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Open access articles by University of Helsinki researchers. Contains final versions and manuscripts of research articles as well as professional publications and publications aimed at general public.

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  • Rekola, Aino; Kaljonen, Minna; Terämä, Riikka; Aro, Emma; Vainio, Annukka; Vikström, Suvi; Paloniemi, Riikka (2019)
  • Järvensivu, Paavo; Hakala, Emma; Lummaa, Karoliina; Lähde, Ville; Majava, Antti J; Toivanen, Tero T.; Vaden, Tere; Eronen, Jussi T. (2019)
  • Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Fogelholm, Mikael; Silvasti, Tiina (2019)
  • Kamarainen, A.; Jokinen, K.; Linden, L. (2020)
    The addition of Sphagnum to peat-based growing media ('Sphagnum replacement') influences plant performance. The primary physical effect of Sphagnum addition appears to be enhanced water retention. Good performance of plants cultivated in Sphagnum seems partly explainable in terms of its water retention properties. The large body of nutrient solution retained in Sphagnum can delay disadvantageous changes in its concentration during cultivation. The physical quantity of Sphagnum per unit volume, i.e. its bulk density, governs the volume of retained water and thus determines the strength of effects contributing to plant performance. When subjected to severe drought, plants cultivated in Sphagnum did not show clear signs of water deficit up to at least 1,572 hPa of matric suction, which is the estimated wilting point for plants grown in light peat. Using Sphagnum to replace peat in the growing medium appears advantageous to plants not only during drought but also during ordinary greenhouse cultivation.
  • Guirado, Ramon; Perez-Rando, Marta; Ferragud, Antonio; Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolas; Umemori, Juzoh; Carceller, Hector; Nacher, Juan; Castillo-Gómez, Esther (2020)
    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been classically defined as the brain region responsible for higher cognitive functions, including the decision-making process. Ample information has been gathered during the last 40 years in an attempt to understand how it works. We now know extensively about the connectivity of this region and its relationship with neuromodulatory ascending projection areas, such as the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) or the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Both areas are well-known regulators of the reward-based decision-making process and hence likely to be involved in processes like evidence integration, impulsivity or addiction biology, but also in helping us to predict the valence of our future actions: i.e., what is “good” and what is “bad.” Here we propose a hypothesis of a critical period, during which the inputs of the mPFC compete for target innervation, establishing specific prefrontal network configurations in the adult brain. We discuss how these different prefrontal configurations are linked to brain diseases such as addiction or neuropsychiatric disorders, and especially how drug abuse and other events during early life stages might lead to the formation of more vulnerable prefrontal network configurations. Finally, we show different promising pharmacological approaches that, when combined with the appropriate stimuli, will be able to re-establish these functional prefrontocortical configurations during adulthood.
  • Pospisilova, Veronika; Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe D.; Bell, David M.; El Haddad, I.; Mohr, Claudia; Huang, Wei; Heikkinen, Liine; Xiao, Mao; Dommen, Josef; Prevot, A. S. H.; Baltensperger, U.; Slowik, J. G. (2020)
    Highly oxygenated organic molecules (HOMs) are formed from the oxidation of biogenic and anthropogenic gases and affect Earth’s climate and air quality by their key role in particle formation and growth. While the formation of these molecules in the gas phase has been extensively studied, the complexity of organic aerosol (OA) and lack of suitable measurement techniques have hindered the investigation of their fate post-condensation, although further reactions have been proposed. We report here novel real-time measurements of these species in the particle phase, achieved using our recently developed extractive electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (EESI-TOF). Our results reveal that condensed-phase reactions rapidly alter OA composition and the contribution of HOMs to the particle mass. In consequence, the atmospheric fate of HOMs cannot be described solely in terms of volatility, but particle-phase reactions must be considered to describe HOM effects on the overall particle life cycle and global carbon budget.
