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  • Jäntti, Maija (2020)
    Uterine leiomyomas are benign tumors originating in the smooth muscle cells of the uterine wall. Leiomyomas represent one of the most common tumor types in women affecting up to 80% of pre-menopausal women. Besides having extensive implications on women´s health through the numerous symptoms they cause, leiomyomas are a cause of remarkable financial burden worldwide. Bivalent promoters are defined by the co-occurrence of two histone modifications with opposite functions: trimethylation of lysine 4 on histone 3 (H3K4me3) and trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone 3 (H3K27me3). H3K4me3 is associated with promoters of actively expressed genes, whereas H3K27me3 is frequently found at promoters of silenced genes. The genes controlled by the bivalent promoters are reversibly silenced or expressed at low levels and remain poised for fast activation or full repression as a response to external cues. Bivalent chromatin is gaining more and more importance as new roles are identified in tumorigenesis and cell differentiation. Despite this, the vast majority of data available was obtained from cell lines, and not from human tissue. The aim of this thesis work was to map the genomic location of bivalent promoters in uterine leiomyoma and myometrium tissue, and to characterize the functions of bivalently-controlled genes in differentiated tissue. This would provide novel information about bivalent promoters’ distribution in human tissues and also their potential role in myomagenesis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) against H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 was performed on fresh frozen tissue samples of uterine leiomyomas and corresponding myometrium. A promoter was defined as bivalent, if it showed overlap between H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 peaks within a 2 kb region of a gene’s transcription start site in all samples. Altogether 951 bivalent promoters were found in myometrium and leiomyoma. Strikingly, only 231 (24.3%) promoters were present in both tissue types, most bivalent promoters being tissue-specific. These findings indicated bivalent promoters regulating a substantial number of genes also in differentiated tissue and the presence of extensive alterations in bivalent promoter distribution during myomagenesis. Gene ontology analyses of the bivalently-controlled genes in myometrium revealed the highest score for developmental processes. Instead, for leiomyomas, the highest enrichment was detected in stem cell fate specification-related processes. The data presented in this thesis suggests that bivalent chromatin plays an important role during myomagenesis, as it undergoes a significant reorganization during the process. Future experiments will provide novel insights about the role for these changes, i.e.: if they underlie the process.
  • Shrestha, Bideep (2020)
    Cornea is transparent layer of cells lying in front of lens. The corneal epithelium, a squamous epithelium, covers the ocular surface and ensures proper vision by preserving the integrity of the eye. Corneal epithelium is renewed continuously throughout life from a pool of stem cells (SC). There are still conflicting theories about the localization of stem cells required for the growth, renewal and maintenance of the corneal epithelium. Previous studies demonstrated that the limbus, located in the periphery of the cornea, serves as the stem cell niche (SCN) in adults. However, contrasting evidence from clonal analysis proposes that, in early postnatal life, renewal is fuelled by SCs located in the basal layer of the central cornea. There are alternate patterns of renewal in young and adult mouse cornea and that there is an important, transitional time frame called cornea maturation, when the adult patterns of gene expression, cell dynamics and tissue renewal are established. In the cornea, solid SC markers are still missing, yet studies on human limbal cells have suggested Bmi1 and C/EBPδ as limbal SC markers. There are, indeed, long-lived SCs in the central cornea and that the gene Bmi1 plays a role in these central corneal SCs. However, the physiological importance of these Bmi1+ cells remains obscure. The main aim of this project is to understand the fate and dynamics of these Bmi1+ cells and study the chronology of maturation of the cornea. In this study, I have also tried to correlate the growth of eye size with proliferation of corneal epithelial cells This study was conducted using few different kinds of transgenic mice (Mus musculus). To study the fate of Bmi1+ cells, two different mouse lines were crossed: Bmi1-CreER and ROSA26-LacZ. Mice carrying both alleles were used for lineage tracing experiments. Moreover, Hematoxylin-eosin staining was used to follow the eye morphology. Immunohistochemistry was performed to follow the chronology of maturation of the cornea, proliferation of corneal epithelial cells and the location of Bmi1+ cells in corneal epithelium. From this study, we can propose that cornea maturation is completed by the time of eyelid opening, which take place two weeks after birth. Krt19 is perfect for studying the chronology of the corneal epithelium, immunostaining of Krt19 separates the territory of limbus from central cornea enabling to distinguish limbus distinctly. Proliferating cells reside in basal layer of cornea. Bmi1+ cells found throughout the basal layer of the cornea that locally renews the corneal epithelium concluding Bmi1+ cells as the progenitor cells.
