Employees motivation as the set of internal

Employees as a human resource are one of the key success factor for companies and the main competitive advantage nowadays. One of the main challenge is to understand how to get the best out of this valuable resource. Employers and researchers have been focusing on this complicated task for centuries and still did not find the golden recipe. There are enormous number of factors that have an impact on employee performance and motivation, those are – political and economic situation in the country, legislation restrictions, technological progress, social and environmental factors. Even within the social factor motivation can be analyzed through the prism of gender, educational level, age, work experience, level of employment in the country, position level and etc. Therefore, in this work we will give a brief overview of the main motivation theories and will narrow the analysis to how the following social factors – generations, globalization and culture; influence the employee motivation.One of the primary task facing a manager is motivating employees to perform to the best of their ability (Moorhead and Griffin, 1998). Actually, motivation has been described as “one of the most pivotal concerns of modern organizational research” (Baron, 1991: 1). Pinder (1998) describes motivation as the set of internal and external forces that initiate work-related behavior, and determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration. Work-related behavior is affected by both environmental forces (e.g., organizational structure, reward systems, the nature of the work being performed) and forces intrinsic to the person (e.g., individual needs and motives). However, it is hard to conduct studies on motivation as it is a broad concept and it is impossible to measure it directly. Hence, we have to rely on the existing theories to find our way to the most effective motivators taking into consideration the specific conditions within which our company operates.Human Resources managers are constantly working to combine and incorporate these numerous theories into each day practice by creating multiple motivation schemes for employees. With each year, it becomes more and more challenging as the work environment has high level of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA environment). Classical motivation theories can be divided by content and process approaches. Content theories focus on WHAT motivates people.  Examples   of   content   theories   include Achievement Theory (McClelland), Two-factor Theory (Herzberg), Hierarchy of Needs Theory (Maslow). Process theories, in contrast, concentrate on HOW people are motivated, the connection of effort with outcomes or reward. Represented by Goal-setting Theory (Locke), Equity Theory (Adams), Expectancy Theory (Vroom), Job Characteristic Theory (Hackman and Oldham), Reinforcement Theory (Skinner). It is worth to say that these theories are complementary to each other. There are a lot of recent researches as, for example, the comprehensive motivation theory by Lawrence and Nohria (2002) that incorporate many researches fields.Globalization of business activities brings different cultures together into one company. The managers have to find the way to motivate their subordinates even when they work all over the world. The rapid development of technology of course helps but this is not enough. This has to be taken into consideration when we educate our leaders and of course while introducing incentives for employees. Today four generations meet together in the same workplace. This is especially due to increased pension age and workforce scarcity. So, it is extremely complicated to apply the Adam’s Equity and justice theory. It examines how employees perform when they can compare themselves with their peer group. Researches learned that underpaid employees had decrease in their performance (Greenberg, 1982). Inequity comparisons result in a state of dissonance or tension that motivates an employee to engage in behavior designed to relieve tension (e.g. raise or lower work efforts to re-establish equity, leave the situation that is causing inequity) (Lee and Raschke, 2016). Younger generations in general are more technologically and educationally advanced compared to older generations though the last possess larger experience. This could cause a problem in employees’ perception of the amount and quality of work they provide, which in turn might cause them in seeing disparity as to how fairly they are treated. Consequently, it is a great challenge for the organization leaders to support the multicultural environment that manages multi-generational differences with their values and perceptions. Going back to Mannheim’s sociology of generations people are grouped into cohorts based on the experiencing the same significant social and historical events within a given period of time. Many researchers advocate the close attention to the multi-generational workforce including their stereotypical behaviors (Salopek, 2000; Tulgan 2004).Going deeper into characteristics of generations that are the current workforce brings us to the necessity to pay attention to different approaches to psychological contract, desirable leadership styles, different personal values and perceptions of how they see the world. All these points can bring conflict into the organization if not treated the right way. Indeed Salopek (2000) argues that organizations that create environments which are value-based and support divergent views and values of each of the cohorts create a positive outcome for both the organization and its employees.We are going to analyze the main characteristics and main motives of behaviors of each generation.Veterans (born prior to 1946) represent very small percentage of the current workforce. They are strongly influenced by the World War II. They are patriotic, loyal, conservative, value stability and commitment. Seeking for the long-term job security, they are loyal to the organizations and their leaders.Baby boomers (1946 – 1964) were influenced by after war recovery and cold war. According to Gursoy, et al. (2013) although they work hard and believe their work defines them, they tend to work for their own recognition or development rather than to improve the company. They could be described as optimistic workaholics, who value the health and well-being, and are value oriented. To motivate above-mentioned older generations one might refer to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943) which defines five steps of employee’s needs: physiological, safety, social, ego, and self-actualization. His model works in linear way – in order to be able to satisfy a need above, the need below should be satisfied. Though a lot of pension age people are forced to work due to their financial situation, the level of their physiological needs is rather modest in comparison to demand