with (in)visibility. The results point to a nexus between origin, language and belonging and emphasise the intersectional and contextual nature of belonging. The results also challenge interpretations in which economic downturn is automatically considered to lead to return migration, and question the persistent image of the economic migrant reflected in them. Often neglected in previous research, women s transnational daughterhood became salient, highlighting the multiple intergenerational caring roles of migrant women. The quantity as well as the quality of transnational contacts varied, due, for instance, to economic resources. This shaped the ways transnational affective ties and support were lived. Migrancy became synonymous with not belonging here yet nor there anymore. Yet the accounts were not only of loss and yearning, but importantly also of adaptation, reformulation and creation of new rhythms, routines and ways to be . Keywords: transnational migration, Latin American women migrants, Spain s immigration boom, subjectivity, intersectionality, time, (in)visibility, critical realism, postcolonial feminism, creative research methods, collaborative research methods, multi-language research.
  • Enqvist, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The dissertation explores the key concepts of archaeological heritage management in Finland: their aspects, definitions and meanings, the history of the concepts and especially the contemporary, official discourse surrounding them the ways in which people represent, talk and write about archaeological heritage [arkeologinen perintö] and ancient remains [muinaisjäännös]. The social context of the study was focused on the Finnish archaeologists who worked in the intersecting fields of heritage management and academic archaeology. The texts, produced by the archaeologists, were analysed by means of critical discourse analysis; the findings of the analysis were compared to one of the most important contributions in the development of critical heritage studies: Laurajane Smith's (2005) theory of the authorized heritage discourse (AHD). The study dissects the ideologies, identities and interaction which are constructed and maintained by the Finnish AHD. Consistent with Smith s arguments, the Finnish AHD appears as an ideological construction that is dominated by heritage officials and experts, and thus excludes other members of society from taking part in the processes that define heritage. The world view of the AHD represents reality as being divided into indisputable and naturalized conceptual categories, as well as into the quantitative results of measurements and numbers in the pursuit of scientific rigour. Archaeological heritage is defined and evaluated by the experts as material objects whose physical integrity, interpretation and representation of which archaeologists control. The AHD is maintained in the network of official texts which concatenate and refer to each other. The vital intertextual element of these texts is derived from the Finnish Antiquities Act, prepared in the 1950s, which carries the connotations of nationalism and a juridical discourse. The social significance of heritage management, protection and research of archaeological heritage is thus reduced to obeying the law in the AHD. The results and the conclusions of the study, concerning the historical contingency, causes, effects and action of the official heritage discourse, are vital in order to promote the more inclusive and participatory heritage practices in Finland in the future, the democratised heritage discourse , which consists in the emancipatory interest of the research.
  • Wilkman, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Understanding the light scattering properties of Solar System bodies is important, especially in the case of the small bodies. For these objects, most of our data is photometric, i.e. measurements of the brightness of light in broad spectral bands in visible and near-infrared. Though limited in many ways, these data can be used to derive physical properties that provide constraints on the structure and material composition of the objects. These atmosphereless bodies are almost always covered with a blanket of loose material called the regolith. The planetary regoliths consist of a range of grain sizes from micrometres to tens of metres, and have a complex geological history and chemical composition. We study two models for the reflectance of planetary surfaces. One is the Lommel-Seeliger model, which is mathematically simple, but also not truly applicable to particulate media such as regoliths. However, an analytical form exists for the integrated brightness of an ellipsoid with the Lommel-Seeliger scattering model. Ellipsoids are useful as crude shape models for asteroids. Some applications of Lommel-Seeliger ellipsoids are studied in the development of a faster software for the inversion of rotational state and rough shape from sparse asteroid lightcurves. The other scattering model is a semi-numerical one, developed to model the reflectance of dark particulate surfaces, such as the lunar regolith and the surfaces of many asteroids. The model term representing the shadowing effects in the medium is computed numerically, and is computationally expensive to produce, but after being computed once, it can be saved and reused. The model is applied to disk-resolved photometry of the lunar surface, as well as laboratory measurements of a dark volcanic sand. The lunar surface is the best known extraterrestrial material, while volcanic sands can be used as analogues for basaltic regoliths such as the lunar mare surfaces. These studies are still early steps in both of the model applications mentioned above. The results show promising avenues for further research. In the case of the Lommel-Seeliger ellipsoids, a statistical inversion scheme is used to gain information on the spin and shape of sparsely observed asteroids. In the studies with the PM scattering model, it was found to provide good fits to data, and though the interpretation of the model parameters is not clear, they are qualitatively reasonable. Some limitations of the current implementation of the model were found, with clear lines of future improvement. On the whole the model has potential for many applications in disk-resolved photometry of regolith surfaces.