  • Lindelöf, Anna-Emilia (2019)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract Background. Platelets are known to contain ample amounts of brain derived neurotrophic factor. Previous spectrophotometric studies carried out in Pia Siljander’s lab have shown that BDNF is secreted from activated platelets packed in extracellular vesicles. For this project we wanted to 1) confirm that BDNF really is secreted in extracellular vesicles (EVs)2) find out how the choice of agonist affected the BDNF cargo of the platelet derived EVs, and 3) find out if the BDNF is packed into EVs of certain densities rather than others. Methods. The platelets were isolated from platelet concentrates by size exclusion chromatography. The isolated platelets were then activated by thrombin and collagen co-stimulation (TC) and by Ca2+ionophore, respectively. The platelet activation produced extracellular vesicles (PEVs) which were isolated by differential ultracentrifugation. The isolated PEVs were then analysed by flow cytometry, ELISA and Western blot for EV typical membrane surface proteins and for their BDNF content. As we were interested finding out whether BDNF is enriched in PEVs to certain populations, density gradient centrifugation was performed. These samples were also analysed by Western blot and by ELISA. The size distribution and concentration of PEVs in all samples was analysed by Nanoparticle tracking analysis. Results and conclusions. This study confirmed that platelets secrete PEVs as a response to agonists. PEVs with higher BDNF concentration were produced using TC co-stimulation as compared to PEVs derived from the Ca2+ionophore. The result implies that BDNF is actively packed into PEVs for instance as a thrombogenic response. Based on the density gradient results it seems that BDNF was packed into certain population of PEVs with a density between 1.112 g ml-1 and 1.132 g ml-1 corresponding to a particle diameter of less than 500 nm. The finding that BDNF is actively packed into TC co-stimulation derived PEVs of a certain population is interesting from a theragnostic point of view, since EVs are likely to be key players in the development of new cell-based therapies. Had there been more time, it would have been interesting to optimize both the density gradient protocol and the ELISA analysis. This optimization of methods would make the process more efficient, less prone to sample loss, not to mention that there would be less intra-assay variation.
  • Seppälä, Antti (2018)
    This master’s thesis addresses the role of intermediary organizations in sustainability transitions, specifically in the field of energy. The thesis discusses how intermediary organizations can diffuse and support the development of novel sustainable socio-technical niche-innovations through experiments. Theoretically, this thesis draws mostly upon the sustainability transition literature, particularly strategic niche management theory. Empirically, this thesis focuses on a case study of joint procurement of solar power plants that was implemented as a part of “New and innovative low-carbon business generates competitive advantage for companies and municipalities” (Välke) project in South-western Päijänne during 2016. Välke is a sub-project of Carbon-neutral municipalities (HINKU) and therefore the case study of this thesis links to other similar experiments in the HINKU network. The material of the thesis was collected through 9 semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders involved in the experiment and by using pre-existing secondary material. The material was analysed by qualitative content analysis using an analytical framework adopted from a previous study. The findings show that intermediaries support niche development by aggregating, circulating and applying lessons learned between and within joint procurement experiments. This was done by producing and disseminating documents, but more importantly through personal contact between intermediaries. The network of intermediaries showed hierarchical features as the coordinator of HINKU, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), maintained the repositories of the learned lessons and also formed a link between municipal intermediaries involved with the experiments. Also, during the experiments the more experienced higher profile intermediaries – mostly SYKE – provided assistance to lower profile municipal intermediaries. This support included providing knowledge, but also raising the confidence of lower profile intermediaries. Following, the lower profile intermediaries provided similar assistance to the participants of the experiments. However, the intermediary roles were not stable as lower level intermediaries were adopting some of the roles of the higher profile intermediaries after gaining experience during the experimentation. In order to support the Finnish solar niche, the intermediaries went beyond mere aggregating, circulating and applying lessons between and within experiments. They were actively initiating new experiments in adjusted formsin new geographical locations and advocating the niche. This was partially linked to the strategic nature of the intermediaries, as they were established to catalyse activities that would lead to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. However, this active support for a particular socio-technical innovation contradicted the pursuit of intermediaries to be viewed as neutral and credible actors. Partially as a consequence – but also because of the phase of solar niche development in Finland and lack of resource and interest – SYKE chose to withdraw from future joint procurements of solar power plants for private actors. However, SYKE was planning to utilize the governance innovation of joint procurements in order to support other niche-innovations with sustainability gains. The findings show that intermediaries can accelerate energy transitions, at least on a regional scale. They emphasize the importance of cooperation and personal contact between intermediaries and the ability of intermediaries to utilize governance innovations. Also, the findings support stronger inclusion of intermediaries in governance frameworks to hasten energy transition and achieve wider sustainability goals. However, the thesis shows that particularly public intermediary organizations have to work under unclear mandates.
  • Holopainen, Sini (2022)
    During the time of ecological crisis, it is important to find new approaches on how to produce welfare within planetary and ecological boundaries. Besides focusing on technical and societal changes I state in this thesis that there is a need for focus on human’s spiritual side to solve wide sustainability issues. Immaterial welfare is highlighted with people who are practicing spirituality, in this case meditation with Buddhist background. Enhancing immaterial welfare is important in the world in which overconsumption is dwindling biodiversity and planetary resources. In this master’s thesis I discuss how acknowledging peoples’ inner worlds is an essential part of holistic sustainability transition towards sustainable welfare and society. According to previous research spiritual practices such as meditation and mindfulness can support sustainable behaviour in many ways. People practicing meditation with Buddhist background try to live in a way that reduces their own suffering and suffering of living beings around them. When living in a mindful state it may be easier to make daily choices that are aligning with one’s values. Those who practice meditation may feel stronger connection to nature which can foster ecological behaviour. In this thesis I conducted nine interviews with nine meditation practitioners who are regularly practicing meditation with Buddhist background. I focused on their lifestyle that takes environmental aspects into account and how do they perceive that the meditation practice helps them to live in sustainable way. Central questions in the interviews included connectedness to nature, values and adapting and reacting to ecological crisis. I analysed the interviews using content-guiding theory analysis reflecting previous research. Meditation itself does not transform one to become more environmentally friendly but it can for example help to live by own values. Buddhist philosophy and spiritual lessons based in Buddhism play important roles in the meditation practices of the people I interviewed. Those lessons can motivate them to act respectfully towards all kinds of living beings and reduce their suffering. The people in this study live out environmentally friendly lifestyle in multiple ways. The interviewees highlighted many immaterial factors in their wellbeing from relationships to being in silence. In addition, spiritual practice can support them with difficult emotions that can arise from the news about the environment and climate. Altogether the sustainability science could benefit from considering human’s spiritual sides and the lost connection to self and the surrounding world.