of recognition and self-realization.Generation X (1965 – 1979) (Al-Asfour and Lettau, 2014) makes the second biggest generation in the workforce. Lewis and Wescott (2017) describe them as the first generation to enter the workforce after corporate downsizing and grew up as latchkey kids with both parents working or divorced. Xers grew up at the beginning of the so called “Information age” and experiencing social, economic and political upheavals (Gursoy et al., 2008). They are skeptical, independent, entrepreneurial, seeking for constant feedback, and autonomy. However, Xers lack employer loyalty and will use the opportunity to challenge the hierarchical decision-making  structure. If they are not satisfied with the job they easily change it. As one of the approaches to motive Xers is to embrace the Goal setting theory (Locker, 1996). It says that setting the specific difficult goals to employees lead to their better performance. Goal setting is especially effective when feedback is provided that permits the individual to track the progress relative to the goal (Ambrose and Kulik, 1999). Using this approach will allow to create the strong  employees’ engagement and commitment by satisfing their core needs in autonomy and feedback. Generation Y – Millennials – are the children of Baby Boomers (1980 – 2000) (Al-Asfour and Lettau, 2014). According to Smola and Sutton (2002) they are the first generation to be born into a technologically based world. They were bombarded with various information through all types of media, have experienced the job loss in their families, spread of terrorism. Whereas they grew up with a focus on family and had relatively scheduled and structured lives, at this point, Dawn (2004) suggests that Millennials are looking for challenges and learning opportunities in their lives. In addition, industry experts have suggested that Yers value work-life balance. Following Bersin by Deloitte research on Millennials 2016, two-thirds of them state their organization’s “purpose” is the reason they choose an employer.This shows that the Yers are not motivated as much by money as they are by the comfort and numerous other non-material rewards. In this case it is worth to address to the Motivation-hygiene theory (Herzberg, 1966) which categorizes motivation into: motivators – as intrinsic factor and hygiene – as extrinsic factor. Intrinsic factors such as achievements and recognition provide the employee job satisfaction while extrinsic factors such as compensation and job security give job dissatisfaction. In other words, if managers want to motivate employees and have them interested in their jobs they should not use the money (for sure, in case when the basic payment is at appropriate level). Most important, managers will increase employee intrinsic motivation and long-term job satisfaction by providing psychological growth opportunities (Sachau, 2007). For example the Survey conducted by Lewis and Wescott (2017) shows that the most important job satisfaction factor for Y-er is “having things well explained”, which shows a clear step-away from the pure materialistic source of motivation to development.No one should entertain the illusion that people will work for free but according to Cognitive evaluation theory (Deci, 1971) money is not a motivator, on the contrary – money can demotivate. Deci defines two motivational subsystems – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsically motivated individuals attribute the cause of their behavior to internal needs and perform behaviors for intrinsic reward and satisfaction (Ambrose and Kulik, 1999). Furthermore, promoting the culture of payments and focusing employees on job security brings the companies to escalating expectations and hence constant increase of HR costs. Summarizing the abovementioned, we see that the workforce is changing drastically. Based on Tulgan’s (2004) study employees tend to incentives which contribute towards better morale, higher productivity levels and retention of employees. The average duration of employment has decreased in the recent years as well. To ensure long-term organizational success while creating the motivators for desirable performance our leaders have to take into account not only the generation differences but globalization and culture differences as well.As from the nineties with increased internationalization of businesses more and more researches appeared on cross-cultural particularities of motivation drivers. Some countries are more individualistic in goal achievements as the USA; China employees are shown to be more motivated by team goals. Yamauchi and Li (1993) found out the Chinese students reported stronger motives and attitudes toward achievement than the Japanese, whereas Japanese students reported stronger work ethic. Frese et al. (1996) revealed lower personal initiative in East Germany than in West Germany. Niles (1994) reported that Sri Lankans have scored less the work ethics as a need for mastery than Australians. The study of Dubinsky et al. (1994) examined the effect of culture on Expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964) perceptions.  It suggests that motivation is a multiplicative function of three constructs: expectancy, instrumentality and valence. It is based on the belief that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Lee and Raschke, 2016) – negative or positive. The higher the reward, the more motivational effect it has on employee. As the result, the U.S. salespersons were more dependent on the extrinsic motivation instruments as pay increases and job security than Korean and Japanese samples. It appears that Deci’s Cognitive evaluation theory is more useful in Asiatic cultures than in the USA. All these differences in beliefs, values, pay practices reflect the cultural differences in finding the way in uncertainly avoidance and individualism (Penning, 1993). Overall, the variety of studies illustrating significant differences amongst different ethnical groups and nationalities, are reflection of the still present enormous difference amongst those groups. Despite the effect of globalization and change of generations, each nation retains a certain set of traditions and practices. All of those theories illustrate strong attempts to theorize the employee motivation system. However, the main limitation to all of the theories used, is that overall none of them so far, has managed to cover all the social factors but gravitate to particular motivators.  But undoubtedly they do evolve together with the change of generations and their basic values.To summarize, it is very important to perform regularly surveys to get feedback to adapt our strategies to VUCA influenced business surrounding. But the crucial is to constantly educate our employees and particularly our leaders on how to manage the cultural and generation diversity and thus create the culture of fun, collaboration and creativity.  

