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  • Eränpalo, Tommi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This dissertation deals with young people s civic skills and how these competences can be developed particularly in civics education at school by means of gamification. The dissertation consists of four sub-studies written in article form as well as a summary. The articles examine young people s civic behaviour from the perspective of conceptions of democracy, civic competence and civic identity. The current generation of youth and young adults seems to be shunning the traditional structures of civic participation and political decision making. Young people are re-evaluating their own roles in civic discussion and are often choosing methods that are outside the official channels. To further develop civic activism, this state of affairs should be changed, since our future decision makers will ultimately emerge from this group of people. The role of the school is seen as essential in scientific debate on the subject. The dissertation commences with the question of how deceptive the suggestion is that young people are passive, and how civic education didactics need new ways to recognise students involvement in civic matters. This query is addressed by means of finding new methods for civics education, using, for example, gamification and dialogue education. The intention of the dissertation is to answer the following questions: a) What aspects of young people s civic skills can be detected in the deliberation resulting from game playing? b) How should civics education at school be developed to strengthen young people s inclusion in civic affairs? The Grounded theory method is applied in the study. Each dissertation article introduces a new perspective on the research phenomenon, and the analysis of the research material proceeds in stages revealing new information on young people s civic competence. The theoretical conclusions of the study are presented in the summary. The first article focuses on the public image of young people s civic competence, which has been marked by pessimism in the early 21st century. This negative image has been publicly debated in conjunction with international surveys indicating young people s passive behaviour in civic orientation (CIVED 1999 and ICCS 2009). The article looks for a new perspective by ques-tioning the pessimistic interpretations of these surveys. It also presents new research evidence of a more active youth culture. The second and third articles venture deeper into the world of young people s civic competence. The image of young people being passive is often maintained by the conventional discussion culture in schools, one that avoids open ideological and political debate and does not particularly encourage deliberation on civic matters. The articles raise issues concerning the atmosphere in the classroom as well as the role of the student in education and society as a whole. It also presents the Act now! game, developed by the author and the author s students. The game aims to provide a framework for dealing with civic issues by means of deliberation. The fourth article introduces the concept of dialogue in education, and a comparative Scandinavian example of it. The Act now! game was played in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The article focuses on dialogue education as part of young people s civics education, and examines the features that emerge from analysing civic identity among Scandinavian youth. The summary presents the results in a way that is typical to the Grounded theory method. It then provides a summarizing analysis of them. The results justify claiming that teaching methods involving deliberation in civic education stimulate and strengthen young people s participatory civic orientation as well as their civic competence. The summary also speculates on the possibilities of increasing young people s motivation to participate in civic issues. The competences that arise from young people s deliberation indicate how the young are capable of responding to civic responsibility. The results also high-light the democratic-political need to create a forum in which young people may engage in civic deliberation. The ongoing curricular reform in Finnish primary and secondary schools will emphasise student involvement as well as creating a new and more active role for students. Accordingly, the results of this study can be implemented in civics teaching. They also suggest that deliberation instruments such as the Act Now! game could be used as a solution to didactic needs on a wider scale. A game-like method offers an example of dialogical teaching that enables a path to deliberation. Keywords: Civic competence, deliberation, gamification, inclusion
  • Oksanen, Tuomas (Suomen Ensihoidon Tiedotus Oy, 2015)
    Aims of the study Intensive care is usually necessary for the good survival of postresuscitation patients. The use of some intensive care methods can make the survival better. The main focus of this thesis was to analyze implementation of therapeutic hypothermia in Finnish intensive care units (ICU) and its impact on survival, impact of strict glucose control on the survival of postresuscitation patients, incidence of postresuscitation myocardial depression during therapeutic hypothermia and usefulness of serum NSE concentration for prognostication. Patients and methods Implementation of therapeutic hypothermia and survival of postresuscitation patients in ICUs in Finland was analyzed retrospectively using data from the Finnish Intensive Care Consortium quality database. Impact of glucose control on survival of postresuscitation patients was studied in a randomized controlled study of patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia (24 hours at 33°C) in HUCH ICUs (n = 90). The study patients were randomized to strict (4 6 mmol/l) or moderate (6 8 mmol/l) glucose control for the first 48 hours. The incidence of myocardial depression was studied in a retrospective analysis of hemodynamic data from clinical information system database of 120 postresuscitation patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia (24 hours at 33°C) in HUCH ICUs. Usefulness of serum NSE and some other factors as prognostic tools were analyzed retrospectively from laboratory database of 90 postresuscitation patients treated with ­therapeutic hypothermia (24 hours at 33°C) in HUCH ICUs. Results Therapeutic hypothermia was implemented widely in Finnish ICUs in a few years after international guidelines were published in 2003. In the same time, mortality of postresuscitation patients treated in ICUs decreased. Mortality or serum NSE concentration did not differ between patients treated with strict or moderate glucose control. However, strict glucose control increased risk of hypoglycemia. Myocardial depression, manifesting as low cardiac output (CI less than 1.5 l/min/m2), was ­observed during the first 12 hours in two thirds of patients monitored with pulmonary artery catheter. Other hemodynamic parametres did not differ. Serum NSE concentration at 48 hours after cardiac arrest and decreasing concentration at that time point correlated with neurologic outcome, but with 100% specificity, sensitivity was low. Conclusions Therapeutic hypothermia was implemented rapidly in Finnish ICUs, compared with other European countries or USA. This was associated with better outcome, but causality is uncertain. Strict normoglycemia during intensive care of postresuscitation patients is not necessary. The optimal goal for blood glucose level is not known. Myocardial depression manifesting as low cardiac output is common in postresuscitation patients, but difficult to detect without monitoring cardiac output. The impact of ­recognition and treatment of myocardial depression on outcome requires further studies. Serum NSE measured at least 48 hours after resuscitation can be used as a prognostic tool together with other methods.