  • Koskinen, Elisabeth (2023)
    Three-dimensional (3D) cellular cultures have been shown to represent tissue formations and functions more accurately than two-dimensional (2D) cultures and have been successfully utilized more accurately in model organisms, e.g., to understand cellular modular functions. However, the applications in non-model organisms are limited, and to our knowledge have not been implemented in ectotherms. At an ecological scale, the technique can enhance our understanding by providing insights on cellular and tissue level molecular mechanisms. A potential implementation of this method in Atlantic salmon is to elucidate the molecular function of the vestigial-like 3 (vgll3) gene, which plays a central role in salmonid maturity, potentially by regulating energy allocation via regulating adipogenesis. In this thesis, a proof of principle study was implemented, where the feasibility of obtaining and maintaining a suspension 3D adipose tissue culture in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) was assessed. The harvested visceral white adipose tissue from around the intestinal tissue of mature Atlantic salmon (salmon past smolt stage) was first separated into stromal vascular fraction (SVFs) and mature adipose fraction (MAFs). SVFs contain preadipocytes (precursors of adipocyte cells) in addition to a variety of other cell types. MAFs are mature adipocytes. Both MAFs and SVFs were successfully maintained in-vitro for over four weeks. SVFs were then successfully differentiated into mature adipocytes, demonstrating the feasibility of studying adipogenesis in Atlantic salmon. Proof of this methodology and its further implications may help us to understand the cellular functions of vgll3 and may subsequently help to better understand its causal relation to the maturation process in Atlantic salmon.
  • Huttunen, Johanna (2022)
    Bumblebees are important pollinators globally and especially in Fennoscandia, yet they are declining. The amount of natural vegetation in cities is decreasing with urbanisation. Hence suitable habitats for urban bumblebees are diminishing. Brownfields can be important habitats for bumblebees in cities because they resemble natural habitats. I studied bumblebee communities in urban brownfields. My main aims were to evaluate how local and landscape scale environmental factors affect the suitability of a brownfield to be a habitat for bumblebees. I also evaluated whether certain bumblebee functional traits are filtered in the brownfields. I expected that especially local characteristics and primarily the amount of flowering plant cover and the size of a site would affect bumblebee richness and abundance. I also expected the bumblebee communities to be characterised by generalist feeders. I collected bumblebees using line tracking in 15 brownfield sites in the city of Lahti and sampled bumblebees six times during the summer of 2020. The share of ground cover types within each site was estimated, as well as the share of different habitat types within a 300 m buffer zone around the sites. The data were used to analyse which local and landscape characteristics affect bumblebee community composition, species richness, and abundance in a brownfield site. Trait analyses were used to test the relationship between bumblebee traits and environmental factors. I showed that bumblebee abundance and richness were affected by local site characteristics but not landscape-scale factors. However, community composition was associated with landscape characteristics, including forest and commercial or industrial areas. Unexpectedly, the size of a brownfield site did not affect community composition, richness, or abundance. Functional traits were filtered in brownfield sites, especially the prevalence of a short proboscis, which is linked to a generalist diet in these bees. Brownfield sites are rich in bumblebees. Brownfields are suitable habitats for bumblebees regardless of the scale of urbanisation, and even small sites can host a diversity of bumblebees. As the amount of natural habitat in urban areas is decreasing, brownfields should be considered important habitats for bumblebees and other pollinators in urban planning.
  • Sirjala, Janika (2023)
    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are derived from adult differentiated somatic cells and reprogrammed to an embryonic-like state. Pluripotent stem cells can be differentiated into almost any somatic cell type by using directed differentiation methods, but the differentiation efficiency often varies depending on the cell type. hiPSCs and cells differentiated from them can be used as a disease model carrying the patient’s phenotype and genotype. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease where both upper and lower motor neurons degenerate, leading to paralysis. There is no curative treatment for ALS, and it leads to the death of the patient in 3 to 5 years on average from the first symptoms. The most common genetic cause of familial ALS is a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72-gene. ALS pathology is strongly linked to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which affects cell homeostasis and proteostasis, and leads to apoptosis when prolonged. The primary aim of this research is to characterize the differentiation of four hiPSCs lines towards lower motor neurons and to study the neuroprotective effects of cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) and CDNF-derived peptide on ER stress and cell viability. This experiment used two control cell lines from two healthy donors and two patient cell lines from two different ALS patients carrying the C9orf72-mutation. To evaluate the efficiency of the differentiation towards motor neurons, molecular markers for pluripotent and neural progenitor cells as well as for maturated motor neurons were analyzed. Relative gene expression levels were measured from weekly time points with qPCR. Immunocytochemical (ICC) antibody staining was performed during differentiation. Endogenic CDNF levels were analyzed from differentiating cells at weekly time points and the effect of CDNF on Thapsigargin (TG) -induced ER stress in motor neurons was analyzed. In addition, cell viability was analyzed in TG-CDNF treatment. All pluripotent and progenitor markers were downregulated in differentiated cells, and the expression of the mature motor neuron markers was upregulated. Mature motor neuron markers were also expressed at the protein level. The endogenous CDNF levels were highest at the progenitor cell stage. The ER stress response was upregulated in TG-treated cells, and there were no differences between treatments against ER stress. Furthermore, TG and growth factor treatments differentially affected the viability of the control and patient cell lines. Treatment decreased viability in control cell lines and increased viability in patient cell lines. Pluripotent stem cells were successfully differentiated toward motor neurons. The differentiation was performed twice, and the results were similar on both individual biological repeats. Analysis of endogenous CDNF expression levels was performed for the first time on hiPSCs lines. In this study, CDNF or its derivate didn’t reduce ER stress but it influenced cell viability, especially in patient cell lines with growth factor treatment. In the future, TG-treatment could be optimized regarding timing and growth factor treatment, or the toxin could be changed to another ER-stress inducing toxin. In addition, the C9orf72 pathology should be identified in order to use differentiated motor neurons as a pre-clinical disease model.
