Recent Submissions

  • Sillfors, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The visibility of atheism has increased in the 21st century West, partly due to the rise of New Atheism, a movement critical towards religion. Over the last few years, books which defend an atheistic spiritual option have appeared in the market as well, such as The Book of Atheist Spirituality (2006) by André Comte-Sponville, Good Without God (2009) by Greg M. Epstein, Going Godless (2010) by J. K. Fausnight, and Religion for Atheists (2012) by Alain de Botton. In addition, New Atheists have brought forth alternatives to traditional religion, for example, Richard Dawkins in his TV-series Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life (2012) and Sam Harris in his book Waking Up (2014). These six works are my research material. In this study I examine three subjects: atheism, spirituality, and in particular the combination of these two, atheist spirituality. The main question of my research is what kind of factors, attitudes towards religion, and values are included in atheist spirituality in the 21st century. My methods are argument analysis, rhetoric analysis, attitude analysis, and Schwartz's value model. By atheism I mean godlessness. In the history of mankind, atheism has probably been rare, but in recent centuries in the West it has gradually become more common. According to current research, a reflective processing style is one of the key psychological factors that leads towards atheism. Socio-cultural factors which have an impact on the steady increase in atheism are, for example, wealth, security, and a change in values towards individualism. I regard spirituality as a universal human phenomenon which includes five key dimensions: 1) experiences and emotions, 2) morality, 3) view on life, 4) meaningfulness, and 5) practices and commitments. By atheist spirituality, I mean spirituality that is explicitly atheistic. Atheist spirituality can be seen as a subcategory of secular spirituality, which recently has become more common in the West. However, among the representatives of atheist spirituality, the practices as well as the attitudes towards religions are diverse. In their works, both Dawkins and Harris attitudes towards monotheistic religion are critical. Dawkins offers reason and science as substitutes for traditional religion, and in addition to these, Harris introduces Buddhism and meditation. In contrast, in de Botton s work, the attitude towards religion is favourable it emphasizes the usefulness of Christian communal values and practices and converts them to the current secular context. In turn, in the works of Comte-Sponville, Epstein, and Fausnight, the attitude toward religion is ambivalent, including both critical and favourable parts. As an alternative to traditional religion, Comte-Sponville highlights experiences of transcendence and love, Epstein emphasizes humanistic communality and self-dignity, and Fausnight underlines inner peace and meaningfulness through meditation. Roughly divided, Harris, Comte-Sponville, and Fausnight represent an inwardly oriented atheistic spirituality, where transcendent experiences have a key role. In turn, Dawkins, De Botton, and Epstein represent an outwardly oriented atheistic spirituality, where the focus is more on the objective world, communality, and/or solving the problems of society. In all the research materials, the self-transcendence values in Schwartz s model such as universalism and benevolence are highlighted. Everyone also emphasizes the value of self-direction, which is typical of current secular spirituality except de Botton, who accentuates tradition and conformity more, which are typical values in traditional religion. The study provides new information about atheistic spirituality and offers theoretical perspectives to examine this rarely studied phenomenon in more detail. It also enables disentangling the tension between atheism and religion typical of the current Western debate.
  • Alanne, Merja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Abstract The city of Dan, which is mentioned 21 time in the Hebrew Bible, was identified with Tell el-Qaḍi (Tel Dan) already in the 19th century. Tel Dan is located in northern Israel, in the Upper Jordan Valley at the foot of Mount Hermon. It has been one of the most important archaeological site in Israel since 1966, when excavations began at the site under the direction of Avraham Biran. The aim of this study is to examine the history of the city of Dan from the point of view of both the archaeological and the biblical evidence, and to re-evaluate the earlier reconstructions of its history. An essential question is: how do the biblical texts that mention a city of Dan relate to the historical reality of the Iron Age, and to the archaeological data from Tel Dan? The methods and results of both archaeological and biblical studies are utilized, with the aim of promoting discussion between the two fields. However, it is first necessary to study the archaeological and textual evidence separately in order to evaluate them. Avraham Biran represents the so-called school of biblical archaeology, which emphasized the significance of the Hebrew Bible as a source for the history of Israel during biblical times. As a consequence, the archaeological remains and the settlement history of the biblical sites were interpreted with the help of the biblical texts, without a critical reading. This has led to misleading historical reconstructions, as is also the case for Dan. The final excavation reports on the Iron Age period at Dan have not yet been published. However, the preliminary reports and a few new articles by the current excavators of Dan, show that the material culture of Tel Dan has both northern (Syro-Mesopotamian) and southern (Megiddo, Hazor, and Samaria) features. This study demonstrates that the biblical passages concerning the city of Dan are scarce, and that they belong to a rather late compositional stage of the Hebrew Bible. Thus, they tell us very little about the reality of the Iron Age IIB city of Dan, and instead reflect the theological and ideological thinking of the post-monarchic Judahite community. Most of the biblical stories are situated in the central hill country of Samaria and Judah, and the northern sites such as Dan are not frequently mentioned. The archaeological evidence and the biblical texts do not self-evidently link the city of Dan to the kingdom of Israel. It is probable that the Israelite monarchy did not continuously extend its reach as far north as Tel Dan during the Iron Age II period, but rather only occasionally during the 9th‒8th centuries BCE. The biblical phrase from Dan to Beersheba most probably represents an ideal of the Judahite community of the post-monarchic period, used to define the limits of the land of Israel.
