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Economic Factors Affecting Insurance Industry
Economic factors affecting insurance industry can either enhance or hinder the thriving of insurance firms. The insurance industry is a major player in the economy and this implies economic imbalances can as well be felt in the sector. In fact, the insurance industry relies on the economy for its survival. Thus, if the economy is not doing well, the insurance sector will also be crippled.
The Main Economic Factors Affecting Insurance Industry
The health of an economy is defined by various elements, which may encourage or hurt growth. This article will outline some of the key economic factors affecting insurance industry. Besides, it will also discuss how those factors can impact the operations of players in the insurance industry.
Inflation is a situation whereby the overall prices of goods and services become too high for many people, causing a decrease in the value of a country’s currency. Besides, it is also a state of uncertainty about the health of the economy characterized by unemployment. As a result of this, many people shy away from obtaining services like insurance. At this point, even government interventions may not have significant impacts since even insurance companies depend on investments from their customers in order to do business. Although, the government can still make efforts towards preventing further inflation.
Inflation is caused by a series of factors and activities like foreign exchange rate, unlimited supply of money by the government, which may not be in the direct control of insurance companies. However, it may have far-reaching consequences on the sustainability of the insurance sector.
The levels of inflation may have varied impacts on the insurance industry. For instance, if the inflation rate is so high, many people may feel threatened to lose their property and may rush to acquire insurance. This will mean more business and revenues to the insurance sector. The general impact of inflation on insurance depends on its relationship with other economic and financial factors.
Generally, deflation is a situation whereby there is a decrease in prices of goods and services. It is caused by the lack of demand across the various sectors of the economy, forcing suppliers to lower their rates or prices in order to attract customers. A fall in the aggregate money supply in the economy is one of the main causes of deflation.
Deflation means the economy is doing well and the value of the currency is competitive in the market. As a result of this, many people are able to spend more, which is good news to insurance companies. When many people start obtaining insurance, the companies will get money to pay claims, attracting more business and revenue.
However, it should be noted that if deflation is allowed to persist in an economy, it may be difficult to change the trend of continuous decrease in prices of commodities, which can impact reduced profits and increased unemployment rates. Central banks should be able to see the signs of growing deflation and tame it before it poisons the various sectors of the economy.
Economic policies can be formulated and implemented depending on the economic situation in order to regulate the activities of financial institutions like insurance companies. In times when an economy is facing a crisis, the government can implement economic policies to shield consumers from exploitation by insurers while also protecting insurance companies. An example is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999.
The economy of a country can also affect the level of competition by increasing or decreasing it. For instance, in developing economies, there is a high level of competition since many people are attracted to the lucrative insurance business. In such cases, insurance companies may be forced to consolidate their efforts through mergers and acquisitions in order to survive in the market. This may sometimes decrease the profits margins for many players in the industry.
Going by the key economic factors affecting insurance industry discussed above, manipulating the economy to suit the interests of insurance companies is a nut too hard to crack. However, insurance companies and the government have a role to play in the formulation and harmonization of policies that encourage economic growth.
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Political Factors Affecting Airline Industry
Political factors affecting airline industry refer to a variety of government interventions that may hinder or enhance the operations of air transport. Considering the vast regions that many airlines operate, the business environment is often regulated by on the political atmosphere in a particular market. The factors may be necessary for the protection of the interests of passengers and safety measures of airline operations. For an airline company to survive, the political environment must be conducive for its operations.
The Key Political Factors Affecting Airline Industry
It should be noted that the political factors affecting airline industry vary depending on the market, among other elements. Besides, not all factors may have a direct impact on the industry. However, the following are some of the main factors that can have significant impacts on the operations of the airline sector.
The airline industry has played a critical role in the growth of the global economy. However, there are still various places across the world where airline transport has not been extensively exploited mainly because of government restrictions. For instance, it is not easy for the airline industry to expand into foreign markets, which are not trade partners with their respective countries. If the USA does not trade with maybe a country like Russia, it will be difficult for American airline companies to expand into the market even if it looks so lucrative.