  • Larkiala, Taru (2020)
    Calsyntenin-3 is a type I transmembrane protein, that is mainly expressed on the post-synaptic cell membranes. It belongs to the calsyntenin family that is part of the cadherin superfamily. Calsyntenin-3 consists of a cytosolic C-terminal region, a transmembrane domain and an extracellular N-terminal part, that consists of a laminin G-like domain (LNS) and two cadherin domains (CAD). Calsyntenin-3 is mainly expressed in the brain, but it can also be found in the heart, liver, pancreas, lung, skeletal muscle and placenta. Calsyntenin-3 has an effect on neurogenesis by affecting the development of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. It might also play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, as it has been found to be able to bind β-amyloid peptide, that is known to play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Calsyntenin-3 acts as a synaptic adhesion protein, that binds to the post-synaptic neurexins with its extracellular region. However, the previous studies have contradicting results regarding the calsyntenin-3 domains that mediate the interaction between the calsyntenin-3 and neurexins. There is also disagreement whether calsyntenin-3 binds neurexin-α, neurexin-β or both. Because of these discrepancies, the aim of this master’s thesis study was to produce the calsyntenin-3 ectodomain constructs that contained either the two CAD domains, the LNS domain or all three domains, using baculovirus mediated protein production in insect cell cultures. These purified protein constructs were meant to be used for the determination of the binding domains. Unfortunately, only the purification of the calsyntenin-3 LNS domain was successful and the purification of the constructs, containing the CAD domains, was unsuccessful. A SEC-MALLS experiment, that was performed for the calsyntenin-3 LNS domain, revealed that it forms dimers in a solution, which is consistent with experiments performed with the LNS domain of human sex hormone‐binding globulin. The second aim of this master’s thesis study was to express the calsyntenin-3 ectodomain constructs on the surface of HEK293T cells and to test the binding between calsyntenin-3 and neurexins in a cell surface binding assay. The results of the cell surface binding assay indicated that the binding is mediated by the calsyntenin-3 CAD domains and that calsyntenin-3 binds to neurexin-α, but the binding to neurexin-β was not detected. However, the results from the cell surface binding assay were conflicting: the binding between the calsyntenin-3 full ectodomain construct and neurexin-α was not detected, but the binding was detected between calsyntenin-3 CAD ectodomain construct and neurexin-α. Therefore, the cell surface binding assay cannot be considered entirely reliable and should be repeated before making further conclusions.
  • Schwenk, Cindy Emilia (2022)
    Breeding-dispersal and philopatry are important life-history traits when it comes to the ecology of animals. A number of factors such as sex, age, habitat stability, population density, predation and various environmental factors influence the movement patterns of species. Philopatry, in general, can be used by organisms as a predator avoidance strategy and to improve feeding efficiency. Dispersal on the other hand has been shown to help avoid inbreeding and competition within groups or between kin. Among the different types of dispersal and philopatry, breeding dispersal and site fidelity to breeding sites have been studied in many vertebrates. Many birds and some ungulate species have been the focus of these studies and have shown that breeding success influences site fidelity. Among ungulates, the reindeer genus (Rangifer tarandus spp.) however, has received little attention for this topic. A species of special conservational value is the wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus), which is a rare, and near-threatened subspecies of reindeer living in Finland. Knowledge of factors influencing the dispersal and site fidelity for this species is lacking but has important implications for the conservation and management of this and other vulnerable species. In my thesis I investigated the philopatry of wild forest reindeer females from eastern Finland and tested if the calving site fidelity was influenced by breeding success, predator pressure and the female’s age. Given the high densities of predators in the study area (Kainuu) and thus high predator pressure on reindeer, I expected (i) the philopatry of the wild forest reindeer female’s to be stronger in areas with higher predator pressure but (ii) higher dispersal movement when wild forest reindeer females had no breeding success the previous year. Additionally, I expected (iii) the dispersal distances of wild forest reindeer females to be negatively correlated with their age. For this study I used long-term GPS monitoring data of 53 collared wild forest reindeer females, which were followed for varying periods (2-6 years) between 2010-2021 from Eastern Finland. I found that the inter-year distances between calving sites per female had a median distance of 2.84 km, confirming that female wild forest reindeer show philopatry to calving sites, as do other reindeer subspecies. Even though the movement ranged from 4.8 m to 36.99 km, showing substantially longer dispersal for some individuals. The model outcomes indicate some association between predation pressure and site fidelity, and reduced philopatry following calf mortality, although none of these associations were significant. The age of the mother did also not show any significant influence on a female’s site fidelity. Nonetheless, these results would suggest that a mother's choice to leave or return to the same calving site might be influenced by the previous year's calf mortality but more complex variables like anthropogenic disturbances, environmental factors, as well as intrinsic factors and the physical condition of the mother most likely also play a role in this.
