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  • Arvas, Paula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Vilho Helanen (1899 1952) was a right-wing opinion leader in interwar Finland. But following the Second World War, the political situation in the country changed dramatically, and Helanen lost his job as well as his influential social station. He began to write detective fiction, and between 1946 and 1952 published seven novels (one had already been published in 1941). The novels protagonist is Kaarlo Rauta, a lawyer who acts as a private investigator. This doctoral dissertation analyzes the Rauta series from three different points of view. It investigates the extent to which the author s life and his strong political background appears in the series. The study also situates the series within Finnish society during and after the war. Finally, the study examines the Rauta series in terms of the genre conventions of detective fiction, that is, the study compares the Rauta series with other Finnish crime fiction and international crime fiction written during the 1940s. The Iron and The Cross Spider uses the term citizenship education when analyzing how Helanen implicitly continued his political teaching when writing crime fiction. The series includes a didactic register, which instructs the middle class in appropriate behaviour and manners, and the social roles entailed by gender. A special area of focus in this didacticism are norms of correct masculinity and femininity. The study devotes specific attention to the status of character in the series. The masculine detective and his beautiful wife are prominent, as is the fictive community and the tensions that criss-cross it. After the war, the Rauta series takes on a positive tone. Men can earn their place in society by fighting at the front, and after the war a homosocial bond exists between all the former soldiers. Women are shut out of the war experience. The detective hero has served in the war, but he is physically and psychologically untouched by it. The community is threatened by artists and immoral bohemians, but not the working class. Artists have affairs outside of marriage and abnormal sexual habits. The members of the upper class are also described as immoral in the series. Sadistic sexuality is often characteristic of the criminals, who are mostly femme fatales in the fashion of hard-boiled detective stories and film noir. Also, strong feelings have a negative connotation in the series, and showing them is forbidden behaviour. Men become criminals when they are insufficiently masculine or when they have not carried out their duty by fighting in the war. Helanen portrayed the communists, his political opponents from the 1930s, as criminals in his post-war series, but they were not openly represented as Russians or communists. Instead, Helanen used the cross spider as their symbol, a symbol which the readers of the time would recognize.
  • Nikkonen, Ahti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Riekki, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The self-organized growth of nanodots and size selection are studied using reaction kinetic model rate equations. Two independent numerical methods and a mesoscopic continuous model are used to solve and analytically predict the details of the stationary nanodot size distribution. The strongly reversible growth of kinetic origin is studied. The power-law distributions which are common in nature, display scaling of the size distribution with clearly defined scaling exponents. The stochastic simulation results and predictions of continuous model are in good agreement. The self assembly of nanodots, observed in experiments and enabling the industrial use of dots in electronics, arises from the strain in heteroepitaxial growth systems and leads to uniform size distributions. To model the size selection, the size dependent thermodynamical energy of the nanodot is included into the reaction kinetics. The resulting distribution is studied in detail to resolve the overshooting phenomenon in which the mean of the distribution exceeds the thermodynamically favored size. The physical origin of the overshooting is explained as a combination of the reaction kinetics and the thermodynamical energy. The skewness of the size distribution is found from the numerical data, and it is added into the continuous model as a parameter to obtain an analytical estimate of the mean size. The predictions of overshooting are calculated for two different types of growth; the 3D metal nanodots and semiconductor nanodots with double-well thermodynamical energy. The optimal, narrow size distributions are found, and external adatom flux from e.g. an external adatom source or ion beam assisted deposition improves the size selection by driving the size distribution to the narrowest location. Nucleation theory calculations of the thermodynamically stable distributions are performed, and the results are comparable to numerical and modelling results.