International trade may also involve agreements between countries regarding airline transport. In such a situation, airline companies have to meet those provisions in order to conduct business. Some of these agreements may end up hindering air operations in some countries, impacting the entire sector.
The tax rates vary from one economy or market to another. This means there are some countries where airline companies have to pay more taxes in order to operate. As a result of this, their operational costs are stretched, hence, decreasing revenue base. On the other hand, the tax policies may also be favorable to the airline industry, encouraging business and profitability.
War, Terrorism, disease outbreaks
War, terror and outbreak of diseases like Ebola are also some of the main factors that can significantly affect airline transport. In countries ravaged by war, it becomes difficult for airline companies to operate due to the risks imposed. Besides, terrorism is also another new threat to the airline industry. In fact, there are nations where some major airline companies have discontinued their operations due to the risk of terrorism.
In countries where such events are experienced, it is always in the interest of passengers and airline companies to suspend or stop air transport. However, there are also cases where politicians have made situations look worse than the actual conditions on the ground. Such utterances may also hurt the airline industry by curtailing business when the environment is not quite bad.
Due to the growth of the airline industry, competition has also gone a notch higher, with many players coming into the game. Competition in the industry can be regulated by the activities of politicians in the sense that, they are responsible for formulating laws. For instance, the Deregulation Act of 1978 lifted all the limitations in airfares, airline routes among others. As a result of this political move, many commercial airline companies began coming into the industry, pushing the competition level even higher. More low-cost carriers were introduced in the market, plunging airfares lower than expected.
In fact, low airfares is one of the greatest nightmares facing many companies in the airline industry now since it goes against the increasing operational costs.
Among the various political factors affecting airline industry above, there are those that can be handled by the airline companies and those they cannot. The expansion of international trade has ensured a favorable market for many airline companies across the world. However, there is still need for more negotiations to put in place the best measures that can ensure safety of passengers, sustainable operations of airline companies. Besides, many airline companies have still not complied with the international aviation regulations, which are crucial for safe and sustainable air transport.
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Buddhist Views on Marriage
The institution of marriage according to Buddhist teachings is considered an individual and personal issue. It is not seen as a sacrament or a religious duty ordained in heaven. It is rather a social convention tailor made to promote individual happiness and general well being of two people. Based on Buddhist views on marriage, marriage is aimed at distinguishing human beings from animal life.
Buddhists accept other religions even in the same household with no religious laws that need both individuals in a marriage to be of a religious convention or Buddhist religion. Despite the fact that Buddha did not express any specific regulations and rules governing marriage, important advice that would lead to a happy marriage was offered. Such advice suggested that loyalty and fidelity are the most essential attributes to a happy and fulfilling marriage.
Other attributes to a happy marriage based on Buddhists views on marriage
Apart from loyalty and fidelity, Buddhists also believe that
- Supporting the parents of a spouse enhance good relations
- Loving one’s children and spouse
- Being generous
- Having a sense of responsibility and of duty
- Acting blamelessly towards each other and helping relatives enhance marital relationships
Humility, contentment, reverence, gratitude and listening to Dharma teachings are important features that all Buddhist believers are urged to stick to for a fulfilling marriage institution. However, they are enhanced by the Five Precepts of the religion because they are a focal point of Buddhism and offer a basis or rather a framework for a successful union.
Buddhist views on marriage and The Five Precepts
Refrain from harming or destroying living things
The actions of a partner should not cause emotional suffering to all living things. All actions in regards to a partner or a spouse should be based on Buddhist teachings of respect and love.
Refrain from taking anything that is not given
in regards to marriage, this precept emphasizes on the need to maintain a respectful and equal relationship and to share responsibilities and duties of a married life as well as family.
Abstain from sexual misconduct
All parties should be faithful in marriage. No one should engage in any adulterous activity or relationship. Additionally, there should be respectful attention to the sexual desires and needs of one’s partner as it is a very important and crucial part of refraining from sexual misconduct.
