University of Helsinki
  • Helsinki, Finland
Recent publications
This Element presents the notion of legal personhood, which is a foundational concept of Western law. It explores the theoretical and philosophical foundations of legal personhood, such as how legal personhood is defined and whether legal personhood is connected to personhood as a general notion. It also scrutinises particular categories of legal personhood. It first focuses on two classical categories: natural persons (human beings) and artificial persons (corporations). The discussions of natural persons also cover the developing legal status of children and individuals with disabilities. The Element also presents three emerging categories of legal personhood: animals, nature and natural objects, and AI systems. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Cancer cells adapt and survive through the acquisition and selection of molecular modifications. This process defines cancer evolution. Building on a theoretical framework based on heritable genetic changes has provided insights into the mechanisms supporting cancer evolution. However, cancer hallmarks also emerge via heritable nongenetic mechanisms, including epigenetic and chromatin topological changes, and interactions between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment. Recent findings on tumor evolutionary mechanisms draw a multifaceted picture where heterogeneous forces interact and influence each other while shaping tumor progression. A comprehensive characterization of the cancer evolutionary toolkit is required to improve personalized medicine and biomarker discovery. Significance Tumor evolution is fueled by multiple enabling mechanisms. Importantly, genetic instability, epigenetic reprogramming, and interactions with the tumor microenvironment are neither alternative nor independent evolutionary mechanisms. As demonstrated by findings highlighted in this perspective, experimental and theoretical approaches must account for multiple evolutionary mechanisms and their interactions to ultimately understand, predict, and steer tumor evolution.
The immunomodulatory effect of divalent manganese cations (Mn ²⁺ ), such as activation of the cGAS−STING pathway or NLRP3 inflammasomes, positions them as adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy. In this study, we found that trace Mn ²⁺ ions, bound to bovine serum albumin (BSA) to form Mn@BSA nanocomplexes, stimulated pro‐inflammatory responses in human‐ or murine‐derived macrophages through TLR4‐mediated signaling cascades. Building on this, the assembly of Mn@BSA nanocomplexes to obtain nanowire structures enables stronger and longer‐lasting immunostimulation of macrophages by regulating phagocytosis. Furthermore, Mn@BSA nanocomplexes and their nanowires efficiently activated peritoneal macrophages, reprogrammed tumor‐associated macrophages, and inhibited the growth of melanoma tumors in vivo. They also show better biosafety for potential clinical applications compared to typical TLR4 agonists like lipopolysaccharides. Accordingly, our findings provide insights into the mechanism of metalloalbumin complexes as potential TLR agonists that activate macrophage polarization, and highlight the importance of their nanostructures in regulating macrophage‐mediated innate immunity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Background The overall goal of this survey was to understand the knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Rwanda. Methods This mixed-method cross-sectional survey was conducted in five selected districts of Rwanda. Quantitative data were collected from 1,010 participants using Kobo Collect Software and the analysis was performed using SPSS and Python software. Qualitative data were specifically collected from 98 participants through Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussion (FGDs). Interview transcripts were imported into NVIVO 8 for coding and subsequent analysis. Results As per our quantitative findings, we report that from the 1,010 respondents, 99.6% reported having previously heard of Ebola, 97.2% believed that vaccination is important in combatting the disease and 93.3% of individuals reported a willingness to receive vaccination should one become available. Around 54% of the respondents were correct in identifying that the disease is of a viral origin which originates from wild animals (42.1%). When asked if they believed that Rwanda is at risk of an EVD outbreak, 90% of the respondents believe that the country is at risk of an EVD outbreak, and the cofactors *gender* and *whether people dwell in Rubavu/Rusizi* were found to significantly impact their perception of threat. As per our qualitative findings, the respondents mentioned that both geographical proximity and relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo place Rwanda at risk of developing an internal outbreak. Although the respondents seemed to be aware of the Ebola prevention behaviours, it was noted that some of them will require significant time before reintegrating into the community an EVD survivor, as they will first need assurance that the patient has fully recovered. Therefore, the qualitative findings reinforce what we originally reported in the quantitative approach to this study. Conclusion Our results show that there was high EVD-related knowledge and awareness among the general population in Rwanda. However, for strong public health awareness, preparedness, and protection, a massive investment should always be made in education about EVD with a special focus on districts neighboring countries where the disease is consistently being reported.