  • Paatela, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) are the most abundant steroid hormones in the circulation. These prohormones, secreted by the adrenal glands, are important precursors of biologically active androgens and estrogens. Adipose tissue is an important site for estrogen synthesis after menopause, when all estrogens are produced from hormone precursors in peripheral tissues. In the circulation, DHEA exists also as fatty acyl esters. These lipophilic derivatives of DHEA are transported by circulating lipoprotein particles. DHEA and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) both improve endothelial function. The aims of the present thesis were to study the role of DHEA fatty acyl esters in the HDL-mediated vasodilation, to study the cellular uptake and metabolism of HDL-associated DHEA fatty acyl esters in endothelial cells, and to investigate the metabolism of DHEAS in female adipose tissue. The role of DHEA fatty acyl esters in HDL-mediated vasodilation was studied in isolated rat arterial rings. DHEA fatty acyl ester-enriched human HDL showed a stronger vasodilatory effect compared to native HDL. This relaxation was mediated by HDL receptor, scavenger receptor class B, type I (SR-BI), and was partly dependent on the function of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. The metabolism of DHEA fatty acyl esters was studied in human endothelial cells. These cells were able to internalize and slowly hydrolyze HDL-associated DHEA fatty acyl esters and to further secrete the liberated free DHEA from the cells. In abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue obtained from pre- and postmenopausal women, steroid sulfatase activity was assessed by the conversion of DHEAS to DHEA, and mRNA expression of steroid-converting enzyme genes was quantified. Steroid sulfatase activity was higher in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women both in subcutaneous and in visceral adipose tissue. Visceral fat showed a higher sulfatase activity compared to subcutaneous fat. Three genes in the estradiol-producing pathway, aromatase, 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 12, and hormone-sensitive lipase, were more expressed in postmenopausal than in premenopausal adipose tissue. In conclusion, DHEA fatty acyl esters enhanced the vasodilatory effect of HDL, suggesting that DHEA esters, associated with HDL as cargos, may improve the antiatherogenic function of HDL and thus promote cardiovascular health. Endothelial cells were able to internalize and hydrolyze HDL-associated DHEA fatty acyl esters. The hydrolysis was slow and thus presumably not responsible for the rapid vasodilatory effect of DHEA ester-enriched HDL. Steroid sulfatase activity in adipose tissue was higher in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women, suggesting that circulating DHEAS could be more efficiently hydrolyzed and utilized in postmenopausal adipose tissue for the formation of biologically active androgens and estrogens. Depot-differences in the sulfatase activity and the gene expression of steroid-converting enzymes suggest that steroid hormone metabolism may differ between subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue.
  • Hahl, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation examines factors that distinguish an international English-medium instruction (EMI) teacher education programme from mainstream teacher education programmes. International teacher education is understood in this study as a transdisciplinary programme that is taught in English as a lingua franca (ELF) and that admits both international and domestic students. The students thus originate from different backgrounds and they are not all familiar with the local school system. The programme is mostly taught by teacher educators educated in the local context. This study explores student teachers and teacher educators conceptions and experiences of and adjustment to multiculturalism and English as a lingua franca in a Finnish university context. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the roles that these factors play in implementing an international subject teacher education programme within the context of local (teacher) education. This PhD study consists of five separate but interrelated studies that together form a more holistic picture of the phenomena studied. The five sub-studies examine the phenomena from different perspectives and aim at highlighting issues that are important for programme development. The sub-studies use various data collection methods: interviews, focus groups, student course work, questionnaires, and an excerpt from a recorded lecture. The data analysis methods consist of discursive pragmatics, thematic analysis and qualitative content analysis. As its theoretical contribution this study weaves together the four factors of internationalization, interculturality (including the inclusion of immigrant teachers in local schools as an intercultural phenomenon), transdisciplinarity and English as a lingua franca, and conceptualizes their interrelations. On the one hand, this study reveals the complexity of constructing an international teacher education programme. On the other hand, the study provides a model for supporting teaching and learning in the context of international, transdiscipinary teacher education in order for it to serve the needs and demands of today s students, teachers, institutions and societies.