  • Blomster, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Life on earth is largely dependent on plants, which provide us energy and oxygen. Plants are sessile organisms adapted to their respective growth environments. However, these environmental conditions are rarely constant and changes in growth conditions require modifications in plant metabolism. Abiotic environmental factors may suddenly become limited or excessive, or a pathogen attack may cause biotic stress. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are by-products of normal aerobic metabolism and their production is enhanced by biotic and abiotic stresses. ROS serve as signaling molecules, which regulate expression of stress-responsive genes together with other signaling pathways in order to achieve appropriate responses to the suboptimal environment. Human activities also modify the environment for instance by increasing levels of air pollutant ozone (O3) which is a ROS causing foliar damage in sensitive species and cultivars. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms governing plant stress tolerance is of increasing importance. Importantly for this work, O3 is known to cause production of apoplastic ROS in plants similar to other stresses and was therefore used here as a tool to study stress signaling. The Arabidopsis thaliana mutant radical-induced cell death1 (rcd1) harbors several stress phenotypes related to ROS signaling. In order to identify novel genes and signaling pathways regulating plant stress responses, RCD1 and its homologs were studied further. RCD1 belongs to a plant-specific SIMILAR TO RCD-ONE (SRO) gene family present in all land plants analyzed. The molecular function of SROs remains unknown as they have no poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activity and lack catalytic amino acids in the conserved PARP catalytic domain. However, SROs are able to interact with transcription factors via their C-terminal RST domain which suggests that they may regulate gene expression. In addition to altered rosette morphology, rcd1 has changes in gene expression in normal growth conditions which may partially be attributed to RCD1 protein-protein interactions. However, sro1 and sro5 plants are similar to wild-type Col-0 regarding their growth habitus and gene expression. A. thaliana paralogs RCD1 and SRO1 share unequal genetic redundancy: the rcd1 sro1 double mutant is stunted and SRO1 can partially complement rcd1. Transcriptomic analysis of apoplastic ROS-induced signaling triggered by O3 treatment revealed altered expression of thousands of genes in a time-dependent manner. In rcd1, this response was exaggerated, which may explain the triggering of programmed cell death in O3-treated rcd1. Transcription factor WRKY70 was identified as a positive regulator of cell death, putatively acting through altered balance of salicylic acid and jasmonic acid signaling. A transient decrease in auxin signaling together with altered expression of auxin-responsive transcripts by apoplastic ROS was observed. Decreased auxin signaling did not affect the extent of cell death caused by acute O3, but caused more severe morphological changes in chronically O3-treated plants. Altogether, these results suggest that auxin-ROS interaction modulates plant development under stress.
  • Lahtinen, Maarit (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Laccases (EC, benzenediol: oxygen oxidoreductase) are multicopper oxidases that can catalyze the oxidation of several, mainly different phenolic but also some inorganic substrates. Laccases selectively catalyze the one-electron oxidation of a phenolic substrate to a phenoxy radical, which can react further in non-enzymatic radical reactions. The phenolic subunits of lignin, one of the major components of wood, are natural substrates of laccases. In the presence of suitable small molecules, mediators, laccases can also catalyze the oxidation of the etherified (i.e. non-phenolic) subunits of lignin. The aim of this research is to increase the knowledge on the direct reactions of laccases and lignin, without mediators. Recently, this area has begun to garner increasing general interest as a result of the biorefinery concept, which aims to produce valuable raw material from sustainable resources. In addition, the most recent development of laccase mediators has been focusing on lignin-based phenolic molecules, which links these two areas, the laccase-mediator system and reactions without the mediator, directly to each other. Monomeric and dimeric lignin model compounds were used to evaluate the reactions and reactivity with laccases. Many of the model compounds represented the most common linkage-type in lignin, the beta-O-4 structure; thus, more efficient ways to synthesize these types of compounds were developed. Further, the oxidizabilities of the compounds, revealed by cyclic voltammetry, and the oxidation rates using the low- and the high-redox potential laccases from M. albomyces and T. hirsuta were compared in view of the theory that the reaction rate is dependent on the redox potential difference between the substrate and the laccase. However, it was found that the redox potential difference could not entirely explain the preferences of the studied laccases. The reaction products from the lignin model compounds were mainly formed as a result of 5-5 coupling and oxidation of the benzylic hydroxyl group to an aldehyde. The analysis was also performed as a function of time; for guaiacylic products the 5-5 coupling was the preferred reaction and these products were formed first. One model compound, vanillyl alcohol, was used to examine the effect of pH, enzyme dosage and temperature, all of which affected the product distribution. The observed predominating product was the 5-5 dimer, although according to computational evaluation, vanillin was the thermodynamically favored product, with a difference of 5.6 kcal mol-1. The transition states leading to the products seemed to affect the observed product distribution. In addition, the calculated pKa-values suggested that at the used pH range (4.5 7.5), rearomatization of the quinone intermediates could occur through deprotonation rather than through protonation. Finally, the M. albomyces laccase was tested in the presence of 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, [Amim]Cl; an ionic liquid able to dissolve lignin. An expected decrease in enzyme activity was also found experimentally. The monolignol coniferyl alcohol was polymerized further, as expected, but the chemical structure of the formed dehydropolymer (DHP) was also affected by the presence of [Amim]Cl.