  • Teramura-Grönblad, Mariko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Background: Frail older people in institutional settings are known to suffer from comorbidities and are often administered a high number of concomitant drugs. They are therefore prone to polypharmacy, adverse drug effects, and drug-drug interactions (DDIs). Older people living in assisted living represent a particularly frail segment of the elderly population, and a large proportion of them suffer from cognitive impairment. During the last decade knowledge has accumulated on the adverse effects of drugs with anticholinergic properties (DAPs) and long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) among older people. Less is known about the extent and prevalence of these effects among the frailest older people in institutional settings. Residents in assisted living facilities are often taken care of by consulting primary care physicians. Therefore, they may have rare opportunities for a thorough reassessment of their medication after admission to institutional care. Thus, their use of drugs intended to be taken over a limited period is often extended. Aims: This study explores the associations of DAPs and PPIs with adverse effects and investigates potentially severe DDIs among older residents in institutional settings. Of particular interest were adverse effects and mortality associated with the use of PPIs (Studies 1 and 2). In addition, concomitant use of DAPs and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) and their association with psychological well-being (PWB) were investigated (Study 3). Finally, the prevalence of potentially severe D-class drug-drug interactions (DDDIs) and their association with mortality were clarified (Study 4). Methods: This study consists of four substudies. Study 1 includes 1987 residents (mean age 83.7 years, 80.7% women) from a project investigating the nutrition of nursing homes in Helsinki in 2003. Study 2 consists of three samples from various institutional settings: 1389 residents in 69 assisted living facilities in 2007 (first cohort; mean age 82.7 years, 78.9% women), 1004 residents of long-term care hospitals in 2003 (second cohort; mean age 81.3 years, 75.3% women), and 425 residents in acute geriatric wards or in nursing homes in 1999-2000 (third cohort; mean age 86.1 years, 81.6% women) in Helsinki. Study 3 investigates 1475 residents (mean age 82.8 years, 77.7% women) from a project assessing nutrition in assisted living facilities in the metropolitan area of Finland. In Study 4, these same residents were followed up for mortality for 3 years. Those 1327 residents having complete follow-up data available were included (mean-age 82.7 years, 78.3% women). In all studies participants were interviewed by trained nurses. Demographics were retrieved from medical records. Drug use and medical diagnoses were confirmed from medical records, and drugs were coded with the WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System. All DAPs were classified according to the Anticholinergic Risk Scale (Study 3). Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) was used for evaluating nutritional status, Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) for assessing dementia and disability, PWB scale for exploring residents well-being, and Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) for assessing the severity and burden of diseases. Swedish, Finnish, Interaction X-referencing database (SFINX) was used to detect DDDIs (Study 4). Mortality data were retrieved from central records in Studies 2 and 4. Results: Of nursing home residents in Study 1, 22% were administered proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) on a daily basis. Regular PPI use was associated with diarrhoea, prior hip fracture, coronary heart disease, and lactose intolerance, indicating possible side effects or use for an inappropriate therapeutic intent. In Study 2, the prevalence of the use of PPIs varied from 21.4% (geriatric wards and nursing homes) to 26.4% (assisted living facilities). The use of PPIs was not associated with mortality among residents in assisted living facilities. However, their use was associated with increased mortality in settings where residents experienced higher levels of disability and comorbidities (long-term hospitals, geriatric wards, and nursing homes), and thus, possible higher vulnerability to adverse drug events (ADEs) of PPIs. In the acute geriatric hospital and nursing home cohort, the risk for mortality was HR 1.90 (95% CI 1.23 to 2.94) even after adjustment for age, gender, comorbidities, delirium, and use of aspirin and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In Study 3, 41.6% of residents were administered DAPs. Of residents in assisted living facilities, 10.7% were administered ChEIs and DAPs concomitantly. DAP use was associated with use of a higher number of drugs, more severe disability, depression, psychiatric disorders, and Parkinson ́s disease. DAP use was associated with low psychological wellbeing even after adjustment for age, gender, education, comorbidities, and use of ChEIs. In Study 4, 5.9% of residents in assisted living facilities were susceptible to severe DDDIs. The most common DDDIs were related to use of potassium- sparing diuretics, carbamazepine and methotrexate. Residents exposed to severe DDIs were more often exposed to polypharmacy than residents not exposed to DDIs. No significant difference in mortality emerged between residents with and without DDDIs. Conclusions: The PPIs are common in institutionalized settings and they may expose to unexpected adverse effects such as diarrhoea and higher mortality among frail older people. Inappropriate use of DAPs and ChEIs concomitantly is common in assisted living facilities. DAP use was associated with poorer psychological well-being. Potentially severe DDIs are relatively uncommon in these populations even with a high prevalence of polypharmacy.