Refrain from false talk or false speech
Marriage institution should be based on faithfulness and truthfulness. It is a significant aspect and component of this precept as a way of creating and maintaining an open communication channel between spouses.
Refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs that could cloud the mind
Based on this precept; a clear mind is very important in living an individual’s life. Similarly, clear thinking and headedness is an essential aspect in married life.
According to Buddhist teachings and its religious set up regarding significance and necessity of marriage, there are no clear laws on having children.
Buddhist monks and marriage
Buddhist monks that renounce worldly existence are celibate and do not marry. Monks are not allowed to attend ceremonies therefore; they do not carry out any wedding services. However, they can bless married couples.
According to Buddhists, there is no official marriage ceremony. Regional practices and ceremony often offer a wide range of ceremonial elements and wedding customs . It is usually common to include Homage to Buddha, Homage to the Exalted One, The Fully Enlightenment or The Liberated One. It also includes The Three Refugees, I seek refuge in the enlightened one, Buddha, I seek refuge in the Way to Enlightenment, Dharma, I seek refuge in the Enlightened Community, Sangha and finally, the recitation of the five Precepts as stated above.
From Sigalovada Sutta, the responsibilities and roles for couples are presented and offer a good structure for married life
In 5 ways shall a wife be ministered to by a husband?
- by being gallant to her
- by not scorning her
- by being faithful to her
- by trusting her
- by providing her with adornments
The wife on the other hand thus will be ministered to by her husband will show compassion in five ways by
- she performs her duties well
- she is hospitable to relations and attendants
- she is faithful
- she protects what he brings
- She is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties.”
According to Buddha, “If a man can find a suitable and understanding wife and a woman can find a suitable and understanding husband, both are fortunate indeed.”
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Cultural Factors Affecting International Business
There are numerous cultural factors affecting international business. Culture can be defined as a way of the life of a group of individuals. This encompasses the beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, skills, motives, values and attitudes. The meanings of cultural symbols are usually learned and perpetuated by the society deliberately through the established institutions. Cultural factors are simply factors that come from various components that relate to a cultural environment or culture where a business operates or consumers belong. On the other hand, international business refers to an entity like an international company or a multinational corporation that has business operations in multiple countries. International business also means the exchange of services and goods among businesses and individuals in multiple nations.
What are the major cultural factors affecting international businesses?
- Language and communication
In any business, communication is a vital element that determines how successful it becomes. However, communication of an international business can be affected by language barriers. Communication both orally and use of body language plays a vital role of enabling a business to know what the basic needs of consumers are. An international business that knows how to communicate in different international languages enjoys the benefit of being able to convey the right messages to consumers or prospects. On the other hand, language barrier can be off-putting and a serious challenge in conducting international business even when there is a translator. There are times when language barrier leads to ridicules and anger because physical gestures may vary among countries.
Business people in different countries tackle negotiations differently. Chief executive officers and managers of international businesses should adapt to how negotiations are tackled in different countries. Due to cultural differences and personality in most countries, business persons seem to approach the process of making a deal with the attitude that both parties can win, or one side can win while the other loses. While entering a negotiation session, it is crucial that international businessmen know the negotiation attitude of the other party.
Religious beliefs in different countries vary. International businesses should know the religious beliefs of different countries where they operate and respect them fully. Religion affects the attitude or values of customers on the products or services that are offered by international businesses.
How people show business etiquette in different countries vary. In some countries, business professionals shake hands as a way of showing business etiquette. There are countries where culture requires business people to bow, hug or even kiss on the cheek. This affects international businesses because international business professionals should know how to show respect for other parties. Being aware of the culture’s etiquette of the other party enables international business professionals to avoid making mistakes because some people can be offended by even small gestures.
Culture plays a role in shaping the preferences of tastes and color of different people. It is important that international business appreciates the local taste sense and customs. Taste affects international businesses because they are forced to modify their products so that they can satisfy the specific needs of the target consumers.