Imagine of reading and distance glasses so

Imagine you are the youngest son, 8th of the 10 siblings. 2 of your brothers have died, and your family isn’t rich. You had to dropout of school to get work for your family. Benjamin Franklin had all of that happen to him. Also he accomplished many things as well. A lot of them being of great importance. Like proving lightning is electricity or being a founding father. Those were just two of the many things Benjamin did in his life.InventionsBenjamin Franklin was famous for lots of things. But most people agree that he was most famous for his inventions. His most commonly known and famous invention was the lightning rod. Benjamin Franklin attached a metal key to kite and flew it in a storm. When the kite got electrocuted, so did the key. This experiment proved that lightning is electricity. From there, Benjamin created the lightning rod, a long, tall, metal pole that attracted the lightning so the house wouldn’t get struck and set on fire. This invention helped people keep their houses safe. Benjamin Franklin also had other inventions. He invented the Franklin Stove, which saved fuel, the Bifocals, a combination of reading and distance glasses so someone didn’t have to switch, the Glass Armonica, a musical instrument that became popular, and the Rocking Chair, a chair to rock back and forth. Patriot Later in his life, Benjamin Franklin did some political things. He was 1 of the 7 founding fathers. This led him to be an excellent leader. His importance led him to helping draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin was very crucial in Pennsylvania. Benjamin was elected the Pennsylvania assemblyman in 1787. Although Benjamin Franklin was very old, he was also very wise. He was a part of the Society for Political Inquiries, which focused on improving the knowledge of the government. He even proposed a plan for uniting the colonies under a national congress. Even though this plan was denied, it helped lay the ground for the Articles of Confederation, which became the first constitution of the U.S. when it raffled in 1781. This Quote, “where liberty dwells, there is my country”, was found in a letter to Benjamin Vaughan on March 14, 1783.ChildhoodOn January 17, 1706, Benjamin Franklin was born. He was the 8th out of 10 children. He was also the youngest son of a youngest son going back 5 generations. Benjamin Franklin had to learn to deal with loss and death. He had 2 brothers that died. One was lost at sea, and one died at 16 months. As a child, Benjamin was intelligent. He created flippers out of wood to help him win a race against his friends. He loved to swim, and was a great swimmer, so the flippers helped him a lot. Benjamin’s parents, Josiah and Abiah Franklin, sent him to Boston Latin School, an expensive school, because Benjamin was brilliant. But, he dropped out at the age of 10, to become an apprentice. When he was a child, Benjamin Franklin learned a hard lesson. He had earned some money. He had happily gone to the store to get something. A child asked for the money in exchange for a whistle. Benjamin obliged, and only later did he find out the train whistle was four times less expensive than what he had paid. Benjamin learned the lesson the hard way that day.Jobs          When it came to being an apprentice, choosing a job was hard for young Benjamin Franklin. His brilliant mind had trouble finding a job. His father wanted him to become a candle maker like himself, but Benjamin refused. He and his father thought of many jobs, like minister or a preacher. Finally, they came across the perfect job: printing. Benjamin’s brother was a printer, so Benjamin worked for him as an apprentice. This went on for a while. When the paper had some not appropriate things, Benjamin’s brother went to jail. So, Benjamin had to take over the printing shop for a while. Later in life, he opened a printing shop. That was in 1728. In 1729 he also owned and published the Pennsylvania Gazette, when he later published Poor Richard’s Almanack. London and FranceThen Benjamin set out for London. He did some important work. In London, 1724-1726, he did some more relaxing things like read, he swam, and attend theater performances. But, he also did some important stuff. Benjamin did some of his printing in London. In 1757, he traveled to London as a representative of the Pennsylvania assembly. Benjamin had been elected representative in 1751. With his way of peace, he settled tax disputes and other important things. Benjamin Franklin mostly lived in London until 1775, when he returned to Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin was elected commissioner for France in 1776, after the colonies voted for independence, making him the first U.S. ambassador for France. Benjamin sailed for a treaty of support with France. His friendliness led to the treaty of paris, ending the Revolutionary War. After a decade at France, Benjamin Franklin returned to the U.S. and left France in 1785.DeathOn April 17, 1790, Benjamin Franklin passed away at the home of his daughter, in Pennsylvania. He was 84 years old. When Benjamin was 22, he had already created his gravestone. It said: “The body of B. Franklin, Printer, Lies Here, Food for Worms. But the Work shall not be Lost; For it Will Appear once More In a New and More Elegant Edition Revised and Corrected By the Author.” Although Benjamin wrote this, his gravestone actually said: “Benjamin and Deborah Franklin 1790.” His kindness led to him donating his money to charity and museums that needed it. Benjamin Franklin was very important. 20,000 people came to his funeral when he was buried in Philadelphia’s Christ Church cemetery.I challenge you to be more like Benjamin Franklin, to stand for your country, to know right from wrong, and to use your mind to help the people in need. We need more people like -Benjamin Franklin in the future to help us overcome obstacles that we will face later on. We need to not fight each other, but fight together. Because, as Benjamin Franklin once said, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

I, moved in with his father who

I, Chloe McMahon, am an Undergraduate Psychology student at Teesside
University. Along with my colleagues1,
I have a broad range of knowledge on psychological research and theory, and am
capable to provide a reliable and unbiased case formulation of risk following
BPS ethical guidelines.