  • Levón, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    In the novel diamond-like carbon polymer hybrid (DLC-p-h) coatings, the useful properties of diamond-like carbon (DLC) and a chosen polymer can be combined. So far two unique biomaterials, diamond-like carbon polytetrafluoroethylene hybrid (DLC-PTFE-h) and diamond-like carbon polydimethylsiloxane hybrid (DLC-PDMS-h) with dirt-repelling hydrophobic and oleophobic properties have been developed. These novel coatings were studied in this thesis. The Diamond Group at the ORTON Research Institute have produced novel biomaterial coatings with the in-house developed Filtered Pulsed Arc Discharge (FPAD)-method. The FPAD method enables the production of thick (>200 µm), high quality (> 80% diamond sp3 bonds) DLC coatings with properties needed in high-load bearing applications such as the Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA). Bacterial adhesion is the initial step in the prosthetic joint infection (PJI) and leads to biofilm formation and the establishment of a full-scale deep biofilm infection. The main hypothesis was that some biomaterials, such as DLC and non-fouling DLC-PDMS-h and DLC-PTFE-h, could be more resistant to bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation than the conventional implant materials. To mimic conditions prevailing in the human body, serum incubations, and dynamic flow conditions are useful in the investigation of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation in vitro. Under static conditions and in the presence of serum proteins, the DLC was more microbe-repellent than conventional biomaterials tantalum, titanium, and chromium and resisted the most the adhesion of S.aureus cells. In this study, it was also found that micropatterned surfaces are useful for quantitative evaluation of bacterial adhesion to biomaterials. Different sizes of microtextures enabled data collection regarding alignment of bacteria on sample surfaces. Under dynamic flow conditions, DLC and DLC-PTFE-h were as good as conventional biomaterials in their ability to inhibit adhesion of S.aureus and S.epidermidis. The DLC-PDMS-h bound significantly more S.aureus bacteria than DLC-PTFE-h and tantalum. Otherwise, the DLC-PDMS-h behaved similarly to the other materials tested. Biofilm formation was examined in the presence of serum. The DLC-PTFE-h was superior compared to all materials tested in its ability to resist biofilm formation. The DLC came out next in the ranking order and resisted biofilm formation soundly compared to conventional biomaterials and DLC-PDMS-h. The DLC-PDMS-h was similar to conventional materials in its ability to inhibit biofilm formation. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are defense proteins of innate immunity found widely in plants, vertebrates, and non-vertebrates with multiple functions even beyond immunity. The cellular sources and expression of AMP human β-defensin-3 (hBD-3) in septic joint implant loosening were examined by immunohistochemistry and double immunofluorescence stainings of peri-implant tissue samples. hBD-3 was associated with monocyte/macrophage-like cells, fibroblast-like cells, and vascular endothelial cells. It was weakly present in foreign body giant cells and not found in neutrophils. The variable topological expression of hBD-3 in peri-implant tissues in septic implant loosening indicated local induction, as has been reported in the literature before. In summary, the three studies of this thesis suggest that DLC and DLC-PTFE-h coatings could inhibit bacterial adhesion and subsequent biofilm formation, thus preventing infections more efficiently than current implant biomaterials. The cellular sources of the antimicrobial peptide hBD-3 in peri-implant tissues in septic implant loosening are mainly macrophages and vascular endothelial cells.
  • Lizarazo Torres, Clara Isabel (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Most cropping systems in the Boreal Nemoral region of Europe are characterized by intensified cereal production, which has resulted in a heavy dependence on foreign vegetable protein imports for feed supplementation and high consumption of synthetic fertilizer. This in turn have caused numerous critical environmental impacts such as copious greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer production and use, heavy reliance on a narrow range of crop protection methods, leading to risks of resistance to agrochemicals, nutrient runoff and losses in soil health locally, and in land-use change abroad. Hence, crop diversification is needed, and this work focuses on the potential to use grain legumes to help meet the demand for the local vegetable protein and to mitigate the environmental impacts resulting from the current narrow diversity on crop rotations and from the feed and fertilizer trade. In this dissertation, three grain legume crops, namely faba bean (Vicia faba L.), narrow-leafed (NL) lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) were grown in field trials in order to assess their potential adaptation to the Boreal Nemoral region of Europe and to find their best place in the cereal-based crop rotations that are conventional in the region. The research focused on 1) the protein yield potential of each crop and their nutritive quality particularities, 2) the pre-crop effect of cereals on grain legumes, and 3) the exploration of flowering time in faba bean as a key component of adaptation to high latitudes. The results show, that faba bean was the crop with highest protein yield stability, and with higher protein concentration than is achieved at lower latitudes, whereas lentil and narrow-leafed lupin had comparable protein concentration as those achieved in other locations. Nutritive quality of all three crops was within the normal range, and amino-acid and DIAAS scores suggested that cultivar selection is important, since major variations in the content of lysine, cysteine and tryptophan influence the feed and food value. The screening trials revealed that among the available lentil and NL lupin cultivars, earliness is sufficient with some reaching maturity in about 100 days, whereas significant improvement on the earliness of Kontu faba bean is needed in order for the crop to be grown in the northern most part of the Boreal Nemoral region. The crop rotation trial showed that NL lupin produced equally high yields after turnip rape and oat, while faba bean gave higher yields after turnip rape and then after barley. Overall, the pre-crop effect on nutrient composition of NL lupin was less evident than on that of faba bean, the latter having 19, while the former 7 significant