Why it is important to know cultural factors affecting international business
Variation in cultural factors should be considered by the management of an international business in order to succeed. This is because culture has a lot of power in the world of business. This power creates insensible ideas and pictures’ matrix whose impacts are exceptional for international businesses. When an international business fails to consider culture, it loses credibility from its target customers. It also gets a negative response from the public. Eventually, it loses revenue. To avoid this, it is important that an international business knows the cultural factors that are likely to affect its operations.
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Christian Views on Homosexuality
Homosexuality means relationships between same sexes. It is one of the major issues facing the church today. In many states across the globe and more specifically the US, a bill was introduced supporting same sex relationships. Churches are however in constant debates over homosexuality. This contributes to different Christian views on homosexuality.
Christian views on homosexuality based on bible teachings
The church and many Christians across the globe are against homosexuality. This is one of the reasons as to why the church has always cried out for separation of the church and state. Christians argue that Gods reveals moral character and thus, shapes the morality of all Christians. Therefore, it has a lot to say about homosexuality both in the Old and New Testament. Christians quote different verses that condemn lesbians and gays and they include
‘’Lev. 18:22 –You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination
Lev. 20:13 -If there is a man who sleeps with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a highly detestable act. They surely shall be put to death for their blood guiltiness is upon them
1 Cor. 6:9-10 -Do you know that unrighteous men shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither idolaters, fornicators, nor effeminate, nor adulterous nor effeminate, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor revilers, nor drunkards nor swindlers shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”
With such clear statements on Homosexuality in the New Testament and Homosexuality in the Old Testament, it is with no doubt that Christians are against homosexuality. Many people have tried to redefine marriage, love, homosexuality and sex. However, Christians strongly argue that God created man in His own image, male and female. He also created the institution of marriage and declared that Man shall leave his mother and father and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh- Genesis 2:24).
Christians also argue that the Bible is a very strong book and because of that, homosexuals try to make it agree with their same sex relationship agenda. According to Christians, this doesn’t work because the Old and New Testament does not support homosexuality in anyway. It also doesn’t support gay marriage as clearly stated in scriptures above.
From a Christian perspective, sexual sin can only be judged by God and God can only administer the judgement. He gives them over to their passions as stated in Romans 1-26 to 28. This means that the hearts of lesbians and gays are hardened by their sins. Therefore, they can no longer see any wrong in what they are doing. Without awareness of their sinful acts, they cannot repent and without repentance, there is no forgiveness and without forgiveness, there is no salvation.
More on Christian views on Homosexuality
Based on Christianity, the bible condemns homosexuality hence, it is wrong. However, Christians believe that just because a person is gay or lesbian, he or she cannot be loved. He or she should be prayed for because homosexuality is a sin just like the other and needs to be addressed in the only way possible. It also needs to be laid at the cross and repented for.
There is a very significant tenet for Christianity, which is, all humans are born sinners. For this reason, Christians are urged to pray hard for the salvation of Homosexuals and treat homosexuals with a lot of dignity. However, while they are doing so, they should not in any way ap-prove homosexuality and should always keep (Col. 4:5-6) and (1 Tim. 1:5) in mind.
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Islamic Views on Homosexuality
Background of Islam and their views on homosexuality
Islam is known for its diverse culture and ethnicity and is the second largest religion in the world. It was founded by Prophet Muhammad in 622 CE. It is also an Abrahamic religion that traces or shares its roots with Judaism as well as Christianity. This is because it recognizes Moses, Abraham and Jesus as prophets. It is good to note that there is no central organ or body governing Islam. This is why it has not been very clear to state policies regarding different issues of interest such as homosexuality. This essay discusses Islamic views on homosexuality.
Islam views on Homosexuality
When it comes to Islamic views on Homosexuality, Islam goes beyond just disapproving same sex relationship. Sharia law teaches clearly that homosexuality is a vice and act of fornication that is highly punishable by death. However, beneath the surface, there are different references to homosexual behaviors in paradise. Therefore, the behavior is often seen to have been an historical part of Muslim and Arab culture.