  • Rajala, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Despite the immense stability of the social structure of schooling, recent social, economic, and technological developments are widening the gap between schools and the surrounding societies so much as to challenge the foundations of public education. Conventional educational practices are hard-pressed to deal with the challenges that contemporary knowledge societies pose for learning and education as lifelong and lifewide processes. This dissertation project is about my journey as a teacher, researcher, and teacher educator to develop a pedagogical model for expanding the context of school learning to engage with students lives and the wider society. My argument draws upon the analyses of three data sources. The backbone of the dissertation study is a retrospective analysis of the video data collected from my own pedagogical practice as a primary school teacher. As a teacher, I intended to bridge the gap between the students personal worlds and the world of school and to promote their agency and personal sensemaking. Together with my coauthors, I engaged in a critical analysis of my pedagogical practices. These analyses contribute to the agency-centered pedagogical model that I outline in this summary. To enrich the pedagogical model, I build on the analyses of two datasets in which I am not myself involved as a participant. The first is derived from an innovative upper secondary school project that aimed to develop stu- dents citizenship and agency by involving them in efforts to influence local political decision-making concerning cycling. The second concerns a literature review of pedagogical approaches that sought to expand the context of school learning to students lives and the wider society. I draw upon a sociocultural and activity-theoretical conceptual framework for the study of learning and education. I posit a transformative ontology that not only focuses on how individuals are enculturated into existing social practice through participation but emphasizes how individuals contribute to the transformation of the norms, discourses, and forms of activity of their communities. Thus, learning is a contested process that inevitably involves a struggle over what counts as knowledge and whose knowledge counts. In particular, I build on the theory of expansive learning and the concepts of context, agency, and personal sense. The empirical data consist primarily of video-recorded classroom interac- tions. These data were analyzed with micro-level interaction analysis. In addition, I analyzed interviews of teachers and students as well as documents. The findings of this dissertation study underline that a broad definition of pedagogy is needed to study and design pedagogical approaches for expanding the context of school learning. Moreover, they show how pedagogical features that do so make specific forms of agency available to students. Furthermore, they illuminate the tensions and challenges that emerge for students and teachers when the context of school learning is expanded. Based on these findings, I present an outline of the agency-centered pedagogical model that has the following features: (a) building a pedagogy on the foundation of students personal sense and agency, (b) connecting instruction to activity systems and expert communities outside school, (c) mastering the institutional context of public schools, and (d) pedagogy as a continuing journey. This dissertation study is timely from the perspective of current educational policy in Finland. In August of 2016, Finland will start to implement the new National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (FNBE, 2014), which explicitly encourages teachers to experiment with student-centered pedagogies and to take learning out of the classroom. In this study, my coauthors and I have analyzed two empirical cases that can be regarded as realizations of the recent Finnish educational policies which have culminated in the new national core curriculum. Overall, this dissertation study argues for an approach, which does not in- volve excessive control and assessment of students, to address the challenges that knowledge societies pose to public education. Instead, a basic premise of this approach is that teachers and students are seen as contributors to educational change. The study concludes with suggestions for avenues of further research addressing the consequences of agency-centered pedagogy for students development. In addition, the study raises new research questions about the development of instructional practices in schools and beyond.