  • Järveläinen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Autero, Esa (Tyylipaino, 2014)
    Many liberation theologians have argued that the poor have a privileged position as biblical interpreters by virtue of their socio-economic status. However, it is unclear how the privileged position and epistemological primacy should be understood or whether poor readers might make a contribution to academic biblical scholarship. The issue is further complicated by the liberation theologians assumption of the poor as socio-politically active members of the basic ecclesial communities. Yet, virtually no empirical studies have been conducted of ordinary Latin American Bible readers. This dissertation investigates the hermeneutical processes of two Pentecostal groups in Bolivia. One of the groups came from an affluent area and the other from a socioeconomically marginalized sector in society. Both read sections of Luke s poverty texts in focus groups. The readings were first compared to each other and then to the scholarly readings of the same texts. Finally, a critical dialogue between the readings was conducted. Since similar studies have not been conducted earlier, a considerable time was devoted to the methodological development and reflection. The researcher attempted to find out to what extent socio-economic status of ordinary Pentecostal readers influences their understanding of the Lucan texts and whether their hermeneutical processes and insights might make a contribution to scholarly interpretations of the Bible. The results indicate that socio-economic status had a considerable influence on the readers. Nevertheless, it was not an all-encompassing feature and in a number of sections the interpretations converged between the groups. This was most likely due to the groups shared Pentecostal tradition. Further, the interpretative opinions of the group members were not always unanimous and particularly the affluent group exhibited nearly opposing tendencies in their readings at times. Thus, based on this case study it is acknowledged that the claims of liberation theologians about the poor as biblical interpreters are broadly correct though they lack nuance and clarity. It is also argued that the Bolivian groups hermeneutical processes and readings may be useful for academic biblical scholars. The Bolivian readers use of imagination and contextual realities elicited comments about poverty, marginalization, and societal corruption that bring fresh perspectives into certain biblical texts. Nevertheless, perhaps the greatest contribution of the Bolivian readers is to hermeneutics. As such their perspectives and comments challenge biblical scholars to reevaluate their presuppositions and assumptions by locating themselves into the privileged world of academia in which biblical texts are analyzed from a distance rather than appropriated existentially in the midst of life s debilitating circumstances.
  • Polvinen, Merja (Helsingfors universitet, 2008)
    Reading the Texture of Reality presents readings of works of fiction, poetry and drama where the concepts developed by chaos theory appear. The study also examines the use of those concepts in literary scholarship and argues that chaos theory is deeply involved in redefining notions central to literary studies, such as literary form, authorial identity and the relation of literature to reality. The study examines the uses of chaos theory in the context of four major theoretical questions: What is literary scholarship and how does it differ from the natural sciences? What is the nature of the literary work and how can it be analysed? What is the relationship between self and other, both in terms of human identity and the different agencies involved in the reading of a literary work? How does the human mind connect to the material universe and how can that universe be represented in literature? All of these questions have been approached by scholars armed with the concepts of chaos theory. The fulcrum of the dissertation is a group of literary works that have clearly been influenced by chaos theory, but which equally clearly fall outside the categories and descriptions suggested by previous theoretical approaches to literature and chaos theory. The emphasis that previous research laid on disorder and uncertainty makes it unable to accommodate works that, while obviously referring to the methods of chaos theory and the systems it studies, also engage the order found in the seemingly complex, the possibility of coherent meaning despite the noise in the message, and the physical reality that lurks behind human sign systems. The discussion focuses on British playwright Tom Stoppard, American novelist John Barth, and American poet Jorie Graham. The issues that their works deal with through chaos theory are similar to those that appear in the works of many of the literary scholars discussed in this study, and thereby make possible a dialogue between literary works and theory. The humanist perspective presented in this study is shown to involve the appreciation of the role of scientific knowledge in culture, the conceptualisation of the literary work as a semi-autonomous and meaningful entity and of human identity as coherence rather than dissolution, as well as the belief that physical reality and embodiment can be represented in literature.