differences out of the 88 nutrient uptake variables measured. Among these 26 significant measures, barley was the best pre-crop in 9 variables, and oat in 5. The pre-crop effect was present on both the shoot and seed composition, and it was apparent that the pre-crop effect was able to influence soil nutrient availability and thus uptake. This study shows some insight about best pre-crop for grain legumes, but the effects need to be tested further to elucidate the mechanisms and to verify the reproducibility of such effect on crop sequences. The upgraded flowering model showed that flowering control in faba bean in addition to photoperiod and temperature sum, depends on solar radiation (as measured by PAR or sunshine duration, the former providing a better model fit), and water deficit (as measured by the Sielianinow hydrothermal index K ). Understanding the effect of these two new variables in flowering makes it possible to seek more types of variation in earliness be used to identify sources of variation that can serve as material for the selection and development of new cultivars for high latitudes or short seasons. Overall, this study shows that faba bean and NL lupin have great potential for diversifying crop rotations in the Boreal Nemoral region of Europe, whereas the susceptibility of lentil to the wet autumns typical of the region will make its management challenging. Each of the crops has different advantages, so they complement each other in terms of optimum soil type, nutrient uptake and nutrient composition. It is recommended that their cultivation should be promoted not only to solve the vegetable protein deficit, but also to improve the sustainability of cropping systems in the region.
  • Lahti, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study investigates grammatical accuracy as a part of Finnish upper secondary school students oral proficiency in German. It examines how the students, assessed on different proficiency levels, master the German word order and verbal inflection in their L2 speech. In addition, the study surveys the opinions of German language teachers about the concepts which occur in the proficiency level descriptions (e.g., comprehensibility, basic grammar error) and about the significance of grammatical accuracy for comprehensibility. The corpus consists of 1) videotaped test performances of 59 students, 2) CEFR-based proficiency level assessments of 12 Finnish German teachers, and 3) written answers and the recordings of assessment discussions of six German GFL teachers. The study was carried out mainly as a qualitative case study (methods including performance analysis and content analysis), but some quantitative methods were used, too (such as Multi-Facet Rasch Measurement analysis and descriptive statistics). The results illuminate how the mastery of word order and verbal inflection develop from one proficiency level to another. From the level A1.2 on, the word order of simple declarative clauses and questions, the infinitive forms and the present tense conjugation of haben and sein are mastered, followed by the present tense of regular verbs on the level A1.3 and the so-called verbal bracket structure and the present tense of irregular verbs on the level A2.1. On the level A2.2, the inversion in simple clauses and the present tense conjugation of modal verbs are acquired. From the level B1.1 on, the inversion is mastered also in complex phrases beginning with a subordinate clause. Moreover, the students master the word order of subordinate clauses and the perfect tense. The teacher comments reveal that the concepts used in the assessment scale are interpreted in various ways. Pronunciation, lack of fluency, and vocabulary problems are mentioned more often than deficiencies in grammar as factors that impair comprehensibility. However, the accumulation of errors is seen as distracting. Regarding distracting grammatical errors, errors in verbal inflection and syntax are mentioned the most often. These phenomena are highlighted in the definitions of a basic grammar error, too. Key words: oral proficiency, German language, grammatical accuracy, word order, verbal inflection, language assessment, comprehensibility
  • Jiménez Fonseca, Manuel (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study explores the historical relationship between international law and nature from a critical standpoint. In particular, it seeks to demonstrate that the appropriation of non-European nature in colonial times played a fundamental role in the development of international law and that, conversely, international law was instrumental in legitimizing the imperialist appropriation of non-European nature. Legal arguments fashioned around the use and exploitation of nature validated a number of imperial interventions in non-European territories that resulted in western environmental hegemony while producing environmental degradation and social dislocation in those territories. The thesis argues that the imperialist appropriation of non-European ecosystems took place at two different levels: one material, the other conceptual. On the one hand, the introduction of the economic institutions of private property and international trade in non-European territories, through a supposedly universal international legal language, served to privatize and commodify non-European nature. On the other hand, international legal scholars and colonial commentators developed a discourse that presented the European management of the environment as progressive and superior to that of non-Europeans. Rather than constituting separate elements, these two dimensions functioned together. The alleged backwardness of non-Europeans in mastering their natural habitats created fertile ground for the introduction of European economic institutions in the colonies. In turn, the assumed progressiveness of those institutions served to demonstrate European superiority in regard to the use of non-Europeans ecosystems. The result was a rather robust rationale that allowed fulfilling one of the main goals of Western territorial expansion: the seizing of natural resources overseas. By demonstrating that European colonists and intellectuals placed non-Europeans in a continuum with nature, this research aims both to question and broaden the traditional understanding of the civilizing mission. That mission was larger than the mere attempt to redeem non-Europeans and upgrade their condition. It was a more thorough, encompassing and far reaching project: the project of creating progress out of the transformation of non-European wilderness wild nature and wild people into civilization.