  • Bogl, Leonie H.; Mehlig, Kirsten; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Gwozdz, Wencke; de Henauw, Stefaan; Molnar, Denes; Moreno, Luis; Pigeot, Iris; Russo, Paola; Solea, Antonia; Veidebaum, Toomas; Kaprio, Jaakko; Lissner, Lauren; Hebestreit, Antje (2020)
    Background Lifestyle interventions to prevent paediatric obesity often target family and peer settings; their success is likely to depend on the influence that peers and families exert on children's lifestyle behaviors at different developmental stages. Objective First, to determine whether children's lifestyle behavior more closely resembles their peers' or siblings' behaviors. Secondly, to investigate longitudinally whether children's behavioral change is predicted by that of their peers or their siblings as they grow older. Methods The European prospective IDEFICS/I.Family cohort (baseline survey: 2007/2008, first follow-up: 2009/2010, and second follow-up: 2013/2014) aims at investigating risk factors for overweight and related behaviors during childhood and adolescence. The present investigation includes 2694 observations of children and their siblings aged 2 to 18 years. Peers were defined as same-sex, same-age children in the same community and identified from the full cohort. The longitudinal analysis (mean follow-up time: 3.7 years) includes 525 sibling pairs. Children's lifestyle behaviors including fast food consumption (frequency/week), screen time (hours/week) and sports club participation (hours/week) were assessed by questionnaire. Data were analyzed using multilevel linear models. Results Children's lifestyle behavior was associated with the respective behavior of their peers and sibling for all 3 behaviors. For fast food consumption, the peer resemblance was more than 6-fold higher than the sibling resemblance and the peer resemblance surpassed the sibling resemblance by the age of 9-10 years. The similarities with peers for fast food consumption and screen time steadily increased, while the similarities with siblings steadily decreased with increasing age of the children (P-interaction <0.001). In contrast, the relative importance of peers and siblings on sports club duration did not vary by the age of the children. Longitudinal results showed that children's changes in fast food consumption were more strongly associated with those in their peer group than their sibling, in particular if the age gap between siblings was large. Conclusion In conclusion, our results support the implementation of multi-setting interventions for improving lifestyle behaviors in children. Our findings might also guide future intervention studies in the choice of timing and setting in which interventions are likely to be most effective. From the ages of 9-10 years onwards, family- or home-based interventions targeting children's fast food intake and screen time behavior may become less effective than school- or community-based interventions aimed at peer groups.
  • Ghinoi, Stefano; Steiner, PhD, Prof. Bodo (2020)
    Climate change is considered by policymakers as one of the most pressing global issues of our time. International institutions and national governments are, to varying degrees, committed to tackling climate change, but it has only been possible to define a shared system of collective goals across countries through the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21). A growing interest in climate change policy has been present in the Italian political debate, yet we have little evidence regarding the nature of related climate change debates across Italian policymakers. By using discourse network analysis (DNA) to investigate Italian policymakers’ discourses in the Chamber of Deputies during the 17th Italian Legislature (2013–2018), this study shows that debates on climate change-related strategies are largely unpolarized, except for certain issues, and that coalitions emerge over time around core strategies. Groups of policymakers with similar policy beliefs emerge independently from their political affiliations. Our analysis is thus the first to apply DNA to provide empirical evidence of the convergence across Italian policymakers and the potential for the bridging of political discourses on climate change.
  • Wyatt, Daniel (2020)
    According to Regulation 1049/2001, which creates the EU’s public access to documents regime, all EU documents should hypothetically be publicly accessible, except for those that fall within explicitly protected interests. A number of these exceptions to disclosure, however, function such that documents covered by them do not have to be disclosed if their release would harm a protected interest unless there is an “overriding public interest in disclosure” exists in the circumstances. The purpose of this Article is to offer a critical examination of this concept of the overriding public interest as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). In the first part, the notion of the public interest generally is discussed from a theoretical perspective. Following this, a thorough analysis of case law concerning the overriding public interest is presented. Finally, this Article presents a critical commentary of the CJEU’s understanding of the concept. This Article essentially seeks to argue, inter alia, that the CJEU’s interpretation has resulted in democratically unaccountable bureaucrats of the EU effectively becoming the sole arbiters of the existence and content of the overriding public interest in disclosure under Regulation 1049/2001, a situation that is fundamentally unsatisfactory.