Private forests offer diverse ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation, which are crucial for Nepal. However, there is a notable absence of comprehensive research on these services. Assessing carbon sequestration in private forests can have economic advantages for forest owners by promoting resource conservation and contributing to greenhouse gas reduction. Tis study aims to estimate and compare carbon stocks in private forests located in two distinct physiographic regions of Nepal while also identifying the factors influencing these carbon stocks. The analysis focuses on 16 private forests (with 0.1 to 0.5 hectares) each from Chitwan district (Terai region) and Kavrepalanchok district (Hilly region). Field data collection involved direct measurements of tree and sapling diameter at breast height (DBH), as well as height and class of trees and poles, utilizing a total enumeration method. These collected values were utilized to calculate aboveground biomass (AGTB), aboveground sapling biomass (AGSB), belowground biomass, and carbon stock. Private forests of Terai region were dominated by Shorea borneensis, Tectona grandis, and Dalbergia sissoo, whereas the Hilly region was dominated by Pinus patula, Alnus nepalensis, Schima wallichii, and Quercus leucotrichophora. Te aboveground biomass carbon in the Terai region's private forests was estimated to be 83.53 t·ha −1 , while in the Hilly region, it was 37.32 t·ha −1. Te belowground biomass carbon in the Terai region's private forests was found to be 21.72 t·ha −1 , compared to 9.70 t·ha −1 in the Hilly region. Consequently, the estimated total carbon stock in the Terai and Hilly regions' private forests was 105.25 t·ha −1 (386.26 t·ha −1 CO 2-eq) and 47.02 t·ha −1 (172.57 t·ha −1 CO 2-eq), respectively. Carbon sequestration in the Terai region's private forests was discovered to be 2.24 times higher than that in the Hilly region. Tese fndings underscore the signifcant potential of private forests, which can generate economic benefts through carbon trading and leverage mechanisms such as REDD+/CDM to promote sustainable conservation practices.
Background We investigated (a) whether polygenic risk for schizophrenia predicts different trajectories of social development among those who have not developed psychoses and (b) whether possible associations are PRS SCZ -specific or evident also for any polygenic risk for mental disorders, e.g. for major depression. Methods Participants came from the population-based Young Finns Study ( n = 2377). We calculated a polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS SCZ ) and for major depression (PRS DEP ). Diagnoses of psychotic disorders were derived from the hospital care register. Social development from adolescence to middle age was measured by (a) perceived social support from friends, family, and a close other, (b) perceived sociability, and (c) family structure (partnership status, number of children, age of first-time parenthood). Results Among those without manifest psychoses, high PRS SCZ predicted lower experienced support from friends ( B = −0.04, p = 0.009–0.035) and family ( B = −0.04, p = 0.009–0.035) especially after early adulthood, and also lower perceived sociability ( B = −0.05, p = 0.010–0.026). PRS SCZ was not related to family structure. PRS DEP did not predict any domain of social development. Conclusions Individuals at high PRS SCZ (not converted to psychosis) seem to experience a lower preference to be with others over being alone. Individuals with high ( v. low) PRS SCZ seem to have a similar family structure in terms of partnership status or number of children but, nevertheless, they experience less support from their family. Among those not converted to psychosis in a typical age period, high PRS SCZ may predict a ‘later risk phase’ and reduced functional resilience when approaching middle age.
The choosing consumer has been a prominent figure within consumption research, alternatively celebrated as enabling the expression of lifestyles and tastes or criticised for overlooking consumers as embedded in interconnected mundane practices. While sociologically oriented consumption research has explored the multiplicity of consumer roles beyond ‘chooser’, the figure of the choosing consumer persists in many research streams and in our shared cultural imagination. This article joins previous research on the ethics of consumption that has explored tensions between choosing and relational consumers. It does so by introducing the logic of choice and the logic of care to consumption research. Developed by Annemarie Mol (2008), these logics can be seen as ideal types representing contrasting styles of navigating decision-making, ethics, and questions of the good life. The logic of care emphasises attentive doings that aim to improve conditions in specific situations, seeking moderation rather than control, whereas the logic of choice starts out from sovereign individuals making clear-cut decisions. Using examples from a research project on everyday meat consumption practices, we develop a conceptualisation of the central dimensions of these logics within food consumption. The logics of choice and care enact particular worlds and ways of being in them, bringing forth the ontological politics of consumption. Consequently, we advocate for cultivating care in the world of consumption currently dominated by choice, since it enacts a more merciful framing of ethical consumption, emphasising our shared responsibility for ‘as well as possible’ relations without tipping over into guilt.
African desert dust is emitted and long-range transported with multiple effects on climate, air quality, cryosphere, and ecosystems. On 21-23 February 2021, dust from a sand and dust storm in northern Africa was transported to Finland, north of 60°N. The episode was predicted 5 days in advance by the global operational SILAM forecast, and its key features were confirmed and detailed by a retrospective analysis. The scavenging of dust by snowfall and freezing rain in Finland resulted in a rare case of substantial mineral dust contamination of snow surfaces over a large area in the southern part of the country. A citizen science campaign was set up to collect contaminated snow samples prepared according to the scientists' instructions. The campaign gained wide national interest in television, radio, newspapers and social media, and dust samples were received from 525 locations in Finland, up to 64.3°N. The samples were utilised in investigating the ability of an atmospheric dispersion model to simulate the dust episode. The analysis confirmed that dust came from a wide Sahara and Sahel area from 5000 km away. Our results reveal the features of this rare event and demonstrate how deposition samples can be used to evaluate the skills and limitations of current atmospheric models in simulating transport of African dust towards northern Europe.