Qur’an (7:80-84) – “…For ye practice your lust on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds…. And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)”– This is an account based on the Biblical story of Sodom. Muslim scholars in the past centuries have interpreted rain of stones on town to mean that lesbians and gays should be stoned. This is because Islam strongly believes that there is no reason that is given for destruction of humans apart from homosexuality. The story is further repeated and emphasized in Suras 27 and 29.
Qur’an (7:81) – “Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?”
The verse above according to Muslims establishes another view of Islam towards homosexuality. It argues that homosexuality is different and much worse to any other form of sexual sin. Homosexuality based on Arabic grammar is the worst sin. This is further emphasized in Qur’an (26:165-166) and Qur’an (4:16).
At this point, it is worth noting that same rules according to Islam views on homosexuality do not apply in paradise, where martyrs for Allah’s cause enjoy orgy of virgins as well as perpetual youths or the boys.
Islamic views on homosexuality based on Hadith statements
There are other lesser Hadith statements on homosexuality. ‘If a man comes upon a man, then they are both adulterous’’ and vice versa. What’s more, the throne of God shakes when a man mounts on another man. Therefore, according to Islam, it is essential to kill the person doing and the one that it is being done to as stated in Abu Dawud (4462) – The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”.
Therefore, Islam strongly condemns homosexuality. There are strong laws against homosexuals in Islamic countries including Iran and Saudi Arabia. Homosexuals have been hung, stoned to death and beheaded in such countries where Muhammad’s laws are strictly observed.
In the past years, gays and lesbians were burned. One Muslim cleric recently put it, that there should be no debate about homosexuals but rather, talks on how gays and lesbians should be punished or put to death. This illustrates different Islam views on homosexuality.
In Islamic Republic of Iran, gays are hanged but men are allowed to get a sex change even at the expense of the public in some cases. Even so, there are different verses in the Quran where the story of Sodom is emphasized or repeated. This is often with more emphasis being placed on destruction of homosexual towns or towns for homosexuals.
Islamic views on Homosexuality in the West
Muslim politicians in the West have occasionally supported gay rights and civil unions. This appears to be more of an expeditious issue as opposed to being a genuine reason. It is considered a noticeable strategy of Muslim leaders to help relieve the plight of homosexuals in different Islamic states. Their influence would in one way surely carry a lot of weight in regards to homosexuality compared to that of secular allies.
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Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2
An overview of Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2
Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2 is a protein found in humans encoded by ABCC2 gene. It is also known as canalicular multiseptic organic anion transporter and belongs to the ATP binding cassette subfamily c member 2. ABC Multidrug resistance family of transporters belongs to one of the largest and oldest with members from extant phyla from prokaryotes and is transported to human beings. In medical field, multidrug resistance is widely used to elaborate resistance mechanism that cells have in response to a wide range of chemotherapeutic drugs used in treatment of cancer.
Function of MRP2
MRP2 is an ATP binding cassette of ABC family superfamily. They transport different molecules across intra and extra cellular membranes. ABC genes are classified into a wide range of distinct subfamilies including MDR/TAP, MRP, OAB, GCN20, White and ABC 1. The drug is therefore widely involved in multi drug resistance.
The protein is also highly expressed in the apical part of hepatocyte and operates in biliary transport. It also includes substrates that include different anticancer medications including vinblastine. Therefore, the protein appears to play a major role in resistance in mammalian cells. MRP2 is also expressed on canalicular membrane of proximal renal tubule endothelial cells. In the cells, they carry out excretion of small organic anions.
Following different studies, MRP2 was included into drug resistance family by Susan Cole and Rodger Deeley in 1996. More members were included into the family afterwards and they were considered as canalicular multispecific organic anion transporter following its cloning. Homology is one of the high MRP2 as it is in the case of MRP1, 3 and MRP6. The MRPs also have similar features of TMD0Lo segment. They also play a role in enhancing pump from eukaryotes such as yeast and leishmanial.
MRP2 in mammals also transport methotrexate and appear to function more in the liver, kidney and the gut.