  • Fredrikson, Linda (2019)
    The consumption of omega (n-) 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from fish has been associated with lower rates of cardiovascular diseases with one mechanism being lowering LDL cholesterol levels in blood. When incorporated into LDL particle n-3 PUFAs can modify the lipid composition and reduce atherogenicity of the particle, e.g. by influencing inflammatory processes. The effects of n-3 PUFA of plant origin are less studied. This study investigated the effects of Camelina sativa oil (CSO), a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), on lipid species of human LDL including phosphatidylcholines (PC), lysophosphatidylcholines (LPC), sphingomyelin (SM), triacylglycerols (TAG) and cholesterol esters (CE). A total of 38 subjects with a history of impaired fasting glucose, were randomly divided into two groups; CSO (ALA 10 g/day) and the control group (limited fish and ALA intake) for 12 weeks. Blood samples were collected from the subjects at the beginning and at the end of the experiment after 12 weeks. LDL particles were isolated from blood and the lipids were analyzed by mass spectrometry. The CSO affected more the LDL core lipids (TAG and CE) than lipid species of the shell (PC, LPC, SM). CSO is high in ALA and linoleic acid (LA). Thus, the diet reduced mole fractions of lipid species containing saturated acyl chains while acyl chains in the core lipids with ALA, LA and EPA, that is formed in the body from ALA, were increased. Based on the results, having CSO in the diet changed the LDL particle lipid composition in a favorable direction for cardiovascular health.
  • Mikkola, Reija (2012)
    Carbon capture and storage may become an inevitable means in mitigating climate change. However, it is a new technology involving a great deal of uncertainties. It is of utmost importance to understand on one hand, the risks caused by the technology and on the other, what is holding it back. This way unforeseen setbacks and environmental or other damage could be avoided. This thesis is a part of a wider research project on the risk governance of carbon dioxide capture and storage (RICCS). The present study gives additional insights to CCS risk analysis by diving into the stories that the media tells about the risks. I analyze the media coverage on the risks of CCS in the most wide spread newspapers of Norway and Finland with the aim of identifying what kind of risk framings are portrayed by the media; how strong is the presence of uncertainties and what kind of uncertainties are brought up. The media is seen as a mirror of public perception, but also one of the players influencing it. The possible effects that the analyzed articles could have on public perception of risks are discussed. The theoretical framework consists of theories of systemic risks, narrative policy analysis and framing of environmental risks in the media. I describe the nature of systemic risks. Then I move on to framing, more specifically how environmental risks are framed in the media and how it can effect public perception. After this I explain how narrative analysis can be used as a tool for identifying framings. Then I describe Klinke and Renn's Prometheus theory that I will use for analyzing the level of uncertainty in the framing of the articles and for discussing the implications of my findings. The results show that the risks caused by CCS are mainly the lock-in in fossil fuels, it's possible negative effect on developing renewable energy and environmental and health risks in general. The risks towards successful CCS seem to be mainly connected to funding, which connects to emissions' prices, the climate agreement and viability of investments. The differences between the two countries are quite related to the situation in which each country is in terms of CCS development. Norway is very active and pushing CCS forward. Consequently, the Norwegian articles are generally not very critical of the technology itself, but discuss what is holding it back. Generally, the Finnish articles bring out more aspects on the issue, both positive and negative, leaving quite an ambiguous image to the reader. The implications of my findings for future policy practices are quite extensive and therefore not very useful, since most policy recommendations seem more or less relevant. What is interesting though, is that based on my findings I could identify the turning points in which public perception is most relevant. These are: What kind of energy production is supported? Is CCS an acceptable mitigation means? Is the risk of leakage taken as severe? These issues represent turning points for the future of CCS technology and deliberative processes can be crucial when discussing them.
  • Zhang, Huizhong (2014)
    Lakes play an important role in both global and regional carbon cycling, especially, the role of lakes is pronounced in the boreal zone, where lakes cover up to 20% of the land area. Allochthonous carbon is discharged mainly from terrestrial processes, but also through anthropogenic eutrophication. The role of allochthonous carbon load in lacustrine ecosystems is important, which can have far-reaching effects on lacustrine biogeochemistry in general and especially on carbon cycling. Part of dissolved organic carbon is transformed to carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in biological processes that result in carbon gas concentrations in water that increase above atmospheric equilibrium, thus making boreal lakes serve as sources of the important greenhouse gases. Lake Vesijärvi is renowned for its clear-water, but it has suffered eutrophication for a long history. The severely affected Enonslkä lake basin is the most eutrophic part since it surrounded mainly by urban area (28%) and forests (31%). To improve the water quality, large scale aeration in the autumn 2009 was started with the Mixox-oxygenerators. Aeration is used to weaken thermal stratification and recharge oxygen by increasing vertical flow circulation within the water columns. This leads to most chemical cocnetrations become more homogenous with depth and concentrations of reduced forms decrease in the hypolimnion. The aeration units were operated on campaign basis in summer 2013. One aim here was to investigate carbon gas concentrations and fluxes from the urban boreal lake basin, and examine the impacts of artificial aeration on greenhouse gases during the open water period in 2013. Besides CO2 and CH4 concentrations and fluxes, I measured also the water temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration of the water columns for monitoring the efficiency of artificial aeration. All gas samples were analyzed at the Lammi Biological Station of University of Helsinki with gas chromatography using the head space technique. As background data I used the information on temperature and oxygen profiles collected from the measuring platform on Lake Vesijärvi, and a reference study on CO2 and CH4 concentrations and fluxes dating back to 2005 when there was no aeration going on. In 2013, the studied lake basin was a source of CO2 to the atmosphere during the open water period, although the lake basin showed uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere for short times. The lake acted as a steady source of CH4 to the atmosphere throughout the measuring period. The mean CO2 flux was 34.1 mmol m-2 d-1, which was over 2.5 times higher than in the reference year 2005 when there was no the aeration yet. During the campaigns, the CO2 fluxes were higher from aerated than non-aerated water column and from the longer aerations as well. Therefore, aeration mixed stratified water columns and thus enhanced release of gases such as CO2 from surface water to the atmosphere. The mean CH4 flux was 0.2 mmol m-2 d-1. The CH4 fluxes from the Enonselkä basin were slightly decreased in 2013. These decreased CH4 fluxes in Enonselkä basin can be attributed to the limited CH4 production and high rate of CH4 oxidation in the oxygenated hypolimnion and surface of sediment. The daily CH4 fluxes fluxes during the long time aerated operations decreased. The significance of aeration to carbon cycling processes dpended on the residual CH4 concentrations in the water column.