Summary of the CaseMr A was found guilty of an Offence of Wounding with Intent to do Grievous
Bodily Harm and Possessing Offensive Weapon in Public Place. The offence was
committed against his former partner. He has been previously convicted of
several other offences in his past, including affray, grievous bodily harm and
possession of offensive weapons.Mr A had a difficult and very violent upbringing. His parents separated
while he was very young which ended up with him living with his mother, who he
stated he did not form any kind of bond with. He was abused by his mother and others,
who his mother allowed. He also watched his mother be abused frequently by men
who she had formed quick relationships with. The area in which he lived in made
him witness many criminal activities. At the age of six, Mr A moved in with his
father who was placed into prison not long after, which led to Mr A living with
his paternal grandmother. Mr A was bullied in school, which led to him fighting back and being excluded
from his mainstream education due to a serious issue involving a bottle of acid
being squirted at his peers. The longest relationship he stated being in was three months. However, he
reported that he had had 77 previous relationships, lasting between one month
to two years, which shows inconsistencies in his testimony. He described all of
his relationships to be intimate, respectful and non-abusive.Mr A has not had any experience of employment as he states that he cannot
due to his criminal record. He has shown problematic attitudes towards
supporting himself in the community through meaningful employment. He found
economic support through social assistance. Issues Specific to the CaseThe HCR20 is a comprehensive and structured guide to assess risk of
violence through historical and clinical risk factors. It is commonly known and
offers a well-known understanding and has been reported to have good validity
and reliability (Kemshall, 2002). In this case the only factors which were
looked at were the historical items. A number of risk factors from the HCR-20
have shown to be pertinent to Mr A’s case. The risk factors explained below
seem the be the most important in Mr A’s case. A history of previous violence could be a potential risk factor Mr A due
to his previous violent convictions. There is evidence from a range of studies
to show that the likelihood of another offence will escalate with each following
offence. Soothill (2009) found that offenders who commit any crime by the age
of 14 were found to be more probable to commit a more severe and violent
offence in later life. A study which looked at recidivist violent offenders
found that 73% of participants were re-arrested for a serious offence, and that
the most violent offenders had the highest percentage of re-arrest (Trulson et
al, 2011). There is plenty of research that shows committing violence at an
early age is associated with more serious violence (Farrington, 1991; Piper,
1985; Tolan and Thomas, 1995). In a sample of 1157 released violent offenders,
65% of them were re-arrested ¾ of which for another serious offence (Tulson et
al, 2011). Farrington (1991) found that more aggressive males at age 8-10 were
convicted of a more serious violent offence by the age of 32. Evidence suggests
that the earlier the onset age of violence, seems to increase the risk and
seriousness of offending (Loeber and Farrington, 1998)  A history with problems with relationships could be a potential risk
factor as strong social bonds and attachments to individuals such as spouses,
close friends and family have been found to be a protective factor which helps
to reduce the risk of violence (Lodewijks et al, 2010). Marriage appears to decrease the chance of an offender re-committing a
violent crime, particularly a ‘good’ marriage and one that has developed before
the age of 25 (Collins, 2010). Laub and Sampson (1993) found that the effect of
a good marriage takes time to appear and has greater impact the longer the
marriage lasts. Due to Mr A being not capable of keeping a long-lasting
relationship, he has never been married. Therefore, he has never had a
protective factor to stop him from re-committing his violent crimes. A
comprehensive study of released offenders, found that a common characteristic
of the offenders that had committed the most violent crimes, was having never
been married (Stalans et al, 2004). A lot of the research on criminal careers and desistance has been
conducted using participants who grew up in or before the 1970s which could
suggest that the findings are due to marriage at an early age being more common
over this period. However, recent research has proven that marriage has a
stronger impact on desistance now than in earlier periods (Bersani et al,
2009). A history of traumatic experiences could be a potential risk factor for
Mr A as he has been through a lot of stressful experiences, which can be
described as traumatic, in his lifetime. For example, Mr A had a difficult
upbringing due to factors including abuse and poor school achievement. The family environment has been proven to have a high prediction of a
risk of violence (Babcock et al, 2003). One study by Widom (1989) found that
individuals who were neglected showed the highest increase in risk for future
violence. Individuals who experienced physical abuse were slightly more likely
to be at risk for violence and those who were neglected by family members
showed the greatest increase in risk for violence. Mr A was abused by his
mother as a child as well as describing a feeling of his mother treating him
differently to his other siblings. He stated that he felt unloved, unsupported
and vulnerable to his mother. Zingraff et al (1993) found a positive
correlation between the frequency of childhood maltreatment and future violence.There is plenty of evidence to suggest that early caregiver disruption
can cause criminality. Children separated from parents before the age of 10
self-reported that they had used violence in adolescence and early adulthood
(Farrington, 1989). Mr A was separated from his mother at the age of 6, and
then not long after was separated from his father. He reported that he had used
violence against one of his peers at school and then later in his life he
committed a series of crimes. Not long after Mr A went to live with his father, his father had been
sent to prison. A number of factors linked to parental antisocial behaver have
been related to violence among young people. A number of studies suggest that
criminality among youth is increased due to parental antisocial behaviour. One
study suggests found that children whose parent had been convicted before the
age of 10 were 2.2 time more likely to commit violent crimes compared to those
who had non-criminal parents (Farrington, 1989).Due to Mr A being removed from mainstream schooling, he did not receive
the best education. Poor academic achievement has proved to be a consistent
factor in violent offenders (Maguin and Loeber, 1996; Denno, 1990). It has been
suggested that those who have a low academic achievement and attainment by the
age of 11 double in risk of later violence (Hawkins, 2013).School can be a protective factor for a child as it can be an opportunity
for the child to engage in the school and the community. This would offer a
distraction from the violence in which the child may be swayed into by others.
However, Mr A did not have this as a protective factor which could have been a pre-disposing
factor for his violent offending.  Although the HCR-20 has proven to be effective within a certain stretch,
parts of it can be suggested unreliable and slightly inaccurate. One study
found that there was high predictive validity for the HCR-20’s clinical and
risk management items, however for the historical items, there was almost no
predictive validity (Belfrage, Fransson & Strand, 2010).The
HCR-20 disregards protective factors. There is plenty of evidence to suggest
that protective factors should be included when assessing future violent
behaviour. It is suggested that risk assessments are unbalanced as protective
factors are not taken into consideration (Rogers, 2000). This could have the
potential to lead offenders being viewed as more dangerous than what they
really are. However, now there is a structured assessment for protective
factors which has been developed to work alongside the HCR-20.