  • Rajamäki, Kristiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of myocardial infarction and stroke, the leading causes of death worldwide. It is a complex multifactorial disease closely linked with obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome and, together, these conditions comprise the global epidemic of metabolic disorders that are becoming more and more prevalent, affecting adults and children alike. Atherosclerosis affects the large arteries that gradully loose their normal structure and function via a degenerative process involving lipid accumulation and chronic inflammation in the arterial wall. The lipid accumulation is driven by high circulating levels of cholesterol-carrying low density lipoproteins that become trapped and modified in the arterial wall. This causes an inflammatory reaction characterized by abundant immune cell infiltrates, mainly monocyte-derived macrophages. The macrophages scavenge large amounts of lipids and become activated to secrete a host of proinflammatory mediators and matrix-degrading enzymes that drive the progression of the disease. These processes result in the focal development of fatty lesions or plaques along the arteries. Over time, more complex lesions develop as a result of inflammatory and fibrotic responses, matrix remodeling, calcification, cholesterol crystallization, neovessel formation, and microhemorrhages. Ultimately, the plaques may rupture, causing thrombosis and acute complications. Although inflammation is recognized as a major driving force in atherosclerotic lesion development, the mechanisms triggering and maintaining the arterial wall inflammation remain incompletely understood. The aim of this thesis was to study the role of a key innate immune signaling pathway, the inflammasome, in atherosclerosis. The inflammasomes are large cytoplasmic signaling complexes that trigger the proteolytic maturation and secretion of two proinflammatory and proatherogenic cytokines, interleukin(IL)-1beta and -18. The inflammasome pathway can be triggered by microbial components or by sterile endogenous danger signals that elicit the activation of cytoplasmic sensor molecules from the NLR (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing) or PYHIN (pyrin and HIN domain containing) families. Despite the established roles of IL-1beta and -18 in driving atherosclerotic lesion development, the triggers of inflammasome activation in atherosclerotic plaques remained unknown. Macrophages are the prototypical inflammasome pathway-expressing cells, and thus cultured human macrophages were utilized to identify and characterize atherosclerosis-associated triggers of the inflammasome pathway. Cholesterol crystals and acidic environment were both found to trigger a strong inflammatory response via the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and secretion of IL-1beta and IL-18. Cholesterol crystals are a hallmark of atherosclerotic lesions, yet they have been considered an inert material that merely acts as a sink for excess free cholesterol in the arterial wall. These new data suggested, however, that cholesterol crystals act as a potent sterile danger signal that may directly link pathological lipid accumulation and inflammation in the lesions. Local extracellular acidosis arises in the growing plaque due to the hindered diffusion of oxygen and the highly active glycolytic metabolism of macrophages. Acidic environment not only triggered the NLRP3 inflammasome, but even a very mild acidification from the physiological pH of 7.4 to 7.0 was sufficient to greatly amplify the IL-1beta response to other NLRP3 activators, including cholesterol crystals. Having showed that the atherosclerotic lesions harbour potent activators of the inflammasome pathway, we further analyzed the expression of this pathway in atherosclerotic human coronary specimens obtained from 10 explanted hearts. For this purpose, we utilized a quantitative PCR array targeting 88 inflammasome pathway-related molecules. Significant upregulation of 12 target genes was found in advanced coronary plaques compared to early lesions from the same coronary trees, including many of the very core components of the inflammasome pathway. Moreover, p38delta mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), a poorly characterized isoform of the stress- and cytokine-activated p38 MAPK family, was consistently upregulated in advanced coronary plaques. Immunohistochemical stainings of human coronary lesions showed strong expression of NLRP3 inflammasome components and p38delta MAPK in macrophages surrounding the cholesterol crystal-rich lipid core. Furthermore, the p38delta MAPK was activated in cultured human macrophages upon NLRP3 inflammasome activation by cholesterol crystals and extracellular ATP, and required for NLRP3-mediated IL-1beta secretion. Taken together, the data presented in this thesis propose novel inflammasome-mediated mechanisms that may trigger sterile inflammation in atherosclerotic lesions and thus drive lesion progression.
  • Pérez Vera, Cristina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The incidence of arthropod-borne infections is increasing worldwide and Fennoscandia is no exception. In the last decades, infections transmitted by ticks are being diagnosed more frequently in people living in the Nordic countries. Ixodes ricinus, the sheep or castor bean tick, which is the most common tick in North-Western Europe, is widely distributed in Finland. Ixodes ticks are vectors of a broad spectrum of pathogens of medical and veterinary importance, such as Babesia spp., Borrelia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Ap), Bartonella spp., tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), and Francisella tularensis. To date, there is limited information regarding the prevalence of many vector borne diseases in companion animals in Finland, and therefore the majority of available data come from human medicine studies. Infections caused by Bartonella species are considered an emerging zoonosis. One peculiarity of this genus of bacteria is its ability to cause long lasting bacteremia in reservoir hosts. Also, it appears that no other infectious agent is transmitted by more vectors. The deer ked, Lipoptena cervi, is an ectoparasite of moose (Alces alces), which carries Bartonella DNA. Deer keds, which are a nuisance for people, can occasionally bite humans and cause deer ked dermatitis. Whether or not the deer ked can successfully transmit bartonellae to ruminants or humans has not been determined. Because many of the arthropod-borne infections that affect dogs can cause serious disease in people, dogs are considered to be effective sentinel animals to assess the risk of human infection. Also, pets represent a large reservoir for human Bartonella infection because most of the species that infect them are zoonotic. The objective of the present research project was threefold: first, to establish the serological and molecular prevalence of selected tick borne diseases in a large group of dogs in Finland; second, to retrospectively compare different diagnostic approaches and clinicopathologic findings in dogs infected with Bartonella spp.; and third, to explore the role of the deer ked in the transmission of Bartonella spp. to Finnish moose. The serological results from dogs in this study indicate that Finnish dogs are exposed to at least one of four tested arthropod borne pathogens. Dogs were most frequently exposed to Ap (5.3%) followed by Bb (2.9%). Exposure rates were significantly higher in dogs living in Åland. No Finnish dog in this study was infected with Bartonella spp, based on PCR. Bartonella-infected dogs from the USA were most often infected with B. henselae, based on BAPGM enrichment PCR. Interestingly, for most of these dogs, no positive antibodies against Bartonella spp were detected. Clinicopathologic abnormalities in dogs with Bartonella infection were similar to those dogs suspected to have other vector-borne infection. The presence of Bartonella DNA (B. schoenbuchensis and B.bovis) was demonstrated in deer ked pupae samples and in one winged adult, which indicates transstadial transmission of this bacterium in the deer ked. The same Bartonella species were identified in blood samples from free ranging moose in Finland. Furthermore, a high prevalence of Bartonella infection was found in moose, which was significantly lowest in northern Lapland, a region considered deer-ked free. These findings further support the potential of L.cervi as vector of Bartonella.