In the Anglophone world of law, the German legal historian and legal theorist Cornelia Vismann (1961–2010) is best known as an acute interpreter of French high theory, especially of Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and Michel Foucault. This type of reception is, I argue, somewhat distorted. For her English-speaking colleagues, French “poststructuralism” provides the interface that enables Vismann to enter into shared discursive constellations with her Anglo-American critical legal colleagues. But at the same time, such a reception also downplays the very specifically German soil from which her unique scholarship arose. This Article discusses Vismann’s German background as media theory , the discipline that she was mostly associated with by her compatriots. The Article then assesses what Vismann’s media-theoretical contributions potentially offer to the contemporary study of law. For this “other Vismann,” the media-theoretical study of law was, I suggest, a practically oriented critical discipline that focused on law’s “cultural techniques” and how they operated. I also briefly touch upon what is generally known as “German media theory” through key figures such as Friedrich A. Kittler and Bernhard Siegert.
Cities play an important role in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) to promote economic growth and meet social needs. Especially satellite imagery is a potential data source for studying sustainable urban development. However, a comprehensive dataset in the United States (U.S.) covering multiple cities, multiple years, multiple scales, and multiple indicators for SDG monitoring is lacking. To support the research on SDGs in U.S. cities, we develop a satellite imagery dataset using deep learning models for five SDGs containing 25 sustainable development indicators. The proposed dataset covers the 100 most populated U.S. cities and corresponding Census Block Groups from 2014 to 2023. Specifically, we collect satellite imagery and identify objects with state-of-the-art object detection and semantic segmentation models to observe cities’ bird’s-eye view. We further gather population, nighttime light, survey, and built environment data to depict SDGs regarding poverty, health, education, inequality, and living environment. We anticipate the dataset to help urban policymakers and researchers to advance SDGs-related studies, especially applying satellite imagery to monitor long-term and multi-scale SDGs in cities.
Childhood-onset osteoporosis is a rare but clinically significant condition. Studies have shown pathogenic variants in more than 20 different genes as causative for childhood-onset primary osteoporosis. The X-chromosomal PLS3 , encoding Plastin-3, is one of the more recently identified genes. In this study, we describe five new families from four different European countries with PLS3 -related skeletal fragility. The index cases were all hemizygous males presenting with long bone and vertebral body compression fractures. All patients had low lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD). The age at the first clinical fracture ranged from 1.5 to 13 years old. Three of the identified PLS3 variants were stop-gain variants and two were deletions involving either a part or all exons of the gene. In four families the variant was inherited from the mother. All heterozygous women reported here had normal BMD and no bone fractures. Four patients received bisphosphonate treatment with good results, showing a lumbar spine BMD increment and vertebral body reshaping after 10 months to 2 years of treatment. Our findings expand the genetic spectrum of PLS3 -related osteoporosis. Our report also shows that early treatment with bisphosphonates may influence the disease course and reduce the progression of osteoporosis, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis for prompt intervention and appropriate genetic counseling.
The chapter focuses on transformation of university library as part of the university campus. It will discuss three roles of the library: service provision, knowledge transfer and learning. New kinds of space types are required in libraries due to digitalization (speeded up by pandemic), additionally the significance of the library from the community and social well-being perspective is important to consider. The case study about the transformation initiatives of Kaisa House at the University of Helsinki, Finland, is described; the library will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2022, and the new round of co-creation and service design will take place to capture the learnings from pandemic era to the heart of the campus community, the library.
Aim To describe the application of selected creative and participatory research methods in nursing science. Design Research methodology paper. Methods Researcher‐initiated role play, stimulated recall interviews, the Storycrafting method, painting and drawing. Altogether, 11 children (5–7 years old) and 12 parents participated in the research. Results Each small group ( n = 3) acted differently during the data collection. Not every child wanted to play, draw or tell stories, but they all expressed their views through some method. Although the same themes emerged from children's narratives, they could not have been verified by just one method. Conclusions Using creative and participatory methods and the principles of studies of child perspectives are applicable ways of conducting research in nursing science. Children must be treated as individuals during the research process, and they must have opportunities to use several communication methods to express their views. Implications for the profession and patient care Understanding different ways to interact with children and hear children's views will help nurses to encounter children. Impact In this article, we present a valid way of conducting research with children. By following our protocol, nursing research from a child perspective can be implemented. Reporting Method Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ). Patient Contribution The child participants were involved in choosing physical places for data collection and the usage and order of the selected methods. Both the children and the adult participants took part in interpreting the research data.