  • Liljebäck, Petra (2023)
    Climate change severely threatens ecosystem services and human well-being: vegetation and soils underneath it can be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. Soils hold the largest carbon stock in terrestrial ecosystems, and urban park soils, especially in cool climates, can hold remarkable carbon stocks and may be able to offset some atmospheric CO2 emissions. Land use changes, such as urbanization, influence soil organic carbon formation and soil carbon storages. In this study, I was interested whether three vegetation types (deciduous trees, conifers and lawn) differ in their capacity to store C in their rhizosphere, and whether this is affected by park size. I measured the proportion of tree canopy layer in class A park areas of the city of Helsinki, to estimate soil C storages of these areas and to examine C density (kg C m-2). Proportions of tree canopy layers in different park size groups were measured using QGIS and ortographs. Soil C storages were calculated using existing soil C data and average proportions of conifer and deciduous trees in parks of the city of Helsinki. Park size had a significant effect on proportion of the tree canopy coverage: canopy cover decreases with an increase in park size. Especially large parks are dominated by lawn. The average soil C densities in small, medium and large parks were 23.98 kg C m-2, 23.47 kg C m-2 and 23.15 kg C m-2, respectively. However, the overall proportion of conifer canopy in parks of the city of Helsinki is rather small, resulting in small differences in C densities between different park size categories, despite significant differences in tree canopy coverage between the three size groups. Most of the stored soil C in parks of the city of Helsinki are under lawn, even though it is the least efficient of the three studied vegetation types (deciduous trees, conifers, lawn) in soil C sequestration. Within a park size category and at park level, large parks store the highest amount of carbon per park. Even so, at the city level, the total amount of carbon is highest in the small parks due to their high number. Conifer trees associate with improved C sequestration to soils compared to deciduous trees and lawn. Increasing the amount of conifer trees in urban parks thus likely increase the important C storages of these soils. Results of this study highlight the importance of the contribution of urban parks and especially conifer trees in carbon sequestration. Future research related to urban soil C sequestration and the effects of vegetation type and climatic conditions is needed to better understand soil C accumulation and how the C sequestration of urban park soils could be enhanced.
  • Lehtonen, Ilmari (2020)
    In this paper, I examine the discussions around the concept of carbon sinks. From those discussion of Finnish forestry, I identify frames based on a media material of 108 news articles combining the methodologies of frame analysis and content analysis. I aim to contextualize the carbon sink discussions of the latter half of 2010s and examine how the natural science-based term is used to support varying policy agendas. Building from background literature on the media as a societal actor and a context around Finnish forest discussions and mismatches between science and forest policy, I reflect on the ways that Finnish media frames and contextualizes carbon sink-related forest discussions. Eventually, I identify three dominant and eight secondary frames that describe the ways of using and the transforming of carbon sink as a term in detail. The dominant frames divide the discussion into two clashing ways to communicate carbon sink issues and a third middle ground way of understanding and using the term. The middle ground frame identifies the conflict between the clashing frames and suggests reaching to an understanding as a priority goal in terms of optimal climate change policy. I discuss the results in terms of the frames' policy implications. In addition, I ask how they signal potential developments in forest and climate policy and discourse. The analysis shows that the clearest disagreements in the carbon sink conflicts raise from how forestry restricting policies are seen to affect carbon sink levels and how prominent a role should forest industry have in meeting national and international climate policy targets. The study confirms that carbon sink as a term transforms into altering forms to support distinct, even controversial policy goals because of both definitional and calculative uncertainties.