  • Aivelo, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Parasite community dynamics is one of the central themes in contemporary parasitology. While between-host dynamics has been studied for a long time, within-host dynamics is less well studied. My aim was to identify which factors affect the parasite community during the lifetime of individual hosts by following longitudinally several individuals from a long-living species. Specifically, I was interested in how the dynamics of infra- and component communities differ from one another and which traits explain the variation in infracommunities. I studied rufous mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus), which is a primate living in the eastern montane rainforests of Madagascar. Mouse lemur is a well-suited study species as it can live for up to ten years in the wild. Due to its small size, the population density is high and trapping straightforward. Nematodes are the most common helminths found in mouse lemurs, but their identification is difficult. Typically, the nematodes are identified from adult specimens, but for longitudinal studies, this is not possible, as we cannot dissect the host individuals. In addition, morphological differences between species are small and we expected to encounter previously undescribed species. These difficulties led to the development of a new method, based on metabarcoding, to identify parasitic nematodes from fecal samples. The method I developed encompasses all steps from fieldwork to sequence analysis. Despite numerous confounding factors, the method managed to amplify and analyze half of the samples collected. Whilst there is room for further improvements, the main advantage is that the method works well for different host species, for example mouse lemurs and gastropods. In principle, this method works for all species of nematode, including free-living soil nematodes. Nevertheless, the resolution of identification do not allow for species-level identification. The variation in the parasite community inside individual hosts was extensive, but at the population level remained stable. Most of the parasites belonged to the putative species thought to be Strongyloides sp. The reason for this species success might be its lifecycle, the parasite can live in the intestine or as a free-living form in the soil. Due to the limited number of samples, the factors affecting the dynamics in individual mouse lemurs are difficult to analyze. It appears that sex and age do not have an effect on either parasite load or variation in parasite dynamics. Nevertheless, body condition appears to bear a consequence with the individuals in better condition having more parasite species in addition to higher fecal egg loads. The reason may be that those individuals are able to sustain larger populations of parasites, or that they are more tolerant to parasites. Hibernation could lead to the extinction of the nematode community, whereas higher precipitation appeared to lead to higher prevalences. This work gives insights into the dynamics of parasite communities both at the host individual and population level. It highlights the need for longitudinal studies as parasite community dynamics in host individual-level cannot be inferred from the host population-level The method I have developed can be used to perform more efficient and faster surveys of previously unknown parasite communities, though further development is necessary for better reliability.
  • Yli-Hemminki, Pirjo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Mineral concretions or nodules are found from the Oceans, lakes and in soils. Their element content has been studied well due to possible commercial use, but interest in their bacterial communities has risen due to environmental implications. Iron manganese (Fe Mn) concretions cover vast bottom areas in the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland (GoF). These mineral precipitates sequester several times higher amounts of Fe, Mn, phosphorus (P) and arsenic (As) than the surrounding sediment. Despite their large occurrence, the environmental significance of the concretion bottoms has been a somewhat understudied issue. The aim of the present study was to investigate the bacterial community structure, and possible microbial contributions to the formation and decay of concretions in the Baltic Sea. The further aim was to study how concretions respond to different environmental stresses, such as anoxia and crude oil contamination, which the concretions may encounter in GoF bottoms. The methods used were determination of solid and dissolved Fe, Mn, P and As during microcosm incubations under oxidising or reducing conditions, also with crude oil and 14C naphthalene added. Bacterial community structure was studied by cloning and sequencing taxonomic marker gene (partial 16S rRNA gene), and quantification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation (PAH RHDα) gene copy number. Morphologically and taxonomically diverse bacteria colonise both the pitted surface and the porous interior of spherical concretions. Half of the population was affiliated to uncultured Proteobacteria, and one third was unclassified bacteria. Concretion bacteria populations appeared typical for this habitat. Bacteria may significantly affect the formation of the concretions in the GoF, because known Mn oxidising bacteria were enriched in Mn2+ containing liquid and semi solid media. The Fe2+ oxygen gradient favoured the enrichment of species which are known to reduce Fe and to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons. Concretions released Fe and Mn during anoxic conditions only if they were supplied with labile carbon source, indicating bacterial metal reduction. The dissolution of Mn was the highest, but the release of P and As followed Fe. The release rates (µmol m-2 d-1) from the concretions were within the range of the previously estimated fluxes out of the GoF sediment. Still, the concretions released only minor proportions (0.1 0.4%) of their total Fe, Mn, P and As content during a prolonged anoxic period. Concretions and sediment had a very similar capacity to remove petroleum compounds and mineralise naphthalene under oxic as well as anoxic conditions, and over one half of the added crude oil disappeared from the microcosms. Copy numbers of PAH degradation genes increased, indicating biological degradation potential of PAHs by the concretion bacterial community. Both concretions and sediment had rich and clearly different bacterial communities prior to and also past the exposure to crude oil. Only 9% of the OTUs were shared between the initial concretions and the sediment. Concretion bacterial sequences were affiliated to bacterial groups previously found from concretions and metal rich environments (ecotypes) even after the crude oil exposure, whereas sediment bacterial sequences were similar to those originating from sediments and oil contaminated sites.
  • Lahtinen, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The study is concerned with the interaction between Robert Boyle s experimentalism and medicine. Boyle made an attempt to establish his kind of experimental philosophy as the basis of of medicine. At the same time, however, medicine offered him a model of a discipline which, unlike other learned disciplines, embodied several notions of experiment and ways of writing about experiment. Boyle s involvement in medicine was a complicated exchange of ideas and practices. On the one hand, medical literature and the medical notions of experiment had an impact on his experimental philosophy. On the other hand, however, he also applied his own ideas about experiment and its function to his medical work. In this study, Boyle s medical writings of various kinds, such as recipe books, natural historical works and treatises discussing medical practice, theory and medical reform are explored. I examine these works to find out what kind of activities were called experiment on the one hand, and to explicate the functions of experimental texts in Boyle s medical writings, on the other. To do this, I approach Boyle s medical works from several viewpoints. First of all, I examine Boyle s role as a medical author and place his medical writings in the immediate context formed by contemporary medical literature. Secondly, I explore the different kinds of texts Boyle wrote on the basis of medical experiments and the functions these texts have in his published works. Finally, I examine what these texts tell us about the nature of his experimental activities. My dissertation advances an argument about Boyle s experimentalism and method. I seek to show that contrary to what has often been presumed, Boyle applied no single experimental method in his experimental activities but, instead, that his experimentalism embodied experimental methods of various kinds. His writings do not define experimentalism as a method but rather as a particular kind of approach to natural knowledge. Moreover, the manner in which Boyle s medical works describe his experimental activities shows that there hardly was much method in his manner of working. Hence, this study presents his medical experimentalism as a somewhat disorderly effort and suggests that Boyle s experimental philosophy embodied no single and consistent methodological doctrine.