  • Mäkitalo, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation is the first monograph written on Anna-Maija Raittila´s poetry. Raittila published 11 collections, the first of which is Ruiskukkaehtoo in 1947 and the last Paratiisini puut in 1999. The study discusses Christianity in Raittila s poetry and shows that it follows Christian mysticism, a contributing tendency to modernism. It is reflected in experiences portrayed by the poetry where the border of concrete reality is broken and the speaker is touched by, and feels, the presence of transcendent divine reality. Five frames of reference repeatedly occurring in poetry are utilised in this study to examine the content and characteristics of Raittila s poetry. These frames of reference are Christian art, Mary the mother of Jesus, intimate interaction without words, natural landscape and birds, and the paradisiacal garden. These frames of reference, introduced in the sections of this thesis as starting points, synthesise themes of poems. Poems analysed using the close reading method reveal the symbols of Raittila s poetry and the Biblical intertextuality in it. The study shows that the poet has used episodes described in her diary as an aid when writing a poem. Verbal traces left by the diary enrich the interpretation of the published poetry analysed by revealing information connected to the creation of a poem. According to the study an experience transcending the concrete reality of the poet is in particular connected to suffering, distress and a crisis of life. This experience transforms the relation of the poet to herself, other people and life, and fills the poet with a presentiment of the emergence of new life-energy. The experience is often associated to Revelations in its descriptions of the new heaven and earth, and references to it complement the image of the presence of divine reality in everyday situations and/or point to the poet seeing around her the garden of paradise and sensing its atmosphere. The paradisiacal moment is described by grace, joy and playfulness, non-hierarchical sense of community, unconditional mutual openness and sensual non-verbal interaction. Nature symbolism restates the image of man as earth, connected to the cyclical flow of life-energy in nature receiving symbolical meanings depicting human life. Among birds the nightingale is central and its voice transforms itself into an image of man consumed by passionate life-energy of paradisiacal origin. Also the meditative nature of the poetry reflects Christian mysticism, and it is connected to the structure and expression of the poetry. A medieval work of art often becomes the medium of meditation: the poet identifies herself with the events and figures therein and finds a response to a topical problem, to suffering and to distress. Ekphrastic poems convey the image of God as mother. key words: Anna-Maija Raittila, modernism in lyrics, Christian mysticism, ekphrasis, meditative poetry, nature lyrics, Bible in fiction, diaries
  • Mousavi, Seyed Abdollah (Unigrafia, 2016)
    ABSTRACT Studies of the taxonomy of bacteria were initiated in the last quarter of the 19th century when bacteria were classified in six genera placed in four tribes based on their morphological appearance. Since then the taxonomy of bacteria has been revolutionized several times. At present, 30 phyla belong to the domain Bacteria , which includes over 9600 species. Unlike many eukaryotes, bacteria lack complex morphological characters and practically phylogenetically informative fossils. It is partly due to these reasons that bacterial taxonomy is complicated. Due to the improvement of methods to obtain sequence level characters plus new methods for their analyses, the taxonomy of bacteria has also been improved. However, there is still no official classification of prokaryotes. Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is a process in which bacteria reduce inert nitrogen gas to biologically useful ammonia. The symbiotic interaction between rhizobia and legumes (Fabaceae or Leguminosae) is important both in natural systems and in agriculture. Rhizobia is a general name for a group of bacteria that can enter symbiosis with legumes. Until 1982, all these were classified into one single bacterial genus, Rhizobium. The number of rhizobial genera increased to 17 by the year 2011, from which five genera, Rhizobium, Allorhizobium, Agrobacterium, Ensifer (syn. Sinorhizobium), and Shinella were accommodated in the family Rhizobiaceae. The genus Agrobacterium, a group of mostly pathogenic bacteria, was placed among the beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia) in the family Rhizobiaceae. That resulted in several taxonomic issues regarding the family Rhizobiaceae. The main nomenclatural issue regarding the genus Agrobacterium resulted from transferring this genus to the genus Rhizobium. Moreover, the phylogenetic position of the former nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium galegae complex was not clear. This group of bacteria was in previous studies clustered with either Agrobacterium or Rhizobium or placed in a lineage separately from other genera of the family Rhizobiaceae. During the last decade, the number of the rhizobial species increased dramatically, especially in