  • Tommila, Taika (2024)
    Kaupunkien ilmastotavoitteiden saavuttaminen edellyttää päästöjen vähentämistä, mutta myös kaupunkien kas-villisuuden hiilivarastojen kasvattamista. Kaupunkikasvillisuuden hiilivarastojen tutkimus on kuitenkin vähäistä ja erityisesti kaupunkipensaiden on puutteellista. Pensaat ovat kuitenkin yksi käytetyimmistä kasvillisuustyy-peistä kaupunkialueilla, ja sen vuoksi niiden hiilivarastojen selvittäminen on tärkeää. Tässä tutkimuksessa tien-pientareet on tunnistettu potentiaalisiksi alueiksi kasvattaa Helsingin kaupungin kasvillisuuden hiilenvarastoja. Tienpientareilla kasvaa usein nurmikkoa, jolla on heikko hiilenvarastointikyky. Tämän takia tässä tutkimuksessa ehdotetaan tienpientareilla kasvavien nurmikoiden vaihtamista pieniin pensaisiin, jotta hiilenvarastointikapasi-teettia voitaisiin kasvattaa. Tässä tutkimuksessa käytettiin kuivapainomittausmenetelmää kymmenen eri kaupunkipensaslajin kuivapainojen ja hiilenvarastojen mittaamiseksi. Tutkimuksessa tarkasteltiin myös pensaiden biomassan jakautumista ylä- ja alapuolisten osien välillä. Lisäksi tässä tutkimuksessa tutkittiin mahdollisuutta käyttää pensaiden kokoindeksiä niiden biomassan arvioinnissa, mikä voisi nopeuttaa pensaiden hiilivarastojen tutkimusta tulevaisuudessa. Tämän lisäksi tässä tutkimuksessa laskettiin, kuinka paljon enemmän hiiltä saataisiin varastoitua, jos kaikki Helsingin tienpientareiden nurmikot vaihdettaisiin pieniin pensaisiin. Kolmen tapausesimerkin avulla laskettiin tarkempi pinta-ala, johon pensaat voitaisiin istuttaa, ja siten myös tarkempi hiilenvarasto. Tapausesimerkeissä huomioitiin tieturvallisuuden asettamat rajoitteet pensasistutuksille. Pensaiden hiilenvarastot vaihtelivat merkittävästi eri lajien välillä. Suurimmalla osalla pensaista biomassaa oli eniten yläpuolisissa osissa, mutta oli myös lajeja, joilla juuret muodostivat suurimman osan biomassaa. Kaikista tutkituista pensaista 75 %:lla havaittiin korrelaatiota kokoindeksin ja biomassan välillä. Helsingin tienpientareet, joissa kasvaa nurmikkoa, kattavat yli 1 % kaupungin maapinta-alasta. Jos koko tutkimusalueen nurmikot vaih-dettaisiin pieniksi pensaiksi, hiilen varasto kasvaisi yli 23-kertaiseksi. Tapausesimerkkialueilta saatiin pensaiden osalta yhtä lupaavia tuloksia, vaikka niiden pinta-aloja oli pienennetty. Nurmikot kattavat suuren osan kaupunkien avoimista viheralueista. Niiden käyttäminen nykyisellä mittakaavalla on kuitenkin tarpeetonta, vaikka ne tarjoavatkin tärkeitä hyötyjä kuten avarat tilat ja estetiikkaa. Pensaiden istut-taminen tienvarsille lisäisi aluksi kustannuksia, mutta pitkällä aikavälillä se voisi johtaa kunnossapitosäästöihin, sillä pensaat eivät vaadi jatkuvaa leikkaamista niin kuin nurmikot. Lisäksi pensaiden käyttäminen tienvarsilla tuottaisi monipuolisempia ekosysteemipalveluita verrattuna nurmikoihin, mikä mahdollistaisi paremman sopeu-tumisen ilmastonmuutoksen vaikutuksiin.
  • Jalanko, Petri (2021)
    Physical fitness has declined during the last decades in adolescents. Furthermore, several studies have found a positive association between physical fitness and brain volume in adolescents, which is noteworthy since the adolescent brain undergoes substantial changes during growth and maturation. However, despite the importance of the cerebellum on adolescents' cognition and coordination, there remains a paucity of evidence on the associations between physical fitness and cerebellum characteristics. Thus, a cross-sectional approach was used to explore the relationship of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), power, speed-agility, coordination and overall neuromuscular performance index (NPI) with total gray matter (GM) volume of the cerebellum as well as lobules VI & VIIb, and crus I volume in 40 (22 girls; 18 boys) adolescents. Peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) was measured by the maximal ramp test on a cycle ergometer, lower limb power was determined with standing long jump (SLJ), speed-agility was assessed with the 10 x 5-m shuttle-run test, upper limb coordination was determined with the Box and Block Test (BBT) and NPI was calculated as the sum of SLJ, BBT and shuttle-run z-values. Lean mass (LM) and body fat percentage (BF%) were measured using a bioelectrical impedance analysis. Cerebellum GM volume, lobules VI & VIIb, and crus I volumes were measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Results demonstrated that V̇O2peak/LM was negatively associated (β = -.045 P= .014) with cerebellum GM volume. No statistically significant associations were found between SLJ, shuttle-run, BBT scores or NPI and cerebellum characteristics in all participants. However, a poorer shuttle-run time was associated (β = -.363 P = .024) with smaller crus I volume in girls and V̇O2peak/LM was negatively associated (β = -.501 P = .031) with lobule VIIb volume in boys. These findings suggest that, in general, CRF and speed agility are associated with cerebellum characteristics in adolescents and there may be sex differences. The results extend our knowledge of the associations between physical fitness and brain volume, but more studies should be conducted to understand the relationship further.