  • Toivonen, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    In this thesis we use the framework of adaptive dynamics and bifurcation analysis to study evolution with a spatially explicit population model in an abiotic environment that changes over geological timescales. Essentially, this process models the fossil record. In accordance with previous studies, we find that branching on an environmental gradient occurs when the environmental gradient is not too steep or shallow. Even though branching on a steep gradient is not possible for a monomorphic population, we find an interesting evolutionary hysteresis effect: depending on environmental history it is possible for a polymorphic population to evolve and inhabit a steep environmental gradient on which monomorphic branching does not occur. Further, we find that it is typically intermediate phenotypes that undergo branching. Here evolution occurs through small mutational steps and via an invasion-substitution sequence. However, over the timescales of the fossil record this gradual evolution may appear as punctuated. In a slowly changing environment intermediate phenotypes are also more prone to extinction, whereas in a fast changing environment extreme phenotypes are seen to be in greater danger. We use this modeling approach to study a partially unexplained pattern of diversification of hoofed mammals in Eurasia during the Late Miocene (11-5 Ma). We also use game theoretical methods to study the evolution of trade-offs: another pattern ubiquitous in nature. Specifically, we model an annual plant population and study the correlation of seed size and germination time. We do not assume any physiological constraints on the production of seeds of any combination of size and germination time. However, we find that typically an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy is such that a correlation emerges between the two. This raises the general question whether trade-offs observed in nature are caused by physiological constraints or whether they are just implementations of an evolutionarily beneficial strategy.
  • Schiestl-Aalto, Pauliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Environmental factors have a dual effect on growth as they affect both the momentary growth rate (direct effect) and the rate of ontogenetic development (indirect effect). Photosynthesis on the other hand is the source of carbon that is needed for growth, respiration and other purposes. There are two opposite theories about the factor determining growth rate: 1) the availability of carbon for growth (source limitation) and 2) limitation that environmental factors cause on tissue ability to grow (sink limitation). Understanding the responses of the growth of tree organs (wood, needles, roots) to environmental and other factors is important to be able to understand the changes in tree growth and carbon balance in changing climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to define the effects of temperature on Scots pine growth at different temporal scales and to estimate the relative importances of the source and sink effects on growth. For that, a dynamic growth model CASSIA (Carbon Allocation Sink Source InterAction) was constructed. CASSIA was able to predict daily primary and secondary wood and needle growth rate variation with indirect and direct effects of temperature. In addition, the temperature of warm previous late summer was observed to lead to enhanced length of the growth period (in temperature accumulation units) of shoots in the following year. Growth onset during spring was observed to be a continuous process determined by temperature accumulation, instead of momentary temperatures. Short-term growth variations in normal conditions were concluded to be sink limited because CASSIA was able to predict the within year growth with temperature and without direct effect of photosynthesis or stored carbon. On the other hand carbon source effect (gross primary production) was needed to produce the between year variation in growth. According to the results of this study, growth is limited by a complex combination of sink and source effects. Furthermore, environmental factors affect growth at different time scales varying from instantaneous effects to delayed effects from previous year(s). More research is needed to identify the factors determining the carbon flows to different processes.
  • Alanko, Teija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Archaeobotany combines botany, archaeology and history, and studies useful plants and interactions between humans and plants in the past, including horticulture. Garden history has been studied in Finland mainly through historical sources, but not much with archaeological or archaeobotanical methods, although the importance of multidisciplinary work has been noted, since written sources available are often not sufficient. Archaeobotany in Finland has revealed garden plant remains, but garden soils have not been investigated much. Archaeobotanical material, obtained from soil samples, i.e. macrosubfossil plant remains, is interpreted in archaeological and historical contexts. Excavations are, however, often restricted for practical reasons, determining also sites for macrofossil analyses. An alternative sampling method may be one solution to carry out macrofossil studies in sites unlikely to be excavated, such as historical gardens. The aims of this study were to elucidate a part of Finnish and Swedish garden history by means of archaeobotany, and to test archaeobotanical sampling in gardens in the absence of excavations with a sampler and applying AMS-radiocarbon dating. The research comprises four case studies and a review from five sites; Naantali Cloister, Kumpula Manor, and academic gardens in Uppsala, Turku and Helsinki. The sites are partly linked historically to each other, and they reach from the 15th century to the 21st century. Soil samples were collected at four sites with a sampler from different levels from narrow pits, one by one in vertical series. At one site, samples came from excavations. The samples were floated and sieved in a laboratory, and macrofossil remains were identified and counted. Altogether 8,404 macrofossil plant remains belonging to 154 plant taxa were obtained. In total 30 AMS-radiocarbon dates were measured from seeds, charred grains, and pieces of charred wood. The oldest dated seeds and grains were medieval, the youngest were modern. Macrofossil plant remains included cereals, berries, ornamental, medicinal and garden plants, and cultural or garden weeds, indicating both consumption and garden cultivation at the sites. Other soil contents, such as fish scales and chips of wood and charcoal, referred to fertilization and thus also gardening. The sampling method worked reasonably well. Sampling was independent of excavations, and relatively quick. Still, the maximum size of a sample was limited, although larger samples could have yielded more macrofossils and species. Written sources were necessary for the background, but in the cases of historical gardens, the literature gave historical contexts well enough. Garden history can and should be studied with both written sources and archaeobotanical methods. Informative macrofossil sampling can be carried out both from excavations and straight from garden soil. Plant lists, when existing, give information of cultivated species, but not of plants consumed or having grown as garden weeds at the sites. Still, quite few species that were mentioned in the plant lists were obtained as macrofossils in this study, perhaps due to the relatively poor state of preservation of the seeds in garden soil, and the probable scarce accumulation of seeds of cultivated species into the garden soil. Nevertheless, in sites with no comprehensive plant lists, archaeobotany revealed valuable information of plants that could not be gained otherwise. The Naantali Cloister case showed the importance of searching remains of garden plants also from structures outside of gardens.