MRP2 Clinical relevance
MRP2 has a major clinical significance in different cases including Iatrogenic Fanconi Syndrome and Dubin-Johnson syndrome. In the latter, several gene mutations have been discovered in patients. Therefore, there is an autosomal recessive abnormality that is characterized by conjugated hyperbilirubinemia.
MRP2 also enhances elimination of wastes from the body. The organic anions are transferred from the blood to endothelial cells by OAT1 transporter. Waste molecules are transferred into lumen of the tubule by the transporter. More drugs are also eliminated from human body by the mechanism. Therefore, the drugs pass through the MRP2 transporter slowly thus, causing a large buildup of anions in cell cytoplasm.
It is therefore imperative to note that there are different drugs that inhibit MRP2 transporter and they easily cause a buildup of different organic anions in renal proximal tubule cells. If the organic anions inhibit mitochondrial DNA synthesis, they can easily cause iatrogenic Fanconi syndrome. One of the MRP2 inhibitors that has been highly associated or linked to kidney disease is the nucleoside phosphonate adefovir. Cidovir and Tenofovir on the other hand have been linked to Fanconi syndrome.
Multidrug resistance associated protein 2 is also very useful in protection against a wide range of toxic elements and compounds. The availability of various ABC transporters offers a solid defense against toxic elements. Therefore, the discovery of MRP 2 and MRP family at large has enhanced the study of MDR tumor cells. This further led into more interest in the roles and functions of MRP family members in normal metabolism.
Issues related to Multidrug Resistance associated protein 2
There are few issues that have been discovered in MRP2 studies including
- Availability of inhibitors and antibodies that cross react with members of the MRP2 family. However, monoclonal antibodies that act against parts that are not conserved can be generated to address the issue.
- Characterization of MRPs, making them organic anion transporters -Therefore, many substrates for the transporters is highly charged and cannot penetrate cell membrane.
- It is also difficult to get MRP2 transfect-ants therefore; more products are being channeled to cell membrane.
- Last but not least, body cells that are selected for drug resistance in many cases, over express multiple transporter genes. The good thing is that there are several inhibitors that have been utilized to solve this issue.
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An overview of ATP
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is a molecule found in all living organisms and is an energy carrying molecule. The molecule captures chemical energy derived from a breakdown of food molecules. It then releases the energy to fuel other essential cellular processes. Cells need chemical energy for three major purposes including
- Deriving metabolic reactions that cannot occur automatically
- Transport essential substances across membranes and
- To carry out chemical work such as moving muscles
It is essential to note that a storage molecule for chemical energy is usually the job of carbohydrates such as fats and glycogens. When the cell needs energy, it is converted from storage molecules into ATP. The ATP will then serve as a shuttle delivering energy into other places within the cell where activities that need a lot of energy take place.
Adenosine Triphosphate structure
ATP is a nucleotide that contains three main structures including adenine, base, the sugar and ribose. It is also made up of a chain of a group of three phosphates bound to ribose. The tail of the molecule is the actual energy or power source that the cell taps.
Available energy in the molecule is stored in bonds between phosphates. It is further released when broken into energy form and it occurs with the inclusion of water molecule. This takes place through a process popularly known as hydrolysis. The outer phosphate is however removed from ATP to help produce or yield energy. When such occurs, the molecule is converted to a nucleotide form with only two phosphates, adenosine diphosphate.
ATP has ability to power a wide range of cellular processes by transferring a phosphate group to another molecule. This occurs through a process known as phosphorylation. This kind of energy transfer is carried out by active and special enzymes that couple the release of energy from ATP to the cellular activities that need energy.
Even though cells will continuously break down ATP to obtain energy, the molecule is constantly being synthesized from ADP and phosphate. This occurs through a cellular respiration process. Many ATP in cells is also produced by the ATP synthase enzyme and it converts ADP and phosphate into ATP.