  • Janzon, Max (Max Janzon, 2014)
    Abstract The study offers a strong constructivist reading on Finnish border security. The objective of the study is to realize border security culture. Realizing Finnish border security culture implies constructing Finnish border territoriality and its social meanings thereof, and reconstructing the patterns of valorization. The first research objective is to construct the shared ideas and assumptions of Finnish border security by constructing border territoriality. The second research objective is to define socially constructed spatial strategy. The third research objective is to realize border security culture and implies framing the social practices that confirm social meanings and patterns. Accordingly, the study has three research objectives and three research questions. The first research question is about how Finnish border security is socially constructed. The second research question concerns Finnish socially constructed border strategy. The third research question asks the question of what about border security culture is realized. The empirical agenda of the study is concluded with a main empirical argument regarding border security culture realized. Border security culture is regarded constructivist and thus as a holistically embedded social structure, which by social constructivism is made known, obvious and then understandable. Social constructivism is treated as a metapractice of border security culture and derives its character from the perceived logical and pragmatic relationship to its object of inquiry. Scientific realism in this study is understood in terms of constitutive realism. Constitutive realism draws from the assumption that there is social knowledge and that this social knowledge is expressed in and by social structures. The epistemological position argues for a constitutive framing of Finnish border security that draws from practical knowledge and its contextual horizon. For empirical purposes, the study applies constitutive framing. The act of constitutive framing produces specific frames by organizing and interpreting the language used to communicate border security meaning, patterns, and practices. A total of twenty Finnish border security professionals in senior or executive positions were interviewed for the study. Border security culture in this study is understood to constitute spatial strategy and bordering practices shared by border security professionals. For the purpose of realizing border security culture, the study develops a constructivist argument according to which constructing border security is by application of securitization theory wedded to border security professionals and by using territorialization theory rooted in how border security professionals construct territoriality. Rooted in the social ontology of international border security, the social constructivist argument forms a territorial political sociology that develops by combining the securitizing practices of border security agents and their shared territoriality. According to the empirical agenda, the master constructs of Finnish border security are Eastborderness, Schengenization, Integration, and Cooperation. Eastborderness and Schengenization are acts for communicating territoriality while integrated and cooperational borderwork are acts for enforcing territoriality. The two patterns of valorization that emerge are territorial consciousness and (securitized) spatial order. The pattern of territorial consciousness constitutes pragmatic and constructive territoriality. The pattern of securitized spatial order constitutes coherent and coordinated spatial order. While pragmatic and constructive territoriality are influential acts for communicating border territoriality, coherent and coordinated spatial order are influential acts for enforcing territoriality. Such influential territoriality constitutes effectively a socially constructed convincing border strategy. Border security culture is then realized by the practices that confirm shared meanings and shared patterns. The practices of eastbordering, social bordering, and spatial bordering confirm Finnish border strategy. Further, these bordering practices constitute influential bordering culture and Finnish (and European) border security culture realized. The main empirical argument regarding a border security culture realized is as follows. Rooted in convincing border strategy, the practices of eastbordering, social bordering, and spatial bordering inhere in and constitute an influential bordering culture, and thereby Finnish (and European) border security culture is realized. Eastbordering refers to the practices of Finnish-Russian border security cooperation, while social bordering constitutes Frontex-like border security. Spatial bordering practices define networked border security. Finnish-Russian border security cooperation, Frontex-like border security, and networked border security constitute influential border security culture, while inhering acts for communicating and enforcing territoriality effectively influence interactions at the security borders.
  • Rinttilä, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common multifactorial functional intestinal disorder, the pathogenesis of which is not completely understood. Increasing scientific evidence suggests that microbes are involved in the onset and maintenance of IBS symptoms. The microbiota of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract constitutes a massive and complex ecosystem consisting mainly of obligate anaerobic microorganisms making the use of culture-based methods demanding and prone to misinterpretation. To overcome these drawbacks, an extensive panel of species- and group-specific assays for an accurate quantification of bacteria from fecal samples with real-time PCR was developed, optimized, and validated. As a result, the target bacteria were detectable at a minimum concentration range of approximately 10 000 bacterial genomes per gram of fecal sample, which corresponds to the sensitivity to detect 0.000001% subpopulations of the total fecal microbiota. The real-time PCR panel covering both commensal and pathogenic microorganisms was assessed to compare the intestinal microbiota of patients suffering from IBS with a healthy control group devoid of GI symptoms. Both the IBS and control groups showed considerable individual variation in gut microbiota composition. Sorting of the IBS patients according to the symptom subtypes (diarrhea, constipation, and alternating predominant type) revealed that lower amounts of Lactobacillus spp. were present in the samples of diarrhea predominant IBS patients, whereas constipation predominant IBS patients carried increased amounts of Veillonella spp. In the screening of intestinal pathogens, 17% of IBS samples tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus, whereas no positive cases were discovered among healthy controls. Furthermore, the methodology was applied to monitor the effects of a multispecies probiotic supplementation on GI microbiota of IBS sufferers. In the placebo-controlled double-blind probiotic intervention trial of IBS patients, each supplemented probiotic strain was detected in fecal samples. Intestinal microbiota remained stable during the trial, except for Bifidobacterium spp., which increased in the placebo group and decreased in the probiotic group. The combination of assays developed and applied in this thesis has an overall coverage of 300-400 known bacterial species, along with the number of yet unknown phylotypes. Hence, it provides good means for studying the intestinal microbiota, irrespective of the intestinal condition and health status. In particular, it allows screening and identification of microbes putatively associated with IBS. The alterations in the gut microbiota discovered here support the hypothesis that microbes are likely to contribute to the pathophysiology of IBS. The central question is whether the microbiota changes described represent the cause for, rather than the effect of, disturbed gut physiology. Therefore, more studies are needed to determine the role and importance of individual microbial species or groups in IBS. In addition, it is essential that the microbial alterations observed in this study will be confirmed using a larger set of IBS samples of different subtypes, preferably from various geographical locations.