  • Kriikku, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) can adversely affect driving skills in numerous ways and put lives at risk. Legal approaches to DUID vary considerably from country to country, even within Europe, and, in the last decades the emergence of new psychoactive substances (NPS) has further complicated the scene. DUID is an unlawful act if the substance taken is banned or impairs driving. The latter is hard to define and prove, putting pressure on governments to ban NPS as quickly as possible in order to protect the public by facilitating enforcement of DUID laws. However, banning requires knowledge on several aspects of NPS such as prevalence, pharmacology, abuse potential and toxicity. Up-to-date, evidence-based information on NPS is needed by legislators, toxicologists, clinicians, and other health care professionals. Such information would enable potential drug users and the public to be more aware of the risks associated with illicit use of NPS. This study aimed to add to the knowledge of the NPS most relevant in Finland. In this thesis, the prevalence, blood concentrations in drivers and in post-mortem cases, and demographic details of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and desoxypipradrol (2-DPMP), were investigated. Changes in prevalence and other characteristics of MDPV were monitored over a time span covering a period before its banning as well as a few years after banning. Phenazepam, a Russian therapeutic benzodiazepine now illegal in Finland, was studied by examining both DUID and post-mortem cases. The use by apprehended drivers of pregabalin, a prescription anticonvulsant with therapeutic indications for neuropathic pain, partial seizures and generalised anxiety disorder, was also studied. The results of this study showed that DUID cases provide a valuable source of information on NPS prevalence and user profiles. However, little specific information could be gained about the impact on driving performance and health risks of NPS mainly due to the fact that NPS were usually used together with a spectrum of other psychoactive substances. It could, however, be concluded that all of the studied NPS were frequently detected in the samples collected from apprehended drivers and, in the case of MDPV, the prevalence changed with time. The number of MDPV-positive cases among apprehended drivers decreased by 51.1% after the drug was banned. The concentrations of NPS found in DUID cases were within the range anticipated to produce significant adverse effects on driving performance, or, in some cases, in the range found in post-mortem cases where the drug may have contributed to the fatality. The presence of the medicinal drug, pregabalin, was found to be connected to abuse rather than appropriate medical use since it was in most cases found in concentrations higher than those recommended for therapeutic use and together with illegal drugs such as amphetamine or cannabis. In post-mortem cases positive for MDPV, the prevalence of suicide was much greater than in fatalities related to other drugs. Three independent registries, namely the DUID toxicology data, the post-mortem toxicology database, and court documents, were examined to gain novel information on the characteristics of NPS use and those abusing them. The large number of cases studied produced information on concentration ranges associated with abuse of the studied substances.
  • Luostarinen, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The main goals of neuroanesthesia are to maintain adequate cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) and, consequently, cerebral blood flow (CBF) to guarantee sufficient oxygenation of the brain and to provide good surgical conditions for the neurosurgeon. This thesis aimed to examine critical aspects of neuroanesthesia with regard to CBF, CPP, blood coagulation, and transfusion of blood products. In our material the requirement of intraoperative blood product transfusion was low during surgery for ruptured arterial aneurysm. Intraoperative red blood cell transfusion (RBCT) seems to be preemptive in nature according to the hemoglobin levels prior to transfusion. RBCT is associated with intraoperative rupture of an aneurysm. Intraoperative RBCT may itself worsen SAH patients neurological outcome. In the event of sudden intraoperative rupture of an aneurysm, adenosine-induced asystole can be used to stop the bleeding and facilitate clipping of the aneurysm. Early infusion of fresh frozen plasma instead of crystalloids should be considered to compensate for expected excess bleeding in neurosurgery to preserve normal coagulation capacity. The potentially less harmful effect of hypertonic saline (HS), relative to mannitol, on blood coagulation may shift the decision towards HS when choosing an optimal solution for treatment of elevated ICP or brain swelling, at least when excess bleeding occurs. However, the clinical relevance of this finding remains unclear and warrants further study. Reliability of end-tidal concentration of carbon dioxide (EtCO2) as an estimate of arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure (PaCO2) after anesthesia induction is not adequate, as seen in the correlation between a decrease in mean arterial pressure and EtCO2-PaCO2 difference in our study. Optimal ventilation after induction of anesthesia should be confirmed by arterial blood gas analysis in patients undergoing neurosurgery to prevent a potentially harmful increase in PaCO2, and consequently, in CBF. Anesthesia in both sitting and prone positions is associated with changes in blood pressure and cardiac function. However, preemptive goal-directed therapy with either Ringer s acetate or hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions before positioning enables a stable hemodynamic state during neurosurgery in both positions. The fluid requirement did not differ between the two positions. Slightly less HES is needed to achieve comparable hemodynamics, but is it questionable whether this advantage outweighs the recent concerns regarding colloid safety.
  • Gao, Yuan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study presents a general overview of Augustine s insights into passions as well as his approach to the therapy of emotions and their sanctification. Attending to various phases of his writings, this work explores the systematic structure of Augustine s tenets on passions and on the freedom from passions in the context of his philosophical and theological convictions on the issue of amor sui and amor Dei. The analysis begins by examining Augustine s language of passions and the doctrinal connections between Augustine and his predecessors. I provide a survey of Augustine s usage of emotional terms and criticise the position that Augustine suggested a dichotomy between passio and affectus as well as the claim that none of Augustine s Latin terms can be justifiably translated by the modern term emotion . On the basis of terminological and doctrinal observations, I clarify the general features of Augustine s psychology of passions in Chapter 2. In addressing the issue of how Augustine transformed his predecessors therapy of passions and their ideal of freedom from emotion into his theological framework in Chapter 3, I examine a series of related concepts, such as propatheia, metriopatheia, apatheia and eupatheia, to determine how he understood them in various stages of his philosophical and theological thinking. On this basis, I draw an outline of Augustine s interpretation of emotions in his theological anthropology. During his early period, Augustine adopted the Stoic and Platonic therapy of passions and the Stoic ideal of freedom from emotion (apatheia), but he changed his position later, re-evaluating the received terminologies and values of emotions (love, will, justice, virtue, etc.) from the perspective of the doctrines of sin and grace. He developed a theological vision and evaluation of the human condition of emotions and he expressed a pessimistic attitude towards the human condition without the help of supernatural grace. Chapter 4 addresses Augustine s position on the criticism and renewal of passions in social life: the household, city, and the world. In Chapter 5, I argue that Augustine s ideal of freedom from passions was participation in the inner Trinitarian spiritual life by the bond of the Holy Spirit as a hallmark of deification. This is wholly dependent on the divine kenosis and the transaction in the person of Christ. By virtue of the gift of grace (the salvific real presence of the Holy Spirit in faith), the pilgrimaging citizens of the City of God will be elevated to the divine realm and become transformed into a better substance in the union with God in Heaven. Contrary to arguments by some Orthodox theologians, Augustine s theory of deification is not simply a matter of fulfilment of humanity without a genuine transformation. While grace improves the control of sinful impulses in the emotional life of believers who suffer the consequences of the damage of the soul through original sin, Augustine maintained that the new life in Heaven denotes freedom from this emotional condition as well as the non-apathetic peaceful love and joy of resurrected persons in their participation in the divine spiritual nature.