ATP synthase is located in the mitochondria in plants and it functions well because of the cellular structures in the membrane. In plant cells, the enzyme is found in chloroplasts. The major role of ATP in energy is to carry out metabolism as it was discovered by Herman Kalckar and Fritz Albert Lipmann in 1941.
How Adenosine Triphosphate works and the Phosphorus cycle
ATP works under enzyme instructions by losing the endmost phosphate group. This reaction leads to release of energy which an organism can use to build proteins and contact muscles among other activities. The main product is adenosine diphosphate and the phosphate group will end up as orthophosphate (HPO4). It is attached to another molecule for instance alcohol. Therefore, more energy can be derived by removing a second phosphate group to produce adenosine monophosphate (AMP).
When an organism is resting, energy is not needed immediately. As a result, a reverse reaction occurs. The phosphate group is therefore reattached to the molecule using the energy that is derived from sunlight or food. Therefore, the ATP molecule will act as a chemical energy storage battery when it is not needed. However, the energy will be instantly released when the organism needs it.
When it comes to the phosphorus cycle, it is essential to note that the nature of ATP is universal. This explains why phosphates are very important ingredients in the diet of all living things. Modern day fertilizers contain different phosphorus compounds extracted from bones of animals. The compounds are further utilized and used by plants to make ATP. In the end, humans eat plants, metabolize their phosphorus compounds and produce own ATP. When humans die, the phosphorus naturally goes back to the ecosystem and the phosphorus Adenosine Triphosphate cycle begins again.
The cycle is very important because all living things including plants and animals need a continuous supply of energy to function normally. The energy is used in various internal activities that help to keep living things alive.
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ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter
Introduction to ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter
ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter(s) is an integral membrane protein or proteins that transport molecules actively across lipid membranes using energy derived from ATP hydrolysis to ADP. The process occurs against a concentration gradient. This group of transporters is virtually present in all living things and it makes up a larger part of a wide range of biological processes.
It is wise to note that ABC domain can be found in proteins that can couple ATP hydrolysis to function even further than just transport, for instance repair of DNA. However, while such proteins can play a crucial role in enhancing human understanding of catalytic processes, modern review is often focused on ABC transporter family only.
There are different ABC transporter types including
- ABCA subfamily
- ABCB subfamily
- ABCC subfamily
- ABCD subfamily of peroxisomal ABC transporters
- ABCG subfamily
They transport a wide range of substances including small molecules such as sugars, amino acids and ions to larger compounds such as drugs, antibiotics, oligopeptides and lipids. ABC transporters take part in uptake of various nutrients and toxin secretion of toxins in bacteria. It also confers multidrug resistance in cases of cancer or bacterial cells. The cells achieve this by pumping a wide range of anti-cancer drugs and anti-biotics into various extracellular spaces.
ABC transporters are also relevant in medical field because some of their mutations have been implicated in cystic fibrosis among other related genetic disorders. The proteins constitute an ancient family of transporters. They are believed to have diversified before eukaryotes, archea and bacteria and diverged on other evolutionary paths. Therefore, human ABC transporters have bacterial homologues in different living organisms such Escherichia coli.
General structure ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter
All ABC transporters have a common structure. This is regardless of their functions as exporters or importers or even the substance being transported. They consist of two transmembrane domains and are the integral membrane proteins. They also include two NBDS or nucleotide binding domains. Furthermore, they are composed of water soluble proteins and closely associated with TMDs located on one side of the transporter membrane.
The TMD parts of the ATP transporter form a channel for transport and they consist of various membrane spanning alpha helices that present a structural variability among the transporters. Even so, there are 8 to 20 transmembrane helices for importers and 12 for the exporters.
NBD parts in contrast are highly conserved in the family and the present characteristics such as Walker A and B motifs found in all ATP binding proteins. There is also a signature motif that is related to the ABC transporter family. Additionally, the NBDs are ABC transporter engines because they are bound together while the ATP powers transport.
ATP binding induces different conformational changes in NBDs and force them to a closer contact transmitted to TMDs. This causes a conformational change that opens a conduit between TMDs to the outside or inside of the cell.