Infants necessitate vaccinations to prevent life-threatening infections. Our understanding of the infant immune responses to routine vaccines remains limited. We analyzed two cohorts of 2-month-old infants before vaccination, one week, and one-month post-vaccination. We report remarkable heterogeneity but limited antibody responses to the different antigens. Whole-blood transcriptome analysis in an initial cohort showed marked overexpression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) and to a lesser extent of inflammation-genes at day 7, which normalized one month post-vaccination. Single-cell RNA sequencing in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from a second cohort identified at baseline a predominantly naive immune landscape including ISG hi cells. On day 7, increased expression of interferon-, inflammation-, and cytotoxicity-related genes were observed in most immune cells, that reverted one month post-vaccination, when a CD8+ ISG hi and cytotoxic cluster and B cells expanded. Antibody responses were associated with baseline frequencies of plasma cells, B-cells, and monocytes, and induction of ISGs at day 7.
Objectives. To compare long-term angina pectoris relief of successful versus failed percutaneous coronary intervention of chronic total occlusions (CTO PCI). Background. Previous studies demonstrate better short-term angina pectoris relief of CTO PCI than with optimal medical treatment (OMT), however, data on the long-term effects are lacking. Methods. 295 patients undergoing CTO PCI were analyzed retrospectively, with a follow-up evaluation of symptoms of angina pectoris and all-cause death one to four years after the intervention. The primary outcome was long-term relief of symptoms of angina pectoris. Secondary outcomes included a composite of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), including all-cause death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and later target vessel revascularization (TVR). At follow-up, patients were interviewed for symptoms of angina pectoris at 1, 6, 12, and 22 to 48 months after the intervention. Results. CTO PCI was successful in 225 (76%) patients and failed in 70 (24%) patients. Short-term (six months) relief of angina pectoris was observed in both groups, but only the successful CTO PCI group showed long-term relief. The Kaplan–Meier curves of all-cause death did not differ between the groups (p = .715). The final follow-up was a mean (range) of 37 (25 to 44) months after the intervention in the successful CTO PCI group, and 33 (28 to 48) months in the failed CTO PCI group. Conclusions. Successful CTO PCI is associated with better long-term relief of symptoms of angina pectoris compared to failed CTO PCI.
Issues of interest, identity and values intertwine in environmental conflicts, creating challenges that cannot generally be overcome using rationalities grounded in generalised argumentation and abstraction. To address the growing need to engage interests and identities along with plural values in the conservation of biodiversity and ecological systems, we introduce the concept of ‘appropriateness of actions’ and ground it in a relational understanding of environmental ethics. A determination of appropriateness for actions comes from combining outputs from value elicitation with those of interest and identity negotiation in ways that are salient to specific people and their relationships to specific places. Drawing on the Blue Mountain Forest Partnership in the Pacific Northwest, we propose factors of success for supporting appropriate actions: 1) understanding context and identifying key stakeholders; 2) surfacing a diversity of interests and building system-level trust; 3) building empathy for different identities grounded in specific places; 4) eliciting diverse values and seeking to understand their links to worldviews and knowledge systems and; 5) seeking out appropriate actions.
There is no need for all the approximate 20,000 genes of a human being to be active in every cell or all the time. Epigenetic regulation allows for selective expression with respect to, for example, type of cell, phase of development, or allelic origin. Epigenetic regulation involves covalent and non-covalent modifications of the DNA molecule and chromatin structure, without altering the actual base sequence of DNA. As normal cellular functions, including cell proliferation and interactions with adjacent cells, depend on proper epigenetic regulation, it is not surprising that cancer cells attempt to disturb this regulatory system in many ways to acquire and maintain neoplastic properties. This review provides an overview of the main epigenetic mechanisms—DNA methylation, DNA hydroxymethylation, histone modifications, nucleosome remodeling, and non-coding RNAs—in a normal and cancer cells. We summarize the essential mechanistic features of each epigenetic regulator and offer illustrative examples of their importance for normal and neoplastic states of human cells.
Pía Torres is a role model in every sense of the word. The electronics engineer, teacher, founder, certified project manager and scrum master, and previous IEEE Women in Engineering Inspiring Member Award recipient has seen more than her fair share of obstacles, but not only did she never give up, Torres has worked to create opportunities for others so that they don’t struggle in the ways she did. And she is just getting started.
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Miikka Tarkia
  • Department of Pharmacology
P.O. Box 33 (Yliopistonkatu 4), 00014, Helsinki, Finland
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Kansleri Thomas Wilhelmsson
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