  • Salmi, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Corrosion is a major global challenge with both economical and technological impacts. The total world-wide costs of corrosion have been evaluated to rise to over 2 000 000 million euros annually. While several methods exist for corrosion protection, atomic layer deposited (ALD) coatings have an advantage in applications where thin, fully conformal, highly precise and well-defined coatings both in composition and thickness are needed. In this work the corrosion protection properties of ALD Al2O3 and Ta2O5 based coatings on low alloy steel were studied. The aim was to increase the general understanding on factors affecting the protective properties and failure mechanisms of the ALD coatings. The protective performance of ALD coatings on steel was improved by focusing on three topics: substrate pre-treatment, optimisation of the ALD coating architecture, and combination of the optimised ALD coatings with layers deposited by other methods. The substrate surface was found to significantly influence the ALD coating performance. Improved protective properties were found on steel samples that were mechanically polished to a lower surface roughness, and efficiently cleaned with H2-Ar plasma in addition to the traditional degreasing with an organic solvent. The smoother surface finish was concluded to be beneficial due to decreased defect formation after the coating deposition upon detachment of loose particles or mechanically fragile sites. The H2-Ar plasma removed organic residues from the steel surface, therefore improving the quality of the first layers of the ALD coating. The performance of the ALD coatings themselves was found to improve when Al2O3 and Ta2O5 were combined to produce Al2O3-Ta2O5 nanolaminate and AlxTayOz mixture coatings. In these coatings Al2O3 provided sealing properties and Ta2O5 the chemical stability, therefore resulting in coatings with better long-term performance than could be achieved with either material alone. Optimisation of the Al2O3-Ta2O5 nanolaminate and AlxTayOz mixture coating architectures further enhanced the protective properties. To further improve the coating-steel interface and to widen the application areas for the ALD based protective coatings, the optimised ALD coating processes were combined with layers deposited with other methods. Firstly, thin filtered cathodic arc sublayers were used to separate the ALD process from the steel surface. This enabled a more precise control of the coating-steel interface and led to improved durability of the ALD coatings. Secondly, pinhole defects in physical vapour and plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposited hard coatings were sealed with ALD to afford coatings with both good corrosion protection performance and resistance against mechanical wear.
  • Helenius, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Irreversible vascular remodeling has a central role in a variety of pathophysiological conditions including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Hypoxia and inflammation are prominent features in PAH, along with hyperplasia and hypertrophy of vessel wall layers. Although, endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction is thought to drive the multiple forms of vascular remodeling, the origins of this phenomenon are poorly understood. Extracellular ATP and its metabolites are important regulators of vascular tone, permeability, and homeostasis. Yet little is known about their role in pathological vascular remodeling. By using chronic hypoxia and PAH animal models as well as human PAH patient samples, this study was undertaken to evaluate the catalytic activities and expression levels of nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase-1 (NTPDase1, otherwise known as CD39) and other purine-converting ectoenzymes with a primary focus on vascular EC. For this purpose we employed thin-layer chromatographic enzyme assays with 3H-labelled nucleotide substrates, in combination with various immunoassays and qPCR. In addition we have developed a highly sensitive assay for simultaneous sensing of extracellular ATP and its metabolites and also a novel method for measuring CD39 activity in modeled to in vivo conditions. In functional assays, cells or animals were stimulated through purine signaling pathways and proliferation, apoptosis, permeability, and DNA damage were assayed. Our results clearly demonstrated that the activity of CD39 was downregulated in chronic hypoxia, monocrotaline induced animal models of PAH and in human PAH patients. Attenuated enzyme activities could create a niche in the vasculature where ATP levels were increased and adenosine levels were decreased. Even a small increase in ATP concentration was enough to induce an apoptosis-resistant, hyper-proliferative, and DNA-damageresistant phenotype in ECs of pulmonary origin. The observed effects were at least partly dependent on P2Y11 receptor activation. In addition, we found that low ATP concentrations could induce pulmonary smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration. Interestingly, we found that small apelin peptide could directly restore the downregulated CD39 activity. This study implies that purinergic signaling, ATP mediated cell activation in particular, plays a truly significant role in pathological vascular remodeling, and that it could be used as a therapeutic target. Moreover, purinergic signaling pathways could be used before vascular injury to precondition EC against irradiation or chemotherapy induced DNA damage.
  • Savolainen, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a slow and gradual loss of neurons and subsequent loss of neurotransmitter dopamine in the movement-related nigrostriatal brain tracts. This causes symptoms of PD, which are resting tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement. Genetic and environmental factors are linked to PD, but its etiology is still largely unknown. Current drug therapies can only relieve the symptoms of PD but treatment to stop or delay the disease progression does not exist at the moment. The main findings in neuropathological characterization of the brain regions that are influenced in PD, are abnormal intraneuronal protein inclusions, called Lewy bodies. Insoluble, aggregated α-synuclein (aSyn) protein is the most abundant component of Lewy bodies. Pathological aggregation and accumulation of aSyn is associated with neuronal death in PD. Therefore, approaches to target aSyn as a potential disease-modifying treatment for PD have been under investigation. The aim of this study was to examine the role of prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) and pharmacological inhibition of its enzymatic activity by KYP-2047 in aSyn aggregation. Using purified proteins and cell culture model, we showed that PREP forms direct protein-protein interaction with aSyn, thus enhancing its aggregation. KYP-2047 reduced the PREP-mediated aSyn aggregation in cell culture. Then the effects of PREP inhibition on aSyn aggregation were examined in vivo. The purpose was to first characterize a genetic mouse model, carrying mouse A30P mutated aSyn, which is linked to early-onset PD in humans, in order to find out if the mutated mouse aSyn is more prone to aggregate; and to cause PD-like phenotype. The effects of KYP-2047 treatments were assessed in the model. The main findings were that the A30P mutation in mouse aSyn protein caused minor hyperactive behaviour but did not change the brain dopamine levels, and A30P aSyn accumulated in the brain more than wildtype aSyn by age. KYP-2047 treatment reduced the amount of A30P aSyn in immunohistochemical analysis, and the reduction was more specific for high-molecular weight aSyn oligomers in Western blot analysis. We also observed increased autophagy markers in brain tissue. Therefore, PREP inhibition was further studied in cell culture, where it was shown to enhance macroautophagic protein clearance pathway, which is an important pathway in the degradation of high-molecular weight aSyn forms. In the last study, the effects of KYP-2047 were examined in a mouse model of PD that was based on lactacystin-induced inhibition of ubiquitin-proteasome protein degradation pathway. Proteasome inhibition was shown to induce rapid PD-like neurodegeneration recapitulating the cardinal features of PD. KYP-2047 treatment partially protected dopaminergic neurons in the brain and had beneficial effect on motor behaviour, but did not have an effect on aSyn amount. Taken together, this study has provided new insights into the role of PREP in aSyn aggregation and suggest that PREP inhibition has beneficial effects on reducing the aggregation process via two mechanisms. PREP inhibition could be promising and further assessed in the treatment of PD, other α-synucleinopathies and possibly other protein accumulation diseases.