the genus Rhizobium. However, Rhizobium is an inappropriate genus name for some of the species assigned to the genus. To resolve some of the major taxonomic uncertainties of the family Rhizobiaceae, two separate multilocus sequencing analyses (MLSA) were performed. In the first study, an MLSA of 114 rhizobial strains was performed by using six housekeeping genes (atpD, glnA, glnII, recA, rpoB, and thrC). The first MLSA study was focusing on the phylogeny of the taxa belonging to the former Rhizobium galegae complex and the genus Agrobacterium. In the second MLSA, a total of 100 strains representing 81 species of the family Rhizobiaceae were studied using four housekeeping genes namely 16S rRNA, atpD, recA, and rpoB. Based on these results, we proposed delineation of two new genera, Neorhizobium gen. nov. and Pararhizobium gen. nov., and 16 new species combinations, Neorhizobium galegae comb. nov., Neorhizobium huautlense comb. nov., Neorhizobium alkalisoli comb. nov., Agrobacterium nepotum comb. nov., Agrobacterium pusense comb. nov., Agrobacterium skierniewicense comb. nov., Allorhizobium vitis comb. nov., Allorhizobium taibaishanense comb. nov., Allorhizobium paknamense comb. nov., Allorhizobium oryzae comb. nov., Allorhizobium pseudoryzae comb. nov., Allorhizobium borbori comb. nov., Pararhizobium giardinii comb. nov., Pararhizobium capsulatum comb. nov., Pararhizobium herbae comb. nov., and Pararhizobium sphaerophysae comb. nov. (Paper I and II). A total of 159 bacterial strains were isolated from the nodules of the Chinese specimens of the plant genus Glycyrrhiza L. The results of the study showed that 29 true symbiotic strains belong to the genus Mesorhizobium. To estimate the phylogenetic position of the 29 isolates an MLSA was performed for 59 mesorhizobial strains by using three housekeeping genes 16S rRNA, recA, and rpoB. Moreover, the phylogeny of three symbiotic genes (nodA, nodC, and nifH) of these 59 mesorhizobial strains was investigated. The results of MLSA showed that 21 test strains belong to the species M. tianshanense, M. gobiense, M. temperatum, M. muleiense, M. amorphae, M. alhagi, and M. camelthorni, whereas eight test strains might belong to a novel species of Mesorhizobium. The results of the analyses of accessory genes in this study showed that the mesorhizobial strains isolated from the plant genus Glycyrrhiza have probably acquired some genetic material from other rhizobia co-evolving with Glycyrrhiza and other legumes (Paper III).
  • Korpela, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis characterises the development of the intestinal microbiota in healthy children. The influence of four common factors potentially modulating the microbiota prenatal stress, breastfeeding duration, antibiotic use, and probiotic use were investigated, as well as the association between early-life microbiota composition and the development of BMI. In addition, the microbiota in healthy children was contrasted with that that of children with inflammatory bowel disease, characterising the association between treatment response and microbiota. The bacterial composition was analysed from faecal samples using two DNA-based methods, a phylogenetic microarray, as well as sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene amplicons. In addition, real-time qPCR was conducted to measure bile-salt hydrolase genes and antibiotic resistance genes. Bacteria were cultured anaerobically for antibiotic susceptibility testing. The results showed that the microbiota in childhood are sensitive to modulating factors, and are predictive of later-life health. Maternal stress during pregnancy was associated with altered microbiota development over the first months of life. Long duration of breastfeeding was associated with slow microbiota maturation, normal BMI, and low antibiotic use in preschool age, if the microbiota were not disrupted by antibiotic use before weaning. The results indicate that some of the benefits of breastfeeding are microbiota-dependent. Early microbiota maturation was associated with fast growth in infancy and increased BMI in preschool age. Antibiotic use emerged as a central regulator of the microbiome, with potential effects on the metabolic development of the child. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplementation prevented some of the penicillin-associated changes, but failed to prevent the macrolide-associated loss of bifidobacteria. The probiotic supplementation also reduced antibiotic use for at least 3 years after the intervention. In IBD patients, the microbiota composition varied along a gradient of intestinal inflammation and resembled the microbiota composition of antibiotic-treated healthy children. High microbiota similarity to non-antibiotic treated healthy controls predicted positive response to anti-TNF-α treatment in IBD patients. This work suggests that maternal wellbeing is the first step towards healthy microbiota in the child. Promoting a natural microbiota development in childhood by breastfeeding, avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, careful selection of the antibiotic when it is needed, and possibly the use of specific probiotic strains, may have long-term health benefits, particularly in terms of weight development and immune health.