The Team Approach to the caseAs a team, we worked quite well. There was a small timing issue with
starting the assignment, as we could have got together a lot earlier to focus
on it in depth rather than quite close to the deadline. It was difficult to
meet up and work closely together as our schedules were very diverse and
clashed so that there was little time for us to meet in person to go over the
work we had been doing individually. However, we had an online document which
we were all able to access, change and offer help to each other on. In my
opinion, the team could have worked better if each individual were more
motivated to spare time to meet up to help each other with their own individual
parts. Our team split the workload by questions by choice. I chose the last
question which was professional conclusion. Without seeing and hearing everyone
else’s answers to the other questions, I was finding it quite difficult to give
my professional conclusion as I had not been shown or told what the other team
members had thought and felt the defendant should be given. I feel that this
could have been solved if we had started the assignment earlier and met up more
often. Other than this, I think that we worked well together as everyone
contributed equally with their own questions and findings.I
enjoyed the experience of being an Expert Witness as it helped me to gain a
little more confidence in speaking in front of an audience. It also helped me
widen my knowledge on different treatment programmes in prison. Before my
research, I did not know there were so many options for offenders, and although
a lot of them are very similar, they offer different skills to be learnt. I
would like to experience this again as it was challenging but enjoyable, it was
a nice change in the style group presentations compared to the ones I have
experienced before.  

Elizabeth Wilson, Jessica Rickaby and Susan Worton

Lung apoptotic proteins. Understanding the moleculer role

Lung cancer has
become the one of the prominent threats to global healthcare, with death rate
of one out of four deaths in both men and women. It is among one of cause of cancer related deaths all over
the world 1. Golbally lung cancer  accounts for
about 13 % of 
new cancer cases and 19 % fatality . In India, lung cancer accounts for
6.9 % of  new  cases and 9.3%  deaths in both sexes, it is the commonest
cancer and cause of cancer related mortality in men,  and second most in women after breast and
ovarian carcinoma 2. Depending on tumour size and stages of
lung cancer several therapeutic regimens are available to treat lung cancer.
Yet conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy are
associated with several adverse effects on the human system. Even though  of the progress in development  of several anticancer drugs, chemoresistance
is still major  hindrance that results in
the failure

of treatment3.
Multiple factors are involved in development of chemoresistance such as
inactivation of chemotherapy drug, alteration in tumor suppressor gene, anti
and pro apoptotic proteins. Understanding the moleculer role of tumor encoded
gene in development of drug resistance has great significance in development of
novel therapeutic target and also improve diagnosis4.

transglutaminase 2 (TG2)  is one of
ubiquitously expressed protein among 7 members of Tissue TG family. It is known
to be involved in tumor metastasis 5. It is distributed among
major cell types and tissues and plays a significant role in several biological
processes. It take part in  post-translation modification  transamidase activity it is involved in
GTPase, ATPase, protein kinase, protein disulfide, and isomerase activity 6.

 TG2 levels leads to different
pathological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, multiple
sclerosis, celiac  along with tumour
development while Over expression of TG2is associated with malignant effects
leading to tumorigenesis, invasion, cell differentiation, and failure in apoptosis
7.As a consequence, TG2 is known to have a significant impact in lung
carcinoma, especially towards n

on-small cell lung carcinoma 8.
Targeting TG2 protein may be valuable in identifying potential inhibitors
against lung cancer. Numerous natural compounds have been reported to have many
biological activities as antibacterial, antiviral and anti-cancer 9. Natural
products and their derivatives mimic over 50% of all the products that are
being used. In the present study an attempt is made in silico investigation of natural inhibitors against TG2 from
plant origin. The hit compounds obtained in this study could play an important
role in designing personalized therapy against lung cancer patients.

Un’attività garanzia per grandi introiti conseguenti alle

Un’attività di ecommerce può essere
avviata da commercianti che abbiano già un’attività in corso oppure
persone che semplicemente abbiano colto un’opportunità individuando
un prodotto e una nicchia di mercato da esplorare. Eppure sono
numerose le riflessioni che è necessario fare prima di iniziare
un’attività di vendita online, anche se ormai la pratica si sta
diffondendo. Ma come in molti altri settori, prima di ottenere
risultati lusinghieri è necessario pianificare l’attività ed essere
pronti ad affrontare tutte le criticità. In questa guida proporremo
i dieci punti fondamentali per porre le basi di un’attività di

1 Trovare un prodotto/servizio che
abbia un mercato online

Il primo passo è sicuramente quello di
fare uno studio per verificare la viabilità del prodotto sul mercato
online. E’ necessario capire quanta concorrenza ci sia e la
popolarità del prodotto o del servizio nei trend di ricerca.