  • Laitakari, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Background: In recent decades, the total number of burn injuries has decreased globally, while the number of childhood burns has been increasing. Infant burn victims are a specific group because they are highly dependent on parents or caregivers. Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to clarify special characteristics and clinical outcome of infant burns. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence and trends of inpatient and outpatient treatments for burn-injured infants. Patients and methods: Burn victims younger than 1 year born 1990 2010 were identified from the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) and the Statistics Finland registers. The analysis consisted of the incidence of burn injury, trends of treatment, and risk factors for burns. Between 2005 and 2009 126 burn victims aged less than 1 year were treated in the Children s Hospital, Helsinki, Finland. Hospital electronic databases were searched to clarify detailed information and patients treated as inpatients and outpatients were analyzed separately. The HRQoL of the 126 burn-injured children was evaluated with a validated, standardized 17D questionnaire 5 to 9 years after the burn injury. Results: Between 1990 and 2011, 1842 infant burn victims were treated at Finnish hospitals. The annual overall incidence per 1000 persons rose from 0.77 to 2.04, and the incidence of outpatient-treated burns increased from 1.11 to 1.67. Based on the analysis, the risk factors for infant burn injuries are male gender, being firstborn, the mother s young age, and low socioeconomic status. During the 5-year study period 20 burn injured infants were treated as inpatients and 106 as outpatients in the Children s Hospital. Girls outnumbered boys in the inpatient-treated group, and 45% were younger than 6 months. The final mean TBSA was 8.5% (from 0.5 to 40%). In the outpatient group, 52% were boys, and 57% were aged 9 to 12 months. The final mean TBSA burned was 1.4% (range from 0.5 to 7%). Caregiver eyewitnessed the accident in 66% of the cases, and 44% of the burns were on the hands. Most burns occurred at home, and two thirds of the burns were scalds caused by hot liquids. The respondents (n=44, 35%) appeared not to suffer from long-term consequences of the burn injury, and the respondents and non-respondents proved to be similar in terms of age, injury severity, and treatment given. Conclusions: The number of infant burns increased in Finland during the study period. Two thirds of infant burns were scalds caused by hot liquids, and most of these were preventable. Firstborn boys aged 9 to 12 months of young mothers with low socioeconomic status are at greater risk for burn injuries. The long-term HRQoL of burn-injured children was comparable to that of the controls.
  • Hirvonen, Sami-Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Poly(benzimidazobenzophenanthroline) (BBL), which may be doped into a p- and n-type semiconductor, has been chemically modified to enhance its processability. In its pristine form BBL is processable only in some concentrated acids and nitromethane/Lewis acid solutions. The corrosiveness of these solvents and moisture sensitivity of the solutions severely limits the possibilities for the use of BBL as an electroactive material in organoelectronic devices and limit the possibilities for its post synthetic chemical modification. In this work processable BBL derivatives have been prepared using two different approaches i) preparation of block-copolymers by attachment of water soluble polymers on BBL functional chain ends ii) attaching bulky side groups on one of the monomers and using that as a starting material in the polymerization reaction. Short BBLs of DP 10 or 20 were prepared with functional chain ends and monofunctional poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) or poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) of several different molecular weights were attached at the chain ends. Elemental analysis showed that the extent of chain end substitution varied quite a lot when PEO was used. It was also shown that thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was not suitable to determine the fraction of PEO in BBL-PEO block-copolymers. However, the extent of chain end substitution using PNIPAM was evaluated using TGA. BBL-PEOs could be processed into aqueous dispersions at concentrations ≥ 1.5 mg/ml by means of ultrasonication, and these dispersions were proven to be colloidally very stable. The dispersions could be used to spin- or drop cast films. At higher concentrations BBL-PEO dispersions were shown to form gels. The reason for the gelling is the packing of the polymer into nano-wire structures which then aggregate into 3D-network. SEM- and cryo-TEM imaging confirmed the existence of wire-type structures. Wire structures and gelation were also observed for aqueous dispersions of pristine BBL. BBL-PNIPAM block-copolymers were found to be indispersible in water with PNIPAM fractions lower than 35 mass %. However, they gelled upon ultrasonication. With higher PNIPAM fractions the polymers were dispersible and did not form gels in any of the studied concentrations. Dispersibility in water and the colloidal stability of BBL-PEOs and BBL-PNIPAMs was attributed to electrostatic stabilization as the particles showed negative zeta-potentials. Dispersible BBL-PNIPAMs were more stable due the high amount of dissociative groups originating from the partial degradation of the amide moieties during the coupling to BBL. One of the monomers used to prepare BBL, 1,4,5,8-naphthalenetetracarboxylic acid 1,8-monoanhydride, was successfully mono- and dibrominated. The bromine was then used as a functional group and replaced either directly with 2-ethyl-1-hexylamine or substituted with azide and reacted with 1-hexyne. The modified monomers were used in preparation of BBL. BBLs bearing either 2-ethyl-1-hexylamine or 4-butyl-1,2,3-triazole groups were found to be sparingly soluble in dimethylsulphoxide and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone.
  • Vehkanen, Marjut (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    From grammar to communication: Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks from 1866 to 1953. Marjut Vehkanen, University of Helsinki, Finland The primary sources of this study include Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks that were published between 1866 and 1953. The corpus for the study consists of 52 Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks targeted both at children and adult learners. The analysis focuses on the following domains: the presentation of grammar, text types, content topics and pedagogical methods. Methodologically, this study is based on close reading and content analysis of the chosen textbooks. The research questions of this dissertation are the following: - Who were the authors and the intended audience of the textbooks analysed in this dissertation, and where were these textbooks studied? - What is the role of grammar in the textbooks? How has the presentation of grammatical phenomena changed during the research period? - How are different text types used in the analysed textbooks? - What changes in the world are seen in the textual contents? - How is the development of language teaching methods reflected in the textbooks during the researched period? The study shows that the teaching of grammar occupied a very central position from 1866 to 1953; even most of the practically oriented textbooks included grammar sections. Significant differences emerged when comparing the text types among the adult textbooks. For example, the analysed corpus includes a Finnish phrasebook with phrases intended to be learnt by heart. Whereas some types of text were discontinued after the first part of the period, new types emerged, but some permanent text types were found in the books during the entire period. The study reveals how the books for adult learners offered a diverse and rich range of themes and pedagogical methods and how little the contents of the schoolbooks changed. The results of this study introduce many linguistic and historical themes for further research. For example, one topic for further study is how past authors of textbooks have approached the Finnish cases or the extent to which they have focused on combining the teaching of vocabulary and grammar in their textbooks. In addition, no research has yet been conducted to survey the pedagogical history of Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks.