  • Vehkaoja, Mia (Hansaprint Oy, 2016)
    Wetland and deadwood loss have had a profound effect on boreal aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and their biodiversity. Deadwood-dependent species are one of the most endangered organism groups in the world, while amphibians on the other hand excellently represent the ecological state of wetlands. The boreal region contains a large proportion of the world s wetlands, which have undergone two major alterations during the last 500 years: first the extirpation of beavers and secondly draining during the 20th century. Beavers are well-known ecosystem engineers of the Northern Hemisphere. They modify their surroundings by damming water systems. Damming raises flood waters into the surrounding riparian forest and changes environmental conditions both on land and in water. Ecosystem processes are altered when beavers turn a lotic water system into a lentic one, but the alteration is also evident when beavers modify initially lentic water systems. Organic matter and nutrients are transferred into a wetland from beaver-felled trees and vegetation killed by flooding. The amount of dissolved organic carbon increases during the first three impoundment years, which enhances the growth of aquatic vegetation and the abundance of phyto- and zooplankton, thereby also increasing invertebrate abundances. Luxuriant vegetation and ample plankton and invertebrate populations facilitate frogs, which become abundant in beaver wetlands. The moor frog in particular favours beaver-created wetlands. Flooding and beavers kill trees, producing high amounts of deadwood. The riparian forests of beaver wetlands include much higher deadwood levels than wetlands without beavers. Increased deadwood creates substrate resources for deadwood-dependent species. Snags are a typical deadwood type in beaver wetlands. Calicioids are deadwood-dependent species particularly specialised in inhabiting standing deadwood. The comeback of beavers has aided the restoration of wetlands and deadwood. Beaver wetlands can be seen as carbon and biodiversity hot spots that increase the heterogeneity and hydraulic connectivity of the boreal landscape.
  • Immonen, Tuuli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (LCHADD), a severe long-chain β-oxidation disorder which, without treatment, usually leads to death, is the most frequent β-oxidation disorder in Finland. Its typical manifestations are hypoketotic hypoglycemia, hepatopathy, failure to thrive, cardiomyopathy, and metabolic crisis during the first year of life. The long term complications are retinopathy and polyneuropathy. In recent years, diagnostics and treatment of LCHADD have produced major advantages. Many countries have implemented LCHADD in their newborn screening programs. Treatment with a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with avoidance of fasting is effective. Few follow-up studies, ones on the outcome of LCHADD and whether the current dietary treatment prevents the long-term complications retinopathy and peripheral neuropathy, exist. The aims of the study were to evaluate the clinical course and outcome of LCHADD patients in Finland who have the homozygous c.1528G>C (E510Q) mutation, with strict dietary treatment and develop further their treatment and follow-up strategies. A total of 47 patients with LCHADD caused by a homozygous c.1528G>C mutation were diagnosed in Finland from 1976 through 2014. In our study, the outcome and course of the disease of the LCHADD patients born between 1997 and 2010 (Study II), were compared with an earlier Finnish study of LCHADD patients born 1976 to 1996. In 1976-1996 (N=28) the ten-year survival rate was 14.3%, while in 1997-2010 (N=16) at the end of the study 62.5% were alive. Patients born between 1997 and 2010 presented at the age of 0 to 5 months with hypoketotic hypoglycemia, failure to thrive, hypotonia, hepatomegaly, metabolic acidosis, and cardiomyopathy. The therapy was started 0 to 30 days after diagnosis. Gastrostoma prove beneficial during infancy, ensuring continuous night-time feeding. Most long term survivors were in good overall condition. All except one, who had metabolic crises leading to resuscitation before diagnosis, had a normal intelligence quotient (IQ). We studied the development of polyneuropathy (PNP) by clinical neurophysiologi-cal methods in the LCHADD patients diagnosed between 1965 and 2014 (Study III). Electroneurography (ENG) was performed 1 to 12 times for 12 patients. The first abnormality was reduction in the sensory amplitudes of the sural nerves. During follow-up, progression extended to the upper limbs. Despite good compliance with the diet, of the 10 younger patients, 6 developed polyneuropathy but in a milder form than reported earlier. Their polyneuropathy had been detected at the ages of 6-12 years. To improve the ophthalmological follow-up, we rated the fundus images from seven children in stage 2 