  • Hepola, Helena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Individual housing, deprivation of sucking behaviour, and low milk intake are considered to be some of the factors which may reduce calf welfare. This thesis consists of three experiments that examined the effects of various rearing strategies on feed intake, growth, oral behaviour, and welfare of young dairy calves. Results concerning group (outside or inside the barn) and individual rearing of calves, keeping cows and calves together for a longer period than colostrum feeding, and water drinking on ad libitum milk replacer feeding are presented. In addition, meta-analyses from the three above mentioned experiments were conducted to evaluate relationships between intakes of different feeds, and feed intake and growth before and after weaning off milk. The aim of the first experiment was to compare feeding behaviour and the performance of young dairy calves in warm and cold group housing systems. In addition, housing calves individually and in groups inside the barn was compared. Group rearing may socially facilitate calves to start eating dry feeds and ruminating earlier than individual housing. Cross sucking problems in calf groups can be reduced by feeding and management factors. Group-housed calves can cope with the changing temperatures in an unheated production system if they are under careful management. Low temperatures can, however, decrease the time spent eating, and may thus affect growth, at least if the eating place is outside, and separated from the lying area which is in shelter. In the second experiment the effect of five weeks of restricted suckling (twice a day suckling two hours after the cows were milked) followed by three weeks of even more restricted suckling (once a day) was compared to abrupt weaning after five weeks of restricted suckling to see if the former had less effect on feed intake, growth and weaning behaviour of the calves. When the calves were weaned at five weeks of age, they did not eat dry feed in sufficient amounts to compensate for the loss of milk provision. Consequently, the calves abruptly weaned at the age of five weeks lost weight after weaning. Therefore, from a calf welfare point of view total weaning at the age of five weeks from high milk allowance is not recommended since calves had difficulties in coping in that situation. Five weeks of twice a day suckling, followed by three weeks of once a day suckling reduces the decline in energy intake and growth following weaning. However, weaning from suckling the dam affected calves’ behaviour, both at the age of five and eight weeks, by increasing calves’ restlessness and vocalizations after weaning. In the third experiment the objective was firstly to examine water intake of calves fed acidified milk replacer ad libitum during the milk feeding and weaning stages. Secondly, the objective was to determine whether the method of water delivery (open bucket or nipple) impacted water and feed intake and growth during these periods, or oral behaviour during weaning. Calves consumed very little water when they had ad libitum access to acidified milk replacer, but after weaning the calves increased their water intake very quickly. No differences in water intake between the two water sources were noted either before or after abrupt weaning. Calves did, however, have some difficulties in using water nipples, which appeared as atypical drinking behaviours. Meta-analysis indicated that concentrate and hay intakes decreased by increased milk intake during the final part of the milk feeding period. Milk intake at the age of 2-5 and 6-8 weeks clearly increased growth, more at the age of 2-5 weeks than at the age of 6-8 weeks. There was a positive relationship between concentrate intake before and after weaning. In addition, a positive relationship was found between water and concentrate intake after weaning. Results from feed intake and growth data does not always reveal the possible differences in rearing systems for young dairy calves in terms of animal welfare as was seen in these experiments. Therefore, behaviour should also be taken into account when comparing rearing strategies for dairy calves.