  • Medvedovsky, Mordekhay (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    During the last years magnetoencephalography (MEG), has become an important part of the pre-surgical epilepsy workup. Interictal activity is usually recorded. Nevertheless, the technological advances now enable ictal MEG recordings as well. The records of 26 pharmaco-resistant focal epilepsy patients, who underwent ictal MEG and epilepsy surgery, were reviewed. In 12 patients prediction of ictal onset zone (IOZ) localization by ictal and interictal MEG was compared with ictal intracranial EEG (icEEG). On the lobar surface level the sensitivity of ictal MEG in IOZ location was 0.71 and the specificity 0.73. The sensitivity of the interictal MEG was 0.40 and specificity 0.77. The records of 34 operated epilepsy patients with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) were retrospectively evaluated. The resected proportion of the source cluster related to interictal MEG was evaluated in respect to postoperative seizure outcome. 17 out of 34 patients with FCD (50%) achieved seizure freedom. The seizure outcome was similar in patients with MR-invisible and MR-visible FCD. With MEG source clusters and favorable seizure outcome (Engel class I and II) the proportion of the cluster volume resection was 49% - significantly higher (p=0.02) than with MEG clusters but unfavorable outcome (5.5% of cluster volume resection). Median nerve somatosensory evoked MEG responses were processed by movement compensation based on signal space separation (MC-SSS) and on spatio-temporal signal space separation (MC-tSSS). MEG was recorded in standard and deviant head positions. With up to 5 cm head displacement, MC-SSS decreased the mean localization error from 3.97 to 2.13 cm, but increased noise of planar gradiometers from 3.4 to 5.3 fT/cm. MC-tSSS reduced noise from 3.4 to 2.8 fT/cm and reduced the mean localization error from 3.91 to 0.89 cm. The MEG data containing speech-related artifacts and data containing alpha rhythm were processed by tSSS with different correlation limits. The speech artifact was progressively suppressed with the decreasing tSSS correlation limit. The optimal artifact suppression was achieved at correlation of 0.8. The randomly distributed source current (RDCS), and auditory and somatosensory evoked fields (AEFs and SEFs) were simulated. The information was calculated employing Shannon's theory of communication for a standard 306-sensor MEG device and for a virtual MEG helmet (VMH), which was constructed based on simulated MEG measurements in different head positions. With the simulation of 360 recorded events using RDCS model the maximum Shannon's number was 989 for single head position in standard MEG array and 1272 in VMH (28.6% additional information). With AEFs the additional contribution of VMH was 12.6% and with SEFs only 1.1%. To conclude, ictal MEG predicts IOZ location with higher sensitivity than interictal MEG. Resection of larger proportion of the MEG source cluster in patients with FCD is associated with a better seizure outcome, however, complete resection of MEG source cluster is often not required for achievement of favorable seizure outcome. The seizure outcome is similar in patients having MR-positive and MR-negative FCD. MC-tSSS decreases the source localization error to less than 1 cm, when the head is displaced up to 5 cm; however, it is reasonable to limit use of movement compensation for no more than 3-cm head displacement to keep the head inside sensor helmet. The optimization of the tSSS correlation limit to about 0.8 can improve the artifact suppression in MEG without substantial change of brain signals. MEG recording of the same brain activity in different head positions with subsequent construction of VMH can improve the information content of the data.
  • Zhang, Yanlei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Type 2 diabetes occurs as a consequence of aging, family history, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and obesity and it is an increasing public health problem worldwide. The condition is associated with high rates of mortality from co-morbid cardiovascular diseases and poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). A large proportion of individuals with type 2 diabetes are not diagnosed for up to a decade after onset unless a screening programme has been implemented. The estimated prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes in China accounts for about 60-70% of the diabetes population. Diabetes education that is targeted at the general population is the key to increase public knowledge and awareness and is a fundamental building block for addressing the diabetes epidemic. Screening for identifying undiagnosed diabetes could lead to earlier identification and intervention, and postpone or prevent the onset of diabetes and its complications. However, there is a paucity of study on the impact of education and screening programmes on HRQoL, lifestyle modification of the targeted population, and the cost-effectiveness of such programmes. The objectives of this study were to investigate 1) the cost and effectiveness of a population-based education programme to increase public knowledge and awareness of diabetes; 2) the cost-effectiveness of two different screening tools for undiagnosed diabetes; 3) impact of type 2 diabetes and its complications on individuals HRQoL; 4) impact of a screening programme on individuals overall HRQoL, depression dimension and lifestyle modification. This study was based on data analyses of two population-based diabetes surveys conducted in 2006 (Survey A) and 2009 (Survey C), and a dataset of diabetes high-risk population identified through the Qingdao Diabetes Prevention Program (QD-DPP) between 2007 and 2010 in Qingdao, China (Survey B). The same stratified, random cluster sampling method was used in Surveys A and C to recruit a representative sample of the general population who had lived in Qingdao city for at least five years. A total of 5355 individuals in Survey A and 5110 in Survey C aged 35-74 years participated in the surveys. A total of 3108 rural participants who did not have diabetes at baseline in 2009 were invited for a re-examination and 1782 individuals attended the follow-up survey. A standard 2h 75g oral glucose tolerance test was administrated to all participants in both surveys. Diabetes education and health promotion information and activities under the framework of QD-DPP were given via printed and audio-visual media, the internet, free distribution of information booklets and diabetes risk score (DRS) flyers that targeted the entire population of 1.94 million who lived in the intervention areas. An adult with a DRS more or as much as 14 was considered at high-risk for diabetes and invited to a nearby community clinic for a free capillary blood glucose test. The proportions of participants who correctly marked obesity, physical inactivity and positive family history of diabetes as the risk factors of diabetes were doubled in both urban and rural populations, irrespective of age and gender during the QD-DPP education campaign period. The cheapest way to inform 1000 individuals about type 2 diabetes was to distribute DRS flyers (¥54, ¥ = Chinese yuan), followed by the newspapers articles (¥77), booklets (¥313) and by radio programmes (¥375) (1 ≈7¥, for the year 2015). The fasting capillary glucose (FCG) test and Chinese DRS questionnaire were used as the first-line screening tools and these were evaluated for detecting undiagnosed diabetes in primary care settings. The sensitivity of FCG and DRS was 65.1% and 65.8%, whereas their respective specificity was 72.4% and 55.2%. The costs per undiagnosed diabetes identified at the optimal cut-off values of 6.1 mmol/l for FCG and 14 for DRS were ¥674 and ¥844, respectively. The area under curve (AUC) was higher for FCG than for DRS (75.3% vs. 63.7%, p less than 0.001). People with previously known type 2 diabetes reported that the symptomatic comorbidities had a strong negative impact on HRQoL; no significant difference was detected between people without diabetes and with newly diagnosed diabetes. The screening and labelling as pre-diabetes or normoglycaemia had no adverse impact on the participants overall HRQoL and depression. An improvement in lifestyle as measured by the frequency of physical activity and vegetable intake was observed at 3 years post screening in both groups. In conclusion, the QD-DPP education campaign efficiently increased public knowledge and awareness of diabetes. The DRS questionnaire is a simple, non-invasive and reliable first-line screening tool to identify undiagnosed diabetes at primary care settings. The diabetes screening programme in Qingdao generated positive changes towards a healthy lifestyle and did not result in any harm to the participants.