  • Baryshnikov, Ilya (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Mood disorders and both Borderline (BPD) and Schizotypal (SPD) Personality Disorder often co-occur. BPD shares some similar symptoms with both bipolar disorder (BD) and SPD, resulting in difficulties in distinguishing them. The first aim of the study was to define similarities and differences in self-reported features of BD and BPD. The second aim was to determine the overlapping and non-overlapping clusters of self-reported symptoms of BPD and SPD in patients with mood disorders. Concurrent self-reported psychotic-like experiences (PEs) may also complicate the diagnosis of mood disorders; hence the third aim was to investigate the prevalence of self-reported PEs in patients with mood disorders and to examine the factors that predict them. Features of BPD are common in these patients and have a negative impact on the course of the disorders, hence it is important to focus on treatment. However, the relationships between self-reported features of BPD and neuroticism, attachment styles and traumatic experiences in childhood (TEs) are not fully understood. The fourth aim of the study, therefore, was to examine these relationships in patients with mood disorders. The Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium (HUPC) Study surveyed 282 patients in psychiatric care on the grounds of ICD-10-DCR unipolar depression and BD. The patients were requested to rate themselves on scales for BPD (the McLean Screening Instrument (MSI)), hypomania or mania (the Mood disorder Questionnaire (MDQ)), SPD (the Schizotypal Personality disorder Questionnaire-Brief (SPQ-B)), PEs (the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE-42)), adulthood attachment style (Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R)), TEs (the Trauma and Distress Scale (TADS)) as well as depression (the Beck Depressive Inventory (BDI)), anxiety (the Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS)) and neuroticism (Short 5 (S5)). The total scores of the MDQ and the MSI correlated moderately (r=0.431, P<0.001), and there were significant correlations between the MSI items "impulsivity" and "mood instability" and all the MDQ items (P<0.01). Moreover, the MSI items "impulsivity" and "mood instability" had significant cross-loadings (0.348 and 0.298, respectively) with the MDQ factor in the exploratory factor analysis. The MDQ items "irritability", "flight of thoughts" and "distractibility" (0.280, 0.210 and 0.386, respectively) cross-loaded on the MSI factor. There was a strong correlation between the MSI and the SPQ-B scores. MSI items reflecting disrupted relatedness and affective dysregulation correlated moderately (rφ varied between 0.2 and 0.4, P < 0.005) with the SPQ items. MSI items reflecting behavioural dysregulation correlated only weakly with the SPQ items. Depressive symptoms, gender and MSI were significant predictors of the SPQ-B score, whereas symptoms of anxiety, age and SPQ-B were significant predictors of the MSI score. The “frequency of positive symptoms” score of the CAPE-42 correlated strongly with the total score of the SPQ-B (rho=0.63; p<0.001), and moderately with the total scores of the BDI, the MDQ, OASIS and the MSI (rho varied from 0.37 to 0.56; p<0.001). Symptoms of anxiety, mania or hypomania, and BPD were significant predictors of the “frequency of positive symptoms” score of CAPE-42. A young age, S5 Neuroticism and TADS predicted the MSI scores (p<0.001). ECR-R Attachment Anxiety mediated 33 per cent (CI = 17-53%) of the relationships between TADS and MSI. Self-reported features of BPD and SPD are prevalent in patients with mood disorders. Self-reported features of BD and BPD such as “affective instability”, “impulsivity”, “irritability”, “flight of thoughts” and “distractibility” appear to overlap in terms of content whereas other features are more specific, which may make it easier to distinguish them. Items reflecting cognitive-perceptual distortions and affective symptoms in BPD overlap with disorganized and cognitive-perceptual symptoms of SPD. Symptoms of depression may aggravate self-reported features of SPD, and symptoms of anxiety features of BPD. BPD symptoms of behavioural dysregulation and the interpersonal deficits of SPD appear to be non-overlapping. Several state- and trait-related factors may underlie self-reported PEs among patients with mood disorders. These include cognitive-perceptual distortions in SPD; distrustfulness, identity disturbance, dissociative and affective symptoms of BPD; and cognitive bias related to depressive or manic symptoms. TEs as well as high neuroticism independently predict the features of BPD in patients with mood disorders, and insecure attachment may partially mediate the relationship between childhood TEs and BPD features.