Una conditio sine qua non per avere
successo è la competenza, se l’offerta propone un servizio, oppure
la qualità del prodotto. Ma questa in realtà è solo una buona base
di partenza, rappresenta una garanzia per grandi introiti conseguenti
alle vendite online.

Una buona idea, di cui il business plan
dovrà tenere conto, è condurre una ricerca sui trend e le
opportunità che il web mette a disposizione dei venditori di un

2 Capire se è più intelligente un
sito per promuovere un servizio/prodotto geolocalizzato

Il secondo passo è una diretta
conseguenza del primo. La domanda che un aspirante operatore di
ecommerce deve porsi è: l’attività può ottenere più benefici
economici se il sito è web geolocalizzato?
Il concetto è piuttosto elementare. Se
il core business dell’attività è la consulenza finanziaria sarà
sufficiente fare una ricerca online digitando su google “consulente
finanziario” per rendersi conto che la ricerca ha prodotto quasi
due milioni di risultati. Questo significa che la concorrenza è
spietata e le probabilità di aggredire il mercato non sono molte.

Aggiungendo una geolocalizzazione la ricerca rivela che la
concorrenza si abbatte all’ordine delle migliaia. Questo criterio per
esempio si adatta bene alla vendita di prodotti. Coprire una
provincia o il mercato regionale riduce la fetta di mercato ma al
contempo permetterà al sito di scalare posizioni nella SERP perché
i competitor a livello locale sono di numero inferiore.

3 La burocrazia

Per aprire un’attività di e-commerce
bisogna seguire un iter burocratico e creare una società.
Trattandosi in ogni caso di un’attività commerciale, come accade
quando si apre un negozio in uno spazio fisico anche per un’attività
online c’è bisogno di avere la Partita IVA. Farsi seguire da un
commercialista esperto del settore è una buona prassi, per espletare
al meglio tutte le pratiche burocratiche. Il consulente suggerirà di
spedire una comunicazione informativa dell’attività nascente,
all’Inps e all’Agenzia delle Entrate; poi ci si iscriverà alla
Camera di Commercio e allo Sportello Unico delle Attività Produttive
del comune di residenza.

Per la vendita online di prodotti e
servizi è obbligatorio seguire passo passo non solo la normativa
italiana che disciplina la materia ma anche quella ed europea. Amche
in questo caso la consulenza di un commercialista è fondamentale per
non incorrere in errori. Una volta ottenuto il numero di Partita Iva
la società è creata: sarà dunque possibile emettere fattura.

4 Con o senza magazzino? La rivoluzione
del dropshipping

Da quando esiste il dropshipping le
attività di ecommerce hanno subito un repentino cambiamento.

I venditori che hanno un’attività di
ecommerce propongono ai potenziali clienti l’acquisto di prodotti
che non sono stoccati in un magazzino di proprietà del venditore
stesso. I prodotti infatti sono disponibili per gli utenti grazie ad
accordi commerciali tra produttori/grossisti ed esercenti. Il
venditore in pratica si pone come un tramite tra il fornitore della
merce stoccata in magazzino e il cliente. Non sarà lui a
preoccuparsi di consegnare la merce. La filiera di vendita è molto
più agile e consente al venditore di demandare ad altri il problema
dello stoccaggio e della distribuzione rendendo il procedimento
incredibilmente automatizzato. Si tagliano in questo modo non
soltanti i costi di mantenimento di un magazzino ma anche quelli che
in passato obbligavano all’acquisto di forniture minime.

5 Scegliere la piattaforma giusta per
vendere online

Ora è il momento di scegliere una
piattaforma per avviare l’attività di vendita online. Solitamente i
criteri per la scelta vincente sono conseguenti alla disponibilità
economica, dunque al budget di cui si dispone e il tipo di prodotto
che si offre agli utenti. La soluzione migliore è sempre quella di
affidarsi ad un’agenzia, a meno che il venditore non abbia ottime
competenze e tutto il know how necessario a creare una piattaforma
funzionale, intuitiva e di facile fruibilità da parte degli utenti.

Per iniziare senza avere intoppi e procedere con rapidità alla
vendita i nomi delle piattaforme più consigliate sono:



Le piattaforme possono essere open
source; sono quelle che hanno una licenza GNU, acronimodi General
Public License. Il codice sorgente in questo caso è libero. Tra le
più importanti piattaforme open source ricordiamo Magento e

Chi invece avesse a disposizione un
budget leggermente più importante potrebbe affittare la piattaforma
per vendere il prodotto/servizio. Si tratta di un servizio che si
ottiene con un noleggio mensile, che consente anche la disponibilità
di un pacchetto di servizi.

E poi c’è l’opzione della piattaforma
proprietaria. In questo caso il budget sale perché il sito viene
costruito exnovo da parte di un programmatore progettandolo e
disegnandolo sulle esigenze del cliente e del tipo di attività che
ha in mente.

Ma non c’è solo questa opportunità.

Si può infatti anche decidere di non avere una piattaforma propria o
in affitto, ma di appoggiarsi ad altri marketplace. E’ per esempio la
soluzione adottata da molti piccoli negozianti (alcune piccole
librerie spesso ricorrono a questa soluzione) che non riescono a
competere con il mercato online. I marketplace più importanti a cui
fare riferimento sono:


Si tratta di una strategia adottata
quando si vuole acquisire velocemente visibilità, quando è
necessario mettere alla prova il prodotto su un determinato mercato,
oppure per avviare rapidamente la vendita senza dover sostenere
subito grossi investimenti.