  • Puputti, Marjut (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    In the present study we investigated expression and amplification of KIT, PDGFRA, VEGFR2 and EGFR in glioblastomas and in lower grade gliomas, and analyzed the hot spot mutation sites of KIT, PDGFRA and EGFR genes for presence of mutations in glioblastoma. Furthermore, we evaluated expression of KIT, SCF and VEGFR2 in paediatric brain tumors and in tumour endothelial cells, and studied the intratumoral heterogeneity of EGFR and KIT amplifications in primary glioblastomas and astrocytomas. Mutations turned out to be infrequent in these genes suggesting that neither primary nor secondary glioblastomas are usually driven by KIT or PDGFRA mutations, or by EGFR kinase domain mutations. Amplifications of KIT, VEGFR2, PDGFRA and EGFR turned out to be frequent in glioblastoma. KIT was amplified in 47% and VEGFR2 in 39% out of the 43 primary glioblastomas investigated, and PDGFRA in 29%. Presence of KIT, PDGFRA and VEGFR2 amplifications were strongly associated (p < 0.0001 for each pair wise comparison) suggesting co-amplification. We investigated presence of gene amplifications also in other types of gliomas either in tumour samples collected at the time of the diagnosis or in samples collected at the time of tumour recurrence. In tumour tissue samples collected at the time of the diagnosis KIT and PDGFRA amplifications turned out to be more frequent in anaplastic astrocytomas than in astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas. Amplified KIT was more frequently present in recurrent gliomas than in newly diagnosed. Pilocytic astrocytomas studied did not harbour amplification of KIT. KIT expression was common in tumour endothelial cells in pilocytic astrocytomas, and endothelial cell KIT was frequently activated. Tumour endothelial cell KIT expression was associated with a young age at the time of the diagnosis. Ependymomas also frequently expressed KIT in endothelial cells, and its expression tended to be associated with a young age at the time of the diagnosis. Finally, we investigated heterogeneity of KIT and EGFR amplification and their protein products in gliomas by studying several tissue blocks from each tumour. EGFR amplification was found in ten out of the 15 glioblastomas studied when analysis was carried out from only one tissue block, and in 11 cases when all available tissue blocks were analyzed. KIT was amplified in six out of the 15 index glioblastoma tissue blocks, but in 10 glioblastomas when all tissue blocks were analyzed. These findings suggest that glioblastomas show marked heterogeneity in KIT amplifications and that heterogeneity is less for EGFR amplifications.
  • Bräutigam, Tobias (2008)
    The doctoral dissertation deals with conflicts between access rights to public information and other legally protected interests, such as trade secrets or national security in comparative perspective. While the dissertation develops an own approach to comparative law, it focuses on the German Informationsfreiheitsgesetz (IFG) in substance matters. The German IFG is contrasted with two other laws, namely the Finnish Julkisuuslaki (JL) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of the USA. After a brief introduction, a methodological chapter takes up the most essential question of comparative law: How to compare? The methodology is developed by analysing two challenges of comparative law. The first challenge is presented by what I term the off-the-shelf critique, i.e. a critique that applies to all comparative legal monographs. Comparing law can never fully succeed because it can always be attacked for being too shallow or for including too many details. There is no happy medium. The second critique is more fundamental and denies the possibility of meaningful comparison at all, mainly for epistemological reasons. This doctoral dissertation deals with those problems in the following way. To begin with, access to documents is defined narrowly. Secondly, the legal culture is seen as a key to understand different freedom of information laws. Further, before starting to compare, a neutral description of the Act in question is done. Fourthly, throughout the work I point the reader to the idiosyncrasy of the legal terms of different jurisdictions by e.g. marking the terms in italics. Finally and most importantly, I will concentrate on conflicts of different legally protected interests. The FOIA of the USA and the Finnish JL are analysed according to this methodology. Both chapters start with an analysis of the legal culture influencing access to information and go on to outline the main characteristics of the respective Acts. The main part of those chapters is devoted to an analysis of five central conflicts. Those conflicts concern national security, procedural rights, privacy, trade secrets and challenges of administrative procedure with access rights of citizens. The last chapter applies the same methodology to the German IFG, and compares this law with the findings of the FOIA of the USA and the Finnish JL in order to answer the question whether the German act is up to the international standard. In the dissertation, freedom of information laws are classified in three categories. While the FOIA and especially the JL have evolved to the highest categories, the IFG has several weaknesses that make it poorly fit for the information age.
