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Oulu, Finland

The University of Oulu is one of the largest universities in Finland, located in the city of Oulu. It was founded on July 8, 1958. The university has around 16,000 students and 3,000 staff. Along with the University of Turku, it is ranked in the Academic Ranking of World Universities as the second best university in Finland and between 303 and 401 worldwide. Wikipedia.

Enwald H.P.,University of Oulu
Journal of medical Internet research | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: The prevention of obesity and health concerns related to obesity are major challenges worldwide. The use of eHealth communication and the tailoring of information delivered via the Internet at the individual level may increase the effectiveness of interventions. Mastering behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity, and weight management are the main issues in preventing obesity, and the need for interdisciplinary knowledge within this area is obvious. OBJECTIVE: The objectives were to review the literature on tailored health communication and to present an interdisciplinary analysis of studies on "second" generation tailored interventions aimed at behavior change in nutrition, physical activity, or weight management. METHODS: A literature search was conducted of the main electronic information sources on health communication. Selection criteria were defined, and 23 intervention studies were selected. The content analysis focused on the following: study designs, objectives of behavior change, target groups, sample sizes, study lengths, attrition rates, theories applied, intervention designs, computer-based channels used, statistically significant outcomes from the perspective of tailoring, and possible biases of the studies. However, this was not a structured meta-analysis and cannot be replicated as such. RESULTS: Of the 23 studies, 21 were randomized controlled trials, and all focused on behavior change: 10 studies focused on behavior change in nutrition, 7 on physical activity, 2 on nutrition and physical activity, and 4 on weight management. The target groups and the number of participants varied: 8 studies included more than 500 participants, and 6 studies included less than 100. Most studies were short; the duration of 20 studies was 6 months or less. The Transtheoretical Model was applied in 14 of the 23 studies, and feedback as a tailoring mechanism was used in addition to an Internet site (or program) in 15 studies and in addition to email in 11 studies. Self-reporting was used in 15 studies, and 14 studies did not have a no-information control group. Tailoring was more effective in nutrition interventions than in physical activity and weight management interventions. The outcomes were mixed or negative in 4 studies of physical activity interventions and in 3 studies of weight management. The use of a no-information control group seemed to have been linked to statistically significant between-group effects in measuring physical activity. This bias effect related to intervention design may explain the differences in the outcomes of the physical activity studies. CONCLUSIONS: Tailoring was shown to have been an effective method in nutrition interventions, but the results for physical activity were mixed, which is in line with previous studies. Nevertheless, the effect of possible biases, such as relying solely on self-reports and on intervention design without a no-information control group, should not be underestimated. Thus, the issue of bias merits more attention in planning interventions and in future meta-analyses. Source

Oinas-Kukkonen H.,University of Oulu
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing | Year: 2013

The emerging ambient persuasive technology looks very promising for many areas of personal and ubiquitous computing. Persuasive applications aim at changing human attitudes or behavior through the power of software designs. This theory-creating article suggests the concept of a behavior change support system (BCSS), whether web-based, mobile, ubiquitous, or more traditional information system to be treated as the core of research into persuasion, influence, nudge, and coercion. This article provides a foundation for studying BCSSs, in which the key constructs are the O/C matrix and the PSD model. It will (1) introduce the archetypes of behavior change via BCSSs, (2) describe the design process for building persuasive BCSSs, and (3) exemplify research into BCSSs through the domain of health interventions. Recognizing the themes put forward in this article will help leverage the full potential of computing for producing behavioral changes. © 2012 Springer-Verlag London Limited. Source

Kursula P.,University of Oulu | Kursula P.,University of Hamburg
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2014

Calmodulin is one of the most well characterized proteins and a widely used model system for calcium binding and large-scale protein conformational changes. Its long central helix is usually cut in half when a target peptide is bound. Here, two new crystal structures of calmodulin are presented, in which conformations possibly representing the first steps of calmodulin conformational collapse have been trapped. The central helix in the two structures is bent in the middle, causing a significant movement of the N- and C-terminal lobes with respect to one another. In both of the bent structures, a nearby polar side chain is inserted into the helical groove, disrupting backbone hydrogen bonding. The structures give an insight into the details of the factors that may be involved in the distortion of the central helix upon ligand peptide binding. © 2014 International Union of Crystallography. Source

Savolainen O.,University of Oulu | Lascoux M.,Uppsala University | Merila J.,University of Helsinki
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2013

It is increasingly important to improve our understanding of the genetic basis of local adaptation because of its relevance to climate change, crop and animal production, and conservation of genetic resources. Phenotypic patterns that are generated by spatially varying selection have long been observed, and both genetic mapping and field experiments provided initial insights into the genetic architecture of adaptive traits. Genomic tools are now allowing genome-wide studies, and recent theoretical advances can help to design research strategies that combine genomics and field experiments to examine the genetics of local adaptation. These advances are also allowing research in non-model species, the adaptation patterns of which may differ from those of traditional model species. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Myllyharju J.,University of Oulu
Acta Physiologica | Year: 2013

A decrease in oxygenation is a life-threatening situation for most organisms. An evolutionarily conserved efficient and rapid hypoxia response mechanism activated by a hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF) is present in animals ranging from the simplest multicellular phylum Placozoa to humans. In humans, HIF induces the expression of more than 100 genes that are required to increase oxygen delivery and to reduce oxygen consumption. As its name indicates HIF is found at protein level only in hypoxic cells, whereas in normoxia, it is degraded by the proteasome pathway. Prolyl 4-hydroxylases, enzymes that require oxygen in their reaction, are the cellular oxygen sensors regulating the stability of HIF. In normoxia, 4-hydroxyproline residues formed in the α-subunit of HIF by these enzymes lead to its ubiquitination by the von Hippel-Lindau E3 ubiquitin ligase and immediate destruction in proteasomes thus preventing the formation of a functional HIF αβ dimer. Prolyl 4-hydroxylation is inhibited in hypoxia, facilitating the formation of the HIF dimer and activation of its target genes, such as those for erythropoietin and vascular endothelial growth factor. This review starts with a summary of the molecular and catalytic properties and individual functions of the four HIF prolyl 4-hydroxylase isoenzymes. Induction of the hypoxia response via inhibition of the HIF prolyl 4-hydroxylases may provide a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of hypoxia-associated diseases. The current status of studies aiming at such therapeutic approaches is introduced in the final part of this review. © 2013 Scandinavian Physiological Society. Source

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