I marketplace sono di due tipi:

i marketplace verticali raccolgono
una tipologia di prodotto e hanno come riferimento una particolare
nicchia di mercato;
i marketplace orizzontali offrono
agli utenti prodotti diversificati: gli esempi non mancano: ebay,
amazon, Alibaba sono i più importanti.   

INTERNATIONAL (MDGs). It was aimed to provide




Designed based on five
essential components of any typical response to TB. This strategy made a way to
an effective treatment for 17 million patients by 2003 approximately in 180

1) Political
commitment with increased and sustained financing;

2) Case detection
among people presenting with symptoms in clinics through quality-assured

3) Standardized and
supervised treatment along with patient support;

4) Effective drug
supply and management system;

5) A standard
monitoring and evaluation system Framework-WHO, 1994, IUATLD, 19963



The first Global Plan
to Stop TB was launched to raise investments both domestically and internationally.
In 2002, Global Fund was established to strengthen national programmes by
giving access to international financing. As of latest update, about 4.6
billion US$ has been mobilised for TB care and control in eligible countries.4  



A boosted global
strategy to escalate efforts towards fulfilling targets set for Millennium
Development Goal (MDGs). It was aimed to provide high quality health services
and patient-centred care for all individuals with TB with the assurance of
universal access. 

Five additional
components of DOTS principles were incorporated:-

1) To address TB/HIV,
multiple-drug resistance (MDR-TB) and the needs of vulnerable populations;

2) To contribute to
health system strengthening based on primary health care;

3) To engage all care

4) To empower TB
patients and encourage community engagement;

5) To enable and
promote research



This intensified
strategy was approved by the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2014, aiming at “ending the
global TB epidemic” by 2035. TABLE 1 shows the summarised plan for the


To end the
global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95%

To ensure that no family
is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB.

To set interim milestones
for 2020, 2025, and 2030.



A call for the
governments to adapt and implement this strategy with efficinat financing and
tremendous commitment.

Emphasizes to serve
highly vulnerable populations to infections and those having minimal health
care access especially refugees and migrants.

An urge of engagement
within health sectors and other parties especially from the fields of justice,
social protection, immigration and labour.

A call for the WHO
Secretariat to help Member States adapt and execute the strategy, taking
account of the significance of skirting around the problem of
multidrug-resistant TB and promoting international collaboration. 





The strategy stands
on three pillars to promote integrated patient-centred care and prevention;
foster bold policies and supportive systems; encourage intensified research and



Monitoring and evaluation of government stewardship and accountability.

Strong coalition with civil society organizations and communities

Human rights, equity and ethics protection and promotion

A global collaboration with adaptation of the strategy and targets at
country level




Ø  Early
diagnosis of TB including universal drug-susceptibility testing, and systematic
screening of contacts and high-risk groups

Ø  Treatment
of all people with TB including drug-resistant TB, and patient support

Ø   Collaborative TB/HIV activities, and
management of comorbidities

Ø  Preventive
treatment of persons at high risk, and vaccination against TB



Ø  Political
commitment with adequate resources for TB care and prevention

Ø  Engagement
of communities, civil society organizations, and public and private care

Ø  Universal
health coverage policy, and regulatory frameworks for case notification, vital
registration, quality and rational use of medicines, and infection control

Ø   Social protection, poverty alleviation and
actions on other determinants of TB





Ø  Discovery,
development and rapid uptake of new tools, interventions and strategies

Ø  Research
to optimize implementation and impact, and promote innovations


The End TB Strategy “at a
glance” is shown in Box 1. The overall goal is to “End the global TB epidemic”,
and there are three high-level, overarching indicators and related targets (for
2030, linked to the SDGs, and for 2035) and milestones (for 2020 and 2025). The
three indicators are:

-the number of TB deaths
per year;

-the TB incidence rate
per year; and

-the percentage of
TB-affected households that experience catastrophic costs as a result of TB



THE END TB STRATEGY – adapted from
WHO, Global Tuberculosis Report 2017







A world
free of tuberculosis

–zero deaths, disease and
suffering due to tuberculosis


the global tuberculosis epidemic

FOR 2025

–75% reduction in
tuberculosis deaths (compared with 2015);
–50% reduction in
tuberculosis incidence rate (compared with 2015)

than 55 tuberculosis cases per 100 000 population)

–No affected families
facing catastrophic costs due to tuberculosis

FOR 2035

–95% reduction in
tuberculosis deaths (compared with 2015)
–90% reduction in
tuberculosis incidence rate (compared with 2015)

than 10 tuberculosis cases per 100 000 population)

–No affected families
facing catastrophic costs due to tuberculosis

TABLE 1 The post-2015 global TB strategy adapted from WHO, Global
strategy and targets for tuberculosis prevention, care and control beyond 2015, http://www.who.int/entity/tb/post2015_TBstrategy.pdf?ua=1






standardise the management of TB at all levels of care in Malaysia with a view
to improving patient care and preventing the emergence of MDR-TB. Below are
some recommendations outlined in the 3rd Edition of Tuberculosis
Management published by the Malaysian Health Technology Assessment Section

Recommendation 1

• High risk groups should be considered to be screened for active

• HIV screening should be offered to all patients with tuberculosis.