  • Kärpänoja, Pauliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The increasing trend of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria is a global problem, although resistance varies between geographical regions significantly. Today, common bacterial pathogens can be resistant to all known antimicrobial agents. The growing resistance has been linked to increasing use of antimicrobials in humans, food industry ant veterinary medicine in several studies. The battle against antimicrobial resistance is highly dependent on the knowledge of resistance rates in different bacterial species and accurate methods to measure the resistance. Finnish laboratories provide resistance data annually for the national FINRES report. This data is forwarded to the European EARSNet database and from 2016 also to the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS, organised by WHO). The solidity and uniformity of this data depend on the primary results of laboratories. This thesis is composed of four studies, which cover methodolgical issues in the susceptibility testing of the main respiratory pathogens and the connection between antimicrobial use and resistance. Susceptibility testing methods and their quality were examined for Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The connection between sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim use and resistance was investigated among H. influenzae, S. pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis using the FINRES data and drug consumption data provided by Finnish Medical Agency. As a result of this study the susceptibility testing method for H. influenzae with good sensitivity and specificity was launched for the Finnish susceptibility testing guideline (FiRe standard), the focus was in identifying the difficult to detect non-β-lactamase mediated ampicillin resistance. In addition, evaluation of the quality of susceptibility testing in Finnish laboratories showed good reproducubility with two indicator organisms H. influenzae (ATCC49247) and S. pneumoniae (ATCC49619) when recommended guidelines were followed. The quality was assessed from internal quality control results of the laboratories. An automated method (Vitek2®, AST GP-74, bioMerieux) for susceptibility testing of S. pneumoniae provides highly comparable results with the reference broth dilution method. Time to results is considerabely shorter than with the traditional methods. Regional sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim consumption was found to have a positive connection with resistance in S. pneumoniae but the change of resistance was not significant. The change in resistance over time in H. influenzae was border-line significant, but the drug use did not explain the change. Change in resistance among M. catarrhalis was not statistically significant and there was no significant connection between the drug consumption and resistance. Sulfa-trimethoprim consumption fell throughout the country during the investigation period. Conclusions: The accuracy of the susceptibility testing of bacteria requires evidence-based standardization and continuous quality controlling. Clinical laboratory automation can be implemented safely in pneumococcal susceptibility testing. The impact of sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim consumption on resistance varies for different bacterial species. A reduction in its use in the long run has not led to a significant reduction in resistance.
  • Heikkilä, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The doctoral dissertation examines the legal form of Finnish savings banks from the viewpoint of stability ‒ namely, how their organisation, purpose and operating principles have been considered in legislation. The dissertation study spans the history of Finnish banking regulation from the rules of the first savings bank, founded in Turku in 1822, up until the credit institution and resolution acts of 2014. The study examines the reasons for why banking has been subject to specific regulation and supervision. It also discusses the interests promoted by banks during legislative processes and the organising of banking supervision, as well as the impact of the sector s lobbying on the final contents of laws. The primary sources of the study consist of legislative materials ‒ i.e. committee reports, government proposals and legal texts ‒ and the decisions of the Savings Banks Guarantee Fund (1925‒1998), in which it ruled either to safeguard a struggling savings bank s independent operations or to have it merge with another savings bank. Important sources also include works on banking history and the savings banks own trade journal Säästöpankki (1904‒2010). The study is set against the background of the German and English roots of savings banking. It also includes comparisons to other Nordic countries. The study shows that the banks different historical backgrounds have influenced their operating rights and led to the mismatched pace of legislative harmonisation. According to the study, the special characteristics of savings banks ‒ lack of ownership, non-profitability, locality, and involvement of depositors in the selection of administration ‒ were maintained until the early 1990s but have since lost relevance. Similar development has taken place in many other European countries. Savings banks stability was primarily based on the safety of lending and the mutual risk sharing enabled by the banks' own guarantee fund, whereas in commercial banks it was solely based on an individual bank's own capital. Due to the lack of ownership, a savings bank's board and senior management have had strict liabilities for losses. How liability falls is unpredictable, and hence the outcomes of legal proceedings ‒ the parties ruled liable and the large compensation amounts ‒ have not always been considered just. Legislative reviews have been motivated by problems that have arisen along the way. The study examines the crises that Finnish savings banks have collectively faced. The reasons for the crises have been political, related to money market deregulation, or caused by setbacks in the economy. The first such crisis was the deposit run triggered by the Crimean War in 1854. As a result of the latest crises, legislation has been amended to enable a savings bank to change its company form, and banks joint liability has been increased through mutually collected funds.