retinopathy to create a grading system to monitor retinopathy development (Study I). According to this rating the original staging was divided into three substages of pigmentary deposits (P1-P3) and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) atrophy (A1-A3). Three ophthalmologists expressed moderate agreement in the assessment of pigmentary deposits (combined weighted K statistic, 0.38), whereas the assessment of RPE atrophy showed poor agreement (combined K statistic 0.018). The visual assessment of fundus photographs based on reference images showed agreement identical to that reported for grading of retinopathy of prematurity, so fundus photography is the suggestion for ophthalmological follow-up of LCHADD retinopathy. We followed up 11 LCHADD patients treated with the current dietary regimen in Helsinki University Central Hospital between 2000-2014 during routine visits (Study IV). Their intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs) was within normal limits. The amount of long-chain triglyceride (LCT) was 5 to 9 percent of total energy intake (E%), consistent with dietary recommendations of LCHADD. We detected, surprisingly, that the patients received one third of their linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic (ALA) from their diet and two-thirds from the supplements. Acylcarnitine levels remain elevated, despite good compliance with the diet, which indicated that the diet was not optimal. This demonstrates that in order to keep LCTs as low as possible, we should monitor EFA intake carefully by dietary regimen and by measuring fatty acid profiles. To conclude, the outcome of LCHADD has improved, but the patients still need careful monitoring for dietary compliance in order to prevent retinopathy and neuropathy and especially during infections to prevent hypoglycemia and metabolic decompensation. Future challenges are to adjust the therapy to be lifelong and to find new treatment strategies.
  • Vauhkonen, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The Finnish old-age security system is based on a combination of a universal flat-rate pension (since 1939) and an earnings-related pension (since 1962) that covers all employees. Both are mandatory public pensions. Until the ear-ly 1980s, however, there was also a law dating from the early 18th century obliging employers to support workers who had served more than 20 years regardless of their ability to work. This statutory obligation could be referred to as employers poor relief duty. Earlier research has considered this statute to be obsolete, but this study shows that it was an actual part of policies advanced by Finnish employers organisations from the late 1920s until the 1960s. The employers organisa-tions integrated the ancient paragraph into their policies regarding both pub-lic pension programmes and employment relations. The present study argues that this was mainly done by modernising the paternalistically motivated employer policy known as welfare work. The employers sought to frame any public social provision with the employer-led welfare work. After the Second World War, this mode of thought and action lived alongside the newly estab-lished collective bargaining system. With an historical institutionalist approach and based on the theory of gradual institutional change by James Mahoney and Kathleen Thelen, the study finds that old-age security in Finland has been formed through a process of layering. There is only one deviation from this path, namely the 1956 basic pension reform in which a previous institution was displaced. The evidence from this study shows that the layering was a result of a political system in which veto possibilities were abundant. In particular, the minority protection rule established in the 1906 parliamentary reform proved to be effective in maintaining the status quo. The findings of this study are largely consistent with the Mahoney and Thelen theory. The study, titled Elatuksesta eläkkeeseen (From employers poor relief duty to workers pension rights), sheds new light on the process of modernisation and informs the reader of employers policies and pensions in Finland. Keywords: employers, historical institutionalism, labour market organisations, pensions, retirement, welfare work