  • Kozlova, Anastasia (2023)
    Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are genetically modified usually autologous T cells expressing de novo designed CAR that binds a specific antigen on the surface of the cancer cells, inducing T cell receptor-independent activation and cytotoxic response against the targeted cancer cells. While CAR T cells have been shown to offer effective treatment in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, several resistance mechanisms can lead to CAR T cell exhaustion characterized by impaired functions and the expression of inhibitory receptors. The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service has developed novel CARs, differing in structure from the ones currently published. Since the evasion of CAR T cell exhaustion is considered one of the key objectives in the development of CAR T cell therapy, this Master’s thesis project aimed to create a working method to determine the exhaustion of CAR T cells in vitro after long-term repeated stimulation. In order to induce and measure exhaustion, CAR T cells were produced and activated ex vivo in the presence of IL-2 or IL-7/IL-15 cytokines, cultured long-term and repeatedly stimulated by exposure to target cells. CAR T cell cytotoxicity and expansion were determined and the expression of various inhibitory receptors was analyzed. The method enabled the comparison of the designed CAR T cell candidates and the positive control CD19-CD28ζ CAR T cells in long-term cytotoxic potency. In addition, it helped to reveal the surprising difference between IL-2 and IL-7/IL-15 cytokines and their impact on CAR T cell exhaustion. Although CAR T cells produced with IL-2 had poorer expansion during CAR T cell production than CAR T cells produced with IL-7/IL-15, they showed lower expression of exhaustion-related markers supported by better survival, proliferation and cytotoxic activity during long-term repeated stimulation assay.
  • Jha, Sawan (2014)
    Lymphangiogenesis is the process that leads to the formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing vessels. Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C), the ma- jor lymphangiogenic growth factor, is produced as an inactive precursor and needs to be proteolytically processed into a mature form in order to activate its receptors VEGFR-3 and VEGFR-2. A deficiency of VEGF-C during embryonic lymphangiogenesis results in embryonic lethality due to the lack of lymphatic vasculature. Hennekam lymphangiectasia-lymphedema syndrome (OMIM 235510) is in a subset of patients associated with mutations in the collagen- and calcium-binding EGF domains 1 (CCBE1 ) gene. CCBE1 and VEGF-C act at the same stage during embryonic lymphangiogenesis and their deficiency results in similar lymphatic defects. The mechanism behind the lymphatic phenotype caused by CCBE1 mutations is un- known. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential link between VEGF-C and CCBE1 that could contribute to the lymphatic phenotype. In this study, 293T cells were used to observe the effect of CCBE1 on VEGF-C pro- cessing. The co-transfection of constructs coding for CCBE1 and VEGF-C showed processing of the inactive pro-VEGF-C into the active, mature form. However, this processing was efficient only in 293T cells. When CCBE1 from 293T supernatant was purified, A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type 1 motif 3 (ADAMTS3) co-purified with CCBE1. The levels of pro-VEGF-C and active VEGF-C were monitored by immunoblotting or immunoprecipitating metabolically labeled supernatant with specific antibodies or receptors followed by autoradiography. The activity of the processed VEGF-C was verified by proliferation of Ba/F3 cells stably expressing VEGFR-3/EpoR or VEGFR-2/EpoR chimeras. Furthermore, a VEGFR-3 phosphorylation assay was performed in PAE (Porcine Aortic Endotheial) cells to study details of the CCBE1-mediated regulation of VEGF-C. We found that CCBE1 increases the proteolytic processing of pro-VEGF-C, thereby resulting in increased activity of VEGF-C. CCBE1 itself has no effect on VEGF-C activity but regulates VEGF-C by modulating the activity of the ADAMTS3 protease. We also found that both pro- and mature- VEGF-C can bind to VEGFR-3 but only mature form is able to induce VEGFR-3-mediated signaling. In addition to cleaving VEGF-C, ADAMTS3 was found to directly or indirectly mediate CCBE1 cleavage. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the ADAMTS3-processed VEGF-C confirmed that ADAMTS3 is the protease responsible for the activation of VEGF-C by 293 cells. Hence, we have identified a mechanism that regulates VEGF-C activity. This mechanism suggests the possible use of CCBE1 as a therapeutic means to treat diseases that involve the lymphatic system.
  • Kousa, Ilari (2023)
    This thesis presents a comprehensive exploration of cerebral palsy, acknowledged as the predominant childhood disability. Traditionally viewed through a narrow lens as primarily a motor disorder, recent investigations have broadened this perception significantly. Beyond motor impairments, cerebral palsy manifests an array of comorbidities spanning sensory, emotional, social, and cognitive domains, reshaping our comprehension of its profound impact on individuals' lives. Challenging the static characterization long associated with cerebral palsy, contemporary research has unveiled a compelling dimension - persistent neuroinflammation. Contradicting the notion of a stable condition, these findings suggest potential progressive aspects. The revelation of persistent neuroinflammation prompts a fundamental reconsideration of cerebral palsy's nature. Should its etiological significance be established, it could revolutionise our understanding, suggesting a dynamic condition evolving over time. Conducted through a rigorous search across Pubmed and MEDLINE databases, this thesis stems from an exhaustive exploration of 900 articles. The literature review was conducted in accordance with the PRISM framework. The literature review provides a comprehensive foundation covering the historical context,pathophysiology, and neuropathology of cerebral palsy. Furthermore, it delves deeply into the aforementioned non-classical perspectives, shedding light on the multifaceted nature of this neurological condition. By synthesising classical and contemporary viewpoints, this study endeavours to broaden the discourse surrounding cerebral palsy, fostering a more inclusive and nuanced comprehension of its complexities. This thesis seeks to bridge the gap between traditional views of cerebral palsy as solely a motor disorder and the evolving understanding of its diverse manifestations across various domains. By integrating insights from multiple disciplines and challenging existing paradigms, it aims to contribute to a more holistic framework for conceptualising cerebral palsy. This integrated perspective aims to enhance not only our theoretical understanding but also the practical implications for interventions and support strategies tailored to the multifaceted needs of individuals living with cerebral palsy.