  • Wiersema, Renske; Jukarainen, Sakari; Eck, Ruben J.; Kaufmann, Thomas; Koeze, Jacqueline; Keus, Frederik; Pettilä, Ville; van der Horst, Iwan C. C.; Vaara, Suvi T. (2020)
    Background Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent and clinically relevant problem in critically ill patients. Various randomized controlled trials (RCT) have attempted to assess potentially beneficial treatments for AKI. Different approaches to applying the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria for AKI make a comparison of studies difficult. The objective of this study was to assess how different approaches may impact estimates of AKI incidence and whether the association between AKI and 90-day mortality varied by the approach used. Methods Consecutive acutely admitted adult intensive care patients were included in a prospective observational study. AKI was determined following the KDIGO criteria during the first 7 days of ICU admission. In this post hoc analysis, we assessed whether AKI incidence differed when applying the KDIGO criteria in 30 different possible methods, varying in (A) serum creatinine (sCr), (B) urine output (UO), and (C) the method of combining these two into an outcome, e.g., severe AKI. We assessed point estimates and 95% confidence intervals for each incidence. Univariable regression was used to assess the associations between AKI and 90-day mortality. Results A total of 1010 patients were included. Baseline creatinine was available in 449 (44%) patients. The incidence of any AKI ranged from 28% (95%CI 25-31%) to 75% (95%CI 72-77%) depending on the approach used. Methods to estimate missing baseline sCr caused a variation in AKI incidence up to 15%. Different methods of handling UO caused a variation of up to 35%. At 90 days, 263 patients (26%) had died, and all 30 variations were associated with 90-day mortality. Conclusions In this cohort of critically ill patients, AKI incidence varied from 28 to 75%, depending on the method used of applying the KDIGO criteria. A tighter adherence to KDIGO definitions is warranted to decrease the heterogeneity of AKI and increase the comparability of future studies.
  • Grahn, Petra M.; Sommarhem, Antti J.; Lauronen, Leena M.; Nietosvaara, A. Yrjänä (2020)
    Background: Active shoulder external rotation in adduction can be restored by selective neurotization of the infraspinatus muscle with the spinal accessory nerve in select patients with brachial plexus birth injury. Does the improved shoulder external rotation stand the test of time? Methods: Fourteen consecutive brachial plexus birth injury patients with active shoulder external rotation in adduction of = 90 degrees underwent selective neurotization of the infraspinatus muscle at mean 2 years of age between 2012 and 2016. All 14 patients had congruent shoulders joints with passive external rotation in adduction of 30 degrees. Pre-and postoperative electromyography was done to seven patients. Shoulder function and the subjective outcome was assessed after a mean follow-up of 3.8 years. Results: Shoulder external rotation in adduction improved by a mean 57 degrees in the 12 children who did not develop shoulder internal rotation contracture. Shoulder external rotation in abduction and shoulder abduction increased in all 14 patients. Reinnervation of the supraspinatus muscle was evident in all seven children who underwent postoperative EMG. Thirteen patients' parents were satisfied with the outcome. Conclusions: Functionally significant shoulder external rotation can be restored and maintained by reinnervation of the infraspinatus muscle in brachial plexus birth injury patients with congruent shoulder joints, if internal rotation contracture does not develop.
  • Kajamaa, Anu; Mattick, Karen; de la Croix, Anne (2020)
    As a clinician, you will often combine patients’ narratives with test results in order to obtain a coherent picture and then decide on a way forward. As an educator, you are also likely to combine different information from your learners to arrive at the best feedback, judgement or supervision plan. This is what researchers do when undertaking mixed‐methods research: qualitative and quantitative data are typically brought together to provide different insights than could be achieved with a single type of data and analysis. Mixed‐methods research has much to offer the clinical teacher but may involve more complex study designs than other types of research. Therefore, this article aims to highlight the different designs of mixed‐methods research, and the opportunities and challenges that it provides, in order to support researchers who may be undertaking their first mixed‐methods research study.
  • Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Byman, Jenny; Renlund, Jenny; Wong, Chin Chin (2020)
    Drawing on a relational ontology and scholarship of new literacies, we investigate the materiality and performativity of children’s augmented storying in nature. Our study is situated in a Finnish primary school in which a novel, augmented reality application (MyAR Julle) was utilized as a digital storytelling tool for children (n = 62, aged 7–9), allowing them to explore, interact, and imagine in nature and to create/share their stories. The data corpus consists of their narrations of their augmented stories in nature, their augmented story artefacts, and video/observational data from their construction of such stories in nature. Narrative analysis reveals how the children’s augmented storying in nature was performed through playful, affective, and sensuous, identity, cultural, and critical literacies, which were imaginatively constructed into being at the nexus of their sensed reality and fantasy. These literacies make visible human–material–spatial–temporal assemblages during which the children played with/through the augmented character Julle, felt and sensed with/through Julle, and re-storied their experiences, cultural knowledge, and identities with/through Julle. They also engaged in critical thinking with/through Julle. The study contributes to knowledge on the meaning of materiality in children’s storying in, with, and for nature and the educational possibilities of augmented storying for children’s (eco)literacies.