The exact mechanism of NBDs and TMDs coupling is unknown. It was however suggested that different TMDs could easily develop strong mechanisms for coupling between the two domains.
Bacterial ABC transporters
All bacteria have two ABC transporters including eukaryotic and prokaryotic type. The former have genes for EK type ABC transporters only. They are highly functional and feature gene organizational differences between EK type ABC and PK type ABC transporters.
PK type ABC transporters are importers which need additional extracellular proteins known as substrate binding proteins. They are also specifically for gram negative bacteria periplasmic binding proteins and they recruit substrates from extracellular space besides delivering them to transporters.
There are also ABC transporters in E.coli and it includes characterization of different ABC transporter genes fully encoded. However, the number of functional ABC transporters in E.coli is not clear. 48 ABC transporter gene systems in humans have been identified so far. Researchers have also found out that the more substances a living organism needs to export or import, the more the number of ABC transporter systems it has in its genome.
Therefore, in eukaryotes, motile organisms such as animals usually need few ABC transporters compared to non-motile organisms for example plants.
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Factors Affecting Corn Production
There are numerous factors affecting corn production. Corn is a vegetable and a grain that grows with tall grass-like stalk while producing large kernels in a cob. The color of the kernels can be yellow or white. However, kernels mostly have a mix of oranges, yellows, reds, purples and browns. The production of corn is affected by numerous factors which influence its yields.
Major factors affecting corn production
Weather is the major factor that affects the production of corn. Unfortunately, farmers do not have much control of this factor. Weather aspects like temperature, rainfall and moisture all have impact on the production of this crop. Weather factors can also be called environmental factors which influence corn growth.
- Nitrogen supply
Supply of nitrogen in the soil also affects the production of corn. This factor explains the difference that continuous production of corn and rotation of corn with soybeans has. Soil with high amount of nitrogen has the capacity to support high yields of corn. This is why some farmers apply nitrogen fertilizers in their fields to supply nitrogen that corns need to grow. Globally, the use of nitrogen fertilizers is gaining considerable attention in terms of research due to their impact on the production of various crops including corn.
- Hybrid selection
Biotechnology or genetics play a vital role in improving the potential of the corn seeds that are available to farmers. Hybrid selection is an important decision that corn farmers have to make because it impacts on their overall production. Some farmers do not realize that there are commercial hybrids that have high yield potential. Thus, hybrid selection is increasingly becoming a significant factor that affects the production of corn.
- Plant population
The maximum occupancy of the land where corn is grown also affects production. This entails aspects like spacing of the crop during planting which impact on their growth and yields. Plant population is usually affected by weather because some plants can be damaged by bad weather at their early stage. Planting more plants in a small field will also make them susceptible to the unfavorable conditions and diseases. As such, plant population is bound to affect the production of corn.
Chemicals like foliar fungicides make corn less sensitive to the environmental stressors. This has an impact on the overall yields that a farmer can harvest from a given corn field. Even chemicals that some farmers use to control weeds and pests while growing corn affect the overall corn production.
The timing and degree of tillage affects the production of corn because reduction in production from the previous crop or yield penalty is associated with residue. Additionally, the tillage system that farmers adapt can affect the population of the plant.
How factors affecting corn production are managed
The factors that affect the production of corn are managed in different ways.
They include the following:
- Field selection
The field where corn is produced affects the overall production of corn. As such, farmers try to manage these factors by selecting the best fields for growing corn. Generally, corn grows better in low stress and highly productive environments.
- Residue management
Corn residue is a major factor that affects the production of corn. It has been identified as a major cause of yield penalty. To manage residue, corn growers take numerous actions like removing residue partially, ensuring proper hybrid’s selection and proper tillage. Farmers also apply nitrogen to accelerate the breakdown of residue.
By rotating corn with soybean, farmers maintain high yields in places where they grow corn frequently or consecutively. This is because rotating corn with soybean reduces yield penalty because soybean replenishes nitrogen in the soil. This facilitates the growth of corn in the next crop.
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