  • Merisalo, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Digitalization, the social, economic and cultural process where individuals, organizations and societies access, adopt, use and utilize digital technologies, is expected to produce comprehensive societal benefits. Here, the spillover effects of the utilization of digital technologies such as e-government, teleworking and social media are examined in order to explore the added value that can be potentially gained from digitalization. Moreover, the study advances the conceptual perception of how, where and to whom the digitalization produces added value. The research applies Bourdieusian neo-capital theory, which emphasizes the significance of tangible and intangible forms of capital in understanding the social world. This dissertation addresses digitalization questions through four papers: The first paper is conceptual in nature. It redefines and introduces the concept of e-capital as another form of intangible capital, which emerges from the possibilities, capabilities and willingness of individuals, organizations and societies to invest in, utilize and reap benefits from digitalization and thus create added value. All forms of capital (physical, economic, human, social and cultural) are both required and produced in this process. The second paper exposes spatial and social disparities in the use of social media in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (HMA), and the third paper shows the connection between teleworking, knowledge intensity and creativity of work and e-capital. Both of these papers draw on a survey of 971 inhabitants of the HMA conducted in 2010. The fourth paper examines the national e-government programme E-services and e-democracy (SADe) by exploiting 15 stakeholder interviews conducted in 2012. The paper indicates that the programme was mainly driven by a technological paradigm. The study demonstrates that the basic, primary motivation for advancing digitalization in societies is the fact that it matters: digitalization can provide e-capital and produce added value that cannot be gained or would be significantly more difficult to gain without digital technologies. The benefits do not materialize solely through the production of new innovative technological solutions, but rather they arise from comprehensive implementation by the individuals, organizations and societies. These actors possess varying amounts of different forms of capital and thus vary in terms of their possibilities, capabilities and willingness to implement new digital tools. Since different forms of capital are needed in order to create e-capital from digitalization, e-capital is most likely to emerge in the same locations as other forms of capital. However, the conceptualisation of e-capital demonstrated that jumping into the e-capital conversion process gives access to other forms of capital. This should motivate individuals, organizations and societies (including the public bodies supporting them) in their digitalization process. Keywords: e-capital, social media, teleworking, e-government, digitalization, Pierre Bourdieu
  • Peltola, Eveliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis concerns questions motivated by two-dimensional critical lattice models of statistical mechanics, and conformal field theory (CFT). The core idea is to apply algebraic techniques to solve questions in random geometry, and reveal the algebraic structures therein. We consider the interplay between braided Hopf algebras (quantum groups) and CFT, with applications to critical lattice models and conformally invariant random curves, Schramm-Loewner evolutions (SLE). In the first article, a quantum group method is developed to construct explicit expressions for CFT correlation functions using a hidden Uq(sl2) symmetry. The quantum group method provides tools to directly read off properties of the functions from representation theoretical data. The correlation functions are analytic functions of several complex variables satisfying linear homogeneous partial differential equations known as the Benoit & Saint-Aubin PDEs. Such PDEs emerge in CFT from singular vectors in representations of the Virasoro algebra. The correlation functions of conformal field theory are believed to describe scaling limits of correlations in critical lattice models, expected to exhibit conformal invariance in the scaling limit. The second article contains applications to questions in the theory of SLEs: the pure partition functions of multiple SLEs, and the chordal SLE boundary visit probability amplitudes, also known as Green’s functions. The relevant solutions to the PDEs are found by imposing certain natural boundary conditions given by specified asymptotic behavior. Loosely speaking, the appropriate boundary conditions can be deduced from the qualitative properties of the associated stochastic processes, or alternatively, by CFT fusion arguments. More general solutions to the PDEs are constructed in the fourth article, in the spirit of fusion of CFT. The above type of solutions emerge also from critical lattice models, as (conjectured) scaling limits of renormalized probabilities of crossing and boundary visit events of interfaces. In the third article, such questions for the loop-erased random walk and the uniform spanning tree are studied. Explicit formulas for the probabilities are found, and their convergence in the scaling limit to solutions of second and third order PDEs of Benoit & Saint-Aubin type is proved. Furthermore, these functions are related to the conformal blocks of CFT, by certain combinatorial structures.