  • Seal, Prasenjit; Xu, Jiangtao; De Luca, Sergio; Boyer, Cyrille; Smith, Sean C. (2019)
    The photoredox catalysts pheophorbide a (PheoA) and zinc tetraphenylporphine (ZnTPP) under illumination display strong selectivity toward reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) agents containing thiocarbonylthio groups, namely dithiobenzoates, xanthates, and trithiocarbonates. The underlying mechanism for the process-whether via energy or electron transfer from the photoexcited catalyst to RAFT agent-has remained unclear, as has the reason for the remarkable selectivity. Quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics calculations are utilized to provide strong evidence that none of the common energy-transfer mechanisms (Forster resonance energy transfer; Dexter electron exchange; or internal conversion followed by vibrational energy transfer) are likely to facilitate polymerization, let alone explain the observed selectivities. In contrast, extensive quantum chemical characterizations of the excited-state orbitals associated with the catalyst-RAFT agent complexes uncover a clear selectivity pattern associated with charge-transfer states that is highly consistent with experimental findings. The results shed light on the intrinsic catalytic role of the photocatalysts and provide a strong indication that a reversible electron/charge-transfer mechanism underpins the remarkable photocatalytic selectivity.
  • Ilmonen, Kaisa; Rossi, Leena-Maija (Brill Rodopi, 2019)
    Critical Studies
    Intersectionality has been a debated concept in recent critical studies. It has been both hailed as the most important contribution to gender studies, and criticized for being an academic buzzword. In our chapter, however, we aim to focus on the potential productive power intersectionality might still have, for example, when critically applied to the narratives of cultural homogeneity and the ‘ordinariness’ of the majority. The narrative of Nordic societal homogeneity is often constructed as unitary and unchanging – the sphere of the ordinary. The white Nordic majority has become the norm against which the other, presented as in need of emancipation, is defined, read and interpreted. In such thinking, both ‘the majority’ and ‘the margin’ are stabilized constructs, even though they both remain inherently multifaceted and ambivalent. We turn the intersectional lens to the ‘homogenous commonplace’ by discussing on which conditions intersectionality could be turned towards the majority, or ‘the ordinary’. After that, we discuss intersectionality ‘in commonplace action’, by outlining a case study: the explicitly intersectional politics of the Feminist Party in Finland, founded in 2016.
  • Morys, Filip; Janssen, Lieneke K.; Cesnaite, Elena; Beyer, Frauke; Garcia-Garcia, Isabel; Kube, Jana; Kumral, Deniz; Liem, Franziskus; Mehl, Nora; Mahjoory, Keyvan; Schrimpf, Anne; Gaebler, Michael; Margulies, Daniel; Villringer, Arno; Neumann, Jane; Nikulin, Vadim V.; Horstmann, Annette (2020)
    Much of our behaviour is driven by two motivational dimensions-approach and avoidance. These have been related to frontal hemispheric asymmetries in clinical and resting-state EEG studies: Approach was linked to higher activity of the left relative to the right hemisphere, while avoidance was related to the opposite pattern. Increased approach behaviour, specifically towards unhealthy foods, is also observed in obesity and has been linked to asymmetry in the framework of the right-brain hypothesis of obesity. Here, we aimed to replicate previous EEG findings of hemispheric asymmetries for self-reported approach/avoidance behaviour and to relate them to eating behaviour. Further, we assessed whether resting fMRI hemispheric asymmetries can be detected and whether they are related to approach/avoidance, eating behaviour and BMI. We analysed three samples: Sample 1 (n = 117) containing EEG and fMRI data from lean participants, and Samples 2 (n = 89) and 3 (n = 152) containing fMRI data from lean, overweight and obese participants. In Sample 1, approach behaviour in women was related to EEG, but not to fMRI hemispheric asymmetries. In Sample 2, approach/avoidance behaviours were related to fMRI hemispheric asymmetries. Finally, hemispheric asymmetries were not related to either BMI or eating behaviour in any of the samples. Our study partly replicates previous EEG findings regarding hemispheric asymmetries and indicates that this relationship could also be captured using fMRI. Our findings suggest that eating behaviour and obesity are likely to be mediated by mechanisms not directly relating to frontal asymmetries in neuronal activation quantified with EEG and fMRI.