  • Zou, Ling (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Factors limiting barley yield have been reduced since the Green Revolution globally. Nevertheless, higher yields are pursued with the pressure to feed the increasing human population and domestic animals. However, sustainability can be impaired by the cereal monocultures, in particular, cereal-specific pathogen inocula can increase at the cost of diversity of soil microfauna. Use of pesticides has selected for resistance in weeds and pathogens. Use of mineral fertilizers has resulted in waste of resources and pollution. In Finland, about half of the arable land is used for continuous cereal production, and barley (Hordeum vulgare), as an important source for food and feed, is the most cultivated cereal crop. In this dissertation, research focused on evaluating the effects of various rotation crops on weeds, pathogenic fungi, soil fertility and yield of subsequent barley. The competitive ability of six crops, namely buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), caraway (Carum carvi), faba bean (Vicia faba), hemp (Cannabis sativa), common vetch (Vicia sativa) and white lupin (Lupinus albus) with weeds was evaluated in glasshouse and field experiments. In the glasshouse experiment, couch grass (Elymus repens) grown with buckwheat accumulated the least dry matter. Activated charcoal was used to exclude the effect of root exudates from donor crops. The results indicated that activated charcoal incorporated in the soil deactivated buckwheat root exudates that apparently inhibited the growth of couch grass. In the field experiment, buckwheat s fast growth and formation of effective leaf area inhibited growth of weeds most effectively among the crops tested. The effect of turnip rape [Brassica rapa L. ssp. oleifera (DC.) Metzg.] on several soil pathogenic fungi was evaluated in a field trial in two growing seasons involving five different cultivation regimes: mixed culture of barley and turnip rape, turnip rape sown after barley, and turnip rape incorporated as green manure either in autumn or in spring, with continuous barley monoculture as a control. Soil fungal community structure was monitored with capillary-based LH PCR of the ITS region using primers ITS1F/ITS4. The mixed culture and sowing turnip rape after barley did not significantly decrease the relative abundance of Fusarium spp. Incorporation of turnip rape plants into the soil, as a source of organic matter and nutrients, was associated with a low relative abundance of Fusarium spp. Fungal diversity was the lowest and the relative abundance of Fusarium spp. the highest in continuous barley. Higher fertilizer application and organic matter incorporation, leading to high fungal diversity, seemed more important in affecting Fusarium spp. than the allelochemicals of turnip rape, as turnip rape extracts did not detectably inhibit the growth of F. culmorum in an in vitro test. In growth media of different nutrient levels, 10 g soil were suspended in 100 mL sterile water, then 400 μL of the suspended solution was spread on the media of each nutrient level with four replicates. The number of fungal colonies was counted. The soil Fusarium CFU count was higher on nutrient-poor growth medium than on rich medium, supporting the results of field experiments. Results of sequencing indicated that Penicillium spp. might also tolerate low nutrient availability. In two experiments that ran 2010-2012 and 2011-2013, faba bean, turnip rape and barley were sown as first crops and their residues were tilled into the soil after harvest in blocks in the first year. In the following year, barley, buckwheat, caraway, faba bean, hemp and white lupin were sown in each block and incorporated either at flowering stage (except barley) or after harvest. Barley yield and grain protein concentration were determined. Mineral N concentrations in the plough layer two months after incorporation of crops and before sowing barley in the following spring were determined. In the third year, all the plots were sown with barley. The beneficial effect of faba bean and turnip rape, as first crops, on yields and grain protein concentration of barley was still detectable in the third year. Barley yields after white lupin, faba bean and hemp, as second crops, were higher than in continuous barley. Barley grain protein concentration was increased after faba bean. In contrast, barley yield and grain protein concentration were not improved after buckwheat and caraway. Incorporation of plants at flowering stage posed a risk of increased N leaching, suggesting that incorporation of plants should be delayed or catch crops should be used during winter to reduce N leaching. The response of barley yields to increased mineralized N from green manure or residues after harvest of rotation crops was significant only in the first experiment conducted in 2010-2012 suggesting that increased mineral N in the plough layer has minor influence on barley yield. Thus, rotation with faba bean, white lupin and hemp was beneficial to barley grain yield. In addition, barley grain protein concentration was increased after rotation with faba bean. Weed growth was most strongly suppressed by buckwheat as a complement to current weed management regime, but, rotation with buckwheat and incorporation of its residues did not improve the yield of the successive barley. The effect of glucosinolates of turnip rape on soil-borne pathogens was outweighed by high fungal bio-diversity suggesting that allelochemicals released from plants sown at a realizable density in the field are unlikely to control pathogens. Maintaining high microbial diversity through sufficient nutrient input is crucial to control pathogenic Fusarium spp. populations.
  • Keltanen, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Postmortem (PM) biochemistry is utilized in cause of death (CoD) investigations. The challenges in PM biochemistry are caused mainly by the PM changes. Analytes may be degraded or denatured leading to methodological difficulties. In addition, the re-distribution may cause falsely elevated values when compared to clinical samples. Analytes may also be consumed or produced by microbial metabolism. The sample matrix is often different from that in clinical biochemistry and the reference levels need be obtained through research. The actual death process and agonal period can also lead to unique changes in the analyte concentrations. Despite these challenges, with a sufficient number of samples and adequate research it is possible to optimize biochemical methods for PM samples and obtain reference values for certain conditions. The biochemical results can provide supporting information in cases where the death is caused or associated with metabolic disturbances for instance in diabetes mellitus (DM) or alcohol abuse. Hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis in diabetes can be fatal if not treated. The macroscopical, histological and toxicological findings in autopsy may be scarce or even absent. Determination of vitreous humor (VH) glucose and ketone bodies are very informative in these cases. As ketoacidosis can be present also after heavy alcohol use, the determination of glycemic status prior to death is essential in distinguishing between these two conditions. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) provides information on the glycemic balance in previous weeks. In our studies, we have assessed the results, methods and interpretation provided by analysis of glucose, lactate, ketone bodies, HbA1c and C-reactive protein (CRP) in PM samples. Optimization has been performed in routine casework according to our findings providing more accurate information to the medico-legal pathologists in their CoD investigation work. In addition, our results have provided some insights into the pathology of severe diabetic emergencies as well as to ketoacidosis due to alcohol. According to our results, we recommend that in DM and alcohol abuse related deaths VH glucose, total ketone bodies or beta-hydroxy butyrate and blood HbA1c should always be analyzed. Lactate levels may provide additional information, when the results are interpreted considering the PM interval (PMI). These analyses are recommended also in cases where no suspicion of metabolic disturbances exists, but the findings in autopsy are scarce. The collaboration between the medico-legal pathologists and the laboratory is very important for the development and understanding of PM biochemistry and to include novel analyses to support the CoD investigation. The CoD determination is very important not only on the individual level, but also nationally, since Finnish Statistics collects the CoD data, which can be than further utilized in recommendations concerning health and primary prevention.