  • Anasonye, Festus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Soils that are contaminated with organic aromatic compounds such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) have previously been treated by combustion at elevated temperatures. Although, combustion is effective, it is expensive due to high energy and equipment requirements. However, innovative technologies such as the use of fungi and/or biochar can offer an alternative option that is friendly to the environment in treating such soils. This thesis evaluates three treatment options to treat these contaminants in soil: 1) the use of fungi growing on pine bark, 2) the use of fungal enzymes, and 3) treatment with both fungi and wood derived biochar. Fungal treatment of TNT-contaminated soil was applied in both laboratory and in pilot scale experiments. In the laboratory experiments, fungi were tested for their capability to grow in soil contaminated with the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and to accelerate its degradation. TNT concentration in the soil was 1000 mg kg-1. White-rot fungi, Gymnopilus luteofolius, Kuehneromyces mutabilis, and Phanerochaete velutina grew in the contaminated soil and produced a significant amount of manganese peroxidase (MnP) in TNT contaminated soil during that incubation, but no laccase. The most efficient fungus, P. velutina, degraded 80% of TNT in 2.5 months. The soil treatment process was scaled-up in a 0.56 m3 reactor with 0.3 t of TNT-contaminated soil and P. velutina grown on pine bark. TNT concentration in the soil was 1000 mg kg-1 and the soil:fungal inoculum ratio was 30:1. P. velutina degraded 70% of TNT in 49 days, and no further degradation occurred during the next 58 days of incubation. TNT metabolites, namely 4-amino-2,6-diaminotoluene and 2-amino-4,6-diaminotoluene, accounted for less than 0.5% of the original TNT concentration at the end of the incubation. For PCDD/F-contaminated soil, the approach was to treat the soil with either fungal inoculum or crude MnP. Treatment with fungal inoculum proved to be an effective treatment option as PCDD/Fs were degraded 62% and 64% of the WHO-TEQ (World Health Organisation Total Equivalent) value by Stropharia rugosoannulata and P. velutina, respectively, compared to a control where no degradation was observed. However, when PCDD/F-contaminated soil was treated with crude MnP, no degradation was observed even though significant levels of MnP activity were detected in the soil. Treatment of PAH-contaminated soils (humus-poor soil named sloam and humus-rich forest soil) were studied. Pyrene-contaminated soil was amended with wood-derived biochar, and the ability of fungi to grow in the amended soil was tested. Agrocybe praecox and P. velutina survived well in the amended soil and were selected for further studies. In addition, the role of fungi in pyrene sorption to amended soil was investigated. Fungal treatment of pyrene-contaminated soil amended with biochar increased the sorption of pyrene up to 47 56% to biochar amended forest soils compared to the controls (13 25%) incubated without fungi. Strong fungal/biochar synergistic effects were observed in cases of the sorption of pyrene in the amended soils. In non-sterile contaminated forest soil amended with biochar and incubated with one fungus, higher levels of pyrene (50%) was sorbed to the soil compared with a mere 13% in a similar soil without the fungus. In humus-poor sloam amended with biochar and incubated with fungus, only 9 12% pyrene was sorbed to amended soil. Similar results were obtained for both fungi used in the study. They had significant impact on forest soil with a higher organic matter content compared with sloam. Fungal treatment provides a viable treatment option and an alternative to traditional treatment options such as combustion of soils that are contaminated with organic aromatic contaminants. Fungi have shown strong potential to degrade these contaminants in soil. The addition of biochar and fungi to PAH- contaminated soil may help to reduce the risk of leaching of contaminants to ground water and above all to promote remediation of contaminated soils.
  • Sokka, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Long-term exposure to a stressful working environment where demands of the job exceed the resources of the worker may develop into job burnout. It is a major concern in working life, and in Finland, approximately one fourth of working aged people experience symptoms of burnout. Burnout is a psychological syndrome typically characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy. Individuals who experience symptoms of burnout often report decreased sense of efficacy in performing their daily work, as well as difficulties in concentration and memory. To date, however, little is known about the relationship between burnout and cognitive processes in the brain. The present thesis explores how pre-attentive auditory processing, and attentional and cognitive control processes are associated with burnout. As a method, we used scalp recordings of event-related potentials (ERPs) extracted from continuous electroencephalogram (EEG). The participants were 41 volunteers reporting a wide range of burnout symptoms, and 26 control participants. The results showed that burnout is associated with alterations in ERP responses reflecting involuntary attention shift and voluntary task-related processes. More specifically, momentary involuntary capture of attention to emotionally valenced speech sounds is faster for negative, and slower for positive utterances in burnout than in the control group as reflected by divergent P3a latencies even when the burnout symptoms are relatively mild. Burnout is also associated with dysfunctions in cognitive control needed to monitor and update information in working-memory as reflected by a decrease in task-related P3b responses over posterior scalp and increase over frontal areas. Perhaps, in burnout, sustaining a similar performance level as that of the control group might require additional recruitment of anterior regions to compensate the decrement in posterior activity. In addition, orienting of attention towards potentially significant unexpected sounds is ineffective in burnout during working-memory processing as indicated by reduced P3a responses elicited by the distractor sounds. Finally, severe burnout is associated with less accurate performance and inadequate processing when rapid shifting of attention between tasks is required as reflected by smaller P3 responses compared to the mild burnout and control groups. The findings of the present thesis provide new information about dysfunctions in electrophysiological processes related to cognitive control in burnout.