  • Paukkeri, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The study investigates actions by recipients in spontaneous Russian conversations by focusing on DA, NU and TAK, when they are used as responses to the main speaker's larger on-going turn. The database for the study consists of some 7 hours of spontaneous conversations. The participants of the conversations come from different parts of Russia. The use of DA, NU and TAK was analyzed by applying the method of ethnomethodological conversation analysis from the point of view of the type of the context, the sequential placement of the response and its manner of production. The particles were analyzed both in contexts in which they responded to an informing and in affective contexts. The particles NU and TAK were used by the speakers almost exclusively in informing contexts, whereas DA was the central response type in affective contexts. DA was also the most common response to information with affective implications. The information, to which the particle NU provided as response, was often unspesific and projected a spesification or explanation by its speaker as the next action. DA and TAK, by contrast, treated the information as one that could be followed and was sufficient in its local context. As a response to parenthetical information NU responded to information that was only loosely connected with the mainline of talk. The particle DA, by contrast, was used as a response to such parenthetical information, which was more crucial for the larger on-going activity. Only NU was used as a response that invited the main speaker to continue a turn that she or he had offered as possibly complete. NU was also used by the recipient after her or his own contribution as a continuer. In affective contexts, DA expressed, depending on its more spesific context, not only agreement but also other functions, such as giving up arguing or prior knowledge on the topic being discussed. In addition DA responses were used to display empathy and identification with the state of affairs expressed by the co-participant. NU, by contrast, was seldom used as a response to a turn that expressed affect. When it was used in affective contexts, it displayed agreement with the co-participant or just registered an assessment by her or him.
  • Chernenko, Anton (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Communication is probably one of the major means of life maintenance. Communication involves the use of signals, which can be visual, audial, olfactory etc. Organisms communicate in many different contexts, ranging from establishing own identity, foraging for food, finding a mate, protecting their territory, to more sophisticated ones such as engaging in social behaviour. Recognition is the action or process of recognizing or being recognized. Recognition based on olfactory cues is perhaps best known from many insect species and is mediated by a wide range of volatile compounds, e.g. esters or terpenes, or non-volatile compounds such as cuticular hydrocarbons. In insects cuticular hydrocarbons are often the main agents involved in species recognition, predator avoidance, fertility and dominance signalling, cues that help parasites intrude their host nests but also those that help hosts to fend off the parasites; and also as cues facilitating sexual selection. In social insects in addition to above mentioned, cuticular hydrocarbons are involved in coordinating division of labour and nest mate recognition. The aim of my thesis was to study recognition system underlining social behaviour in Formica ants such as recognition of con- and hetero-specifics, e.g. nestmates and social parasites, and their brood as well as to examine cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of males and females. The results show that queens of potential social parasites have a very low chance to invade host colonies of Formica ants and become fully integrated. Moreover, social parasitism pressure, beside from affecting how the parasites are discriminated against, may also have an effect on the host kin recognition system and lead to rejection errors of descendant brood. Thus selection mediated by temporary social parasitism may drive enhanced recognition abilities. Colony kin structure does not seem to have any effect on recognition system towards con-specific non-nestmate and nestmate queens as both low- and high-relatedness colonies were as stringent towards unrelated individuals, although colonies with presumably high genetic diversity also showed significantly greater chemical diversity based on chemical profiles of sexuals. Hence nest mate recognition entails more complex interactions between individual genotypes and colony recognition cue phenotype than previously assumed. This thesis provides important insights on host-parasite interactions and highlights the complex interactions between different selection regimes affecting recognition system.