  • Vennerström, Pia; Maunula, Leena; Välimäki, Elina; Virtala, Anna-Maija (2020)
    After the first outbreak of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) in Finnish brackish water rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss farms, infection spread rapidly between the farms. The infrastructure of fish farming did not take into account spreading of infectious fish diseases. To show the presence of VHSV in the environment, we tested seawater, sediment and wild blue mussels Mytilus edulis from VHSV-infected fish farms, and liquid waste from a processing plant that handled infected rainbow trout. Additionally, blue mussels were bath-challenged with VHSV (exposed to cultivated virus or naturally infected rainbow trout). To detect VHSV, virus isolation in cell culture and real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) were used. The virus or viral RNA was detected in sea water and in liquid waste from processing plants during wintertime when water temperature is close to 0 degrees C and sunlight is sparse. VHSV did not appear to replicate in blue mussels in our study. Therefore, blue mussels were not considered relevant carriers of VHSV. However, traces of viral RNA were detected up to 29 d post challenge in mussels. Contact with water from processing plants handling VHSV-infected fish populations increases the risk of the disease spreading to susceptible fish populations, especially during cold and dark times of the year.
  • Väärikkälä, Sofia; Koskela, Tarja; Hänninen, Laura; Nevas, Mari (2020)
    EU legislation requires the violations of animal welfare standards to be sanctioned. Our aim was to evaluate criminal sanctions concerning violations of cattle and pig welfare on Finnish farms. We analysed 196 court cases heard in Finnish district courts from 2011 to 2016. Almost all the cases (95%) concerned the violations of cattle welfare, of which 61% occurred on small farms. The lack of cleanliness and inadequate feeding and watering were the most common reported violations. The median time span from the known start date of the crime to the judgement was nearly two years. Of the cases, 96% resulted in conviction. The court did not perceive the violations as being highly blameworthy as a small fine and a short conditional imprisonment were the most often imposed sanctions. A ban on the keeping of animals was used as a precautionary measure in half of the cases. Veterinarians were shown to have an important role in the initiation of criminal procedures, providing evidence for the police and acting as witnesses. Therefore, it is crucial to achieve a well-functioning collaboration between veterinarians and the police and prosecutors. The expertise of these authorities on animal welfare legislation should also be emphasized to improve the efficacy of the criminal procedures.
  • Yan, Jinpei; Jung, Jinyoung; Zhang, Miming; Bianchi, Federico; Tham, Yee Jun; Xu, Suqing; Lin, Qi; Zhao, Shuhui; Li, Lei; Chen, Liqi (2020)
    The uptake of methanesulfonic acid (MSA) on existing particles is a major route of the particulate MSA formation, however, MSA uptake on different particles is still lacking in knowledge. Characteristics of MSA uptake on different aerosol particles were investigated in polynya (an area of open sea water surrounded by ice) regions of the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Particulate MSA mass concentrations, as well as aerosol population and size distribution, were observed simultaneously for the first time to access the uptake of MSA on different particles. The results show that MSA mass concentration does not always reflect MSA particle population in the marine atmosphere. MSA uptake on aerosol particle increases the particle size and changes aerosol chemical composition, but it does not increase the particle population. The uptake rate of MSA on particles is significantly influenced by aerosol chemical properties. Sea salt particles are beneficial for MSA uptake, as MSA-Na and MSA-Mg particles are abundant in the Na and Mg particles, accounting for 0.43 +/- 0.21 and 0.41 +/- 0.20 of the total Na and Mg particles, respectively. However, acidic and hydrophobic particles suppress the uptake of MSA, as MSA-EC (elemental carbon) and MSA-SO42- particles account for only 0.24 +/- 0.68 and 0.26 +/- 0.47 of the total EC and SO42- particles, respectively. The results extend the knowledge of the formation and environmental behavior of MSA in the marine atmosphere.

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