  • Mantere, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This study is part of an ongoing collaborative bipolar research project, the Jorvi Bipolar Study (JoBS). The JoBS is run by the Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research of the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, and the Department of Psychiatry, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH), Espoo, Finland. It is a prospective, naturalistic cohort study of secondary level care psychiatric in- and outpatients with a new episode of bipolar disorder (BD). The second report also included 269 major depressive disorder (MDD) patients from the Vantaa Depression Study (VDS). The VDS was carried out in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry of the Peijas Medical Care District. Using the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), all in- and outpatients at the Department of Psychiatry at Jorvi Hospital who currently had a possible new phase of DSM-IV BD were sought. Altogether, 1630 psychiatric patients were screened, and 490 were interviewed using a semistructured interview (SCID-I/P). The patients included in the cohort (n=191) had at intake a current phase of BD. The patients were evaluated at intake and at 6- and 18-month interviews. Based on this study, BD is poorly recognized even in psychiatric settings. Of the BD patients with acute worsening of illness, 39% had never been correctly diagnosed. The classic presentations of BD with hospitalizations, manic episodes, and psychotic symptoms lead clinicians to correct diagnosis of BD I in psychiatric care. Time of follow-up elapsed in psychiatric care, but none of the clinical features, seemed to explain correct diagnosis of BD II, suggesting reliance on cross- sectional presentation of illness. Even though BD II was clearly less often correctly diagnosed than BD I, few other differences between the two types of BD were detected. BD I and II patients appeared to differ little in terms of clinical picture or comorbidity, and the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity was strongly related to the current illness phase in both types. At the same time, the difference in outcome was clear. BD II patients spent about 40% more time depressed than BD I patients. Patterns of psychiatric comorbidity of BD and MDD differed somewhat qualitatively. Overall, MDD patients were likely to have more anxiety disorders and cluster A personality disorders, and bipolar patients to have more cluster B personality disorders. The adverse consequences of missing or delayed diagnosis are potentially serious. Thus, these findings strongly support the value of screening for BD in psychiatric settings, especially among the major depressive patients. Nevertheless, the diagnosis must be based on a clinical interview and follow-up of mood. Comorbidity, present in 59% of bipolar patients in a current phase, needs concomitant evaluation, follow-up, and treatment. To improve outcome in BD, treatment of bipolar depression is a major challenge for clinicians.
  • Kansikas, Minttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The most common inherited cancer syndrome, Lynch syndrome (LS), is caused by a defected post-replicative DNA mismatch repair (MMR) pathway. Human MMR is initiated by the binding of a heterodimeric mismatch recognition factor MutSα (MSH2+MSH6) or MutSβ (MSH2+MSH3), followed by the assembly of the repairosome by MutLα (MLH1+PMS2). In addition to sharing a common heterodimerisation protein, the roles of MutSα and MutSβ have been suggested to overlap in the repair of small insertion deletion loops. A germline mutation in MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2 is most commonly the cause of LS. Mutation carriers have a significantly increased risk for colon and endometrial cancers in particular, although tumorigenesis is thought to only commence upon losing the healthy allele. The clinical importance of identifying LS patients is reflected by the significantly increased cancer risk of LS mutation carriers and the effectiveness of LS associated cancer surveillance. The clinical diagnosis of LS relies on tumour pathological analyses, the identification of an MMR gene variation by mutation analysis and the subsequent pathogenicity assessment of the variation. However, the clinical significance of non-truncating genetic alterations can be difficult to interpret as they are associated to a variety of clinical phenotypes, ranging from the lack of adverse effects to a highly increased cancer risk. Due to the unknown functional significance of such variants, functional assessment is required for their pathogenicity assessment. Hence, biological tools used to assess the pathogenicity of MMR gene variations can be central to identifying LS patients. The aim of the studies in this thesis was to understand how MMR proteins and MMR gene alterations affect the MMR mechanism and contribute to LS. The role and significance of the wild type and variant MMR proteins were analysed in a homologous human MMR system by an in vitro MMR assay. Three different substrate molecules consisting of a GT mismatch, a single or a two nucleotide loop were used to study the substrate specificities and MMR efficiencies of the MutS protein complexes. Even though MutSβ does not participate in mononucleotide loop repair, it was shown to exceed MutSα in dinucleotide loop repair indicating that dinucleotide microsatellite instability in the absence of mononucleotide instability is indicative of MSH3 defects. Furthermore, the introduction of a dinucleotide loop substrate to our assay allowed the novel pathogenicity assessment of an MSH3 variation. Functional variant pathogenicity assessment of MMR gene variations linked to atypical clinical features also confirmed the pathogenicity of two novel MSH6 variations and one biallelic MLH1 variation. The compound contribution of MMR gene VUS pairs, as found in LS cancer patients, was assessed and a subtle compound effect of two MSH2 variations that appear MMR proficient when assayed individually was shown. Also, the application of MMR gene variants with known molecular effects to verify a variation pathogenicity assessment model helped describe the model appropriate for MLH1 and MSH2 variations. Finally, we established MMR gene specific knockdown cell lines to investigate the effect of reduced MMR gene expression on the MMR efficiency. The knockdown clones retaining 50% of MSH2 or MSH6 mRNA expression demonstrated significantly reduced in vitro MMR efficiencies whilst a decrease was also detectable in MLH1 knockdown extracts. The knowledge of the gene specific mRNA expression levels that can be detected as MMR deficient, presents the opportunity to develop the assay to recognise LS from non-cancerous cells.
  • Kallio-Kokko, Hannimari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)