Recommendation 2

• Light emitting diode-based fluorescence microscopy (LED FM) should be
used as the

preferred method over the conventional Ziehl-Neelsen light microscopy in

pulmonary tuberculosis in both high and low volume laboratories.

•  In  implementing 
LED  FM,  the 
need  of  laboratory 
staff  training,  standard 

procedures and appropriate quality assurance should be addressed.

Recommendation 3

• Nucleic  Acid  Amplification 
Tests  (molecular  methods 
endorsed  by  World 

Organization) can be performed for the detection of Mycobacterium
tuberculosis from

clinical specimens.

Recommendation 4

•  Commercial  serological 
assay should not be usedto diagnose pulmonary and

extrapulmonary TB.

Recommendation 5

• Sputum induction should be considered to establish the diagnosis in
patients suspected

to have pulmonary tuberculosis who are smear negative or unable to
produce sputum,

whenever appropriate.

• Gastric lavage or bronchoscopy may be considered in patient who is not
suitable for

sputum induction.

Recommendation 6

• Fixed-Dose Combinations (FDCs) are preferred to separate-drugs
combination for the

treatment of tuberculosis.

 • In patients who develop
toxicity, intolerance or contraindication to specific component

drugs, FDCs can be substituted with separate-drug regimens.

Recommendation 7

•  All extra pulmonary
tuberculosis should be treated with anti-tuberculosis treatment for a

minimum of six months except for bone (including spine) and joint
tuberculosis for 6 – 9

months and tuberculous meningitis for 9 – 12 months.

•  Streptomycin should be used
instead of ethambutol in adult TB meningitis.

Recommendation 8

•  Screening  for 
tuberculosis  should  be 
done  among  all 
close  contacts  (especially

household contacts) and high risk group.

Recommendation 9

•  All healthcare facilities
should have administrative, engineering and personal protective

measures  in  place 
to  reduce  tuberculosis 
occupational  risk  of 
healthcare  workers.






Tuberculosis is fatal, dreadful and has high potential to cause dire
consequences if it is not carefully managed. This scenario analogues an adage
which depicts prevention is better than cure. People suffering from pulmonary
TB normally will be contagious up to about two to three weeks into their course
of treatment. It is not mandatory for isolation during this time, however, some
basic preventive measures are vital to avoid TB spreading to family and friends
in our surroundings. Some ways are being outlined below: 

keep a distance or minimize mingling
in public or crowd

take an off from work, school or
college until you are advised safe to resume by your TB treatment team

always remember to cover your
mouth when sneezing, coughing or laughing, it is feasible to use a
disposable tissue in such circumstances

bear in mind that it is crucial to
dispose any used tissues – preferably in a sealed plastic bag 

if possible, open windows  at the areas you spend time  to ensure a good ventilation of fresh air

try to avoid sleeping in a shared
room – you may cough or sneeze in your sleep without your knowledge – opt
for a separate room

if you experience persistent coughs
or blood in sputum, immediately consult a doctor or a physician and strictly
avoid self-medication or OTC drugs

know your medications well- consult
your TB treatment team to get enlightened about the basic info on interactions
of certain drugs before commencing any treatment course

plan a balanced nutritious diet to
avoid side-effects of a medication and to ensure a healthy and destressed

be disciplined when it comes to
taking your medicines – take your medications exactly according to doses
prescribed by the physician and it is mandatory to complete the whole course of

basically, taking medication for six
months is the best way to ensure the TB bacteria are killed, however it is
always the best to follow what is prescribed

Ted consequence of relative deprivation of the

Ted Gurr (1970) defined
relative deprivation as a distinction between what the individual think he
deserves and what he believes he could get. To put it differently, it is a
disparity between ambitions and accomplishments. To illustrate, accomplishments
in education might fuel ambitions of the younger generation but they disappear in
frustration from unemployment which can produce in a large-scale social unrest.

Indeed, there are multiple factors to consider, such as ethnical and regional
boundaries, societal classes and proportion of minorities. For instance, Maluku
is a province of Eastern Indonesia that experienced violence in so called
“Maluku Wars”. It was more an intensified violence between neighbouring
religious group of Christians and Muslims rather than an individually motivated
act of rebellion (Goss, 2000:9-10). The
Christians were originally privileged and the process equalization left
Christian to feel deprived against the growing political and economic influence
of Muslim group. As a consequence, Indonesia occurred in the bloodiest
religious unrest in its history. The revolt was a consequence of relative
deprivation of the Christian group in their expectations to remain their
traditional privileged status quo and the Muslim group accomplishment to
achieve equalization.


A similarly to relative deprivation, Esteban and Ray (1994) analyse an occurrence of polarisation, which
can be observed when two groups features a significant inter-group
heterogeneity in combination with intra-group homogeneity. Therefore, economic
polarisation can be presented in traditionally homogenous societies and in
contrast, ethnic polarisation can be presented in economically more equal
societies. However, Østby (2008:144) notes that
in general, economic inequality is not satisfactory cause of violent conflict
but instead, a hybrid model that combines both types of polarisation. Esteban
and Ray (1994) primarily identifies the structure of tensions. As a result,
they provide an explanation that polarisation is an outcome related to the
tension that group of individuals feel from one another, such a tension is
powered by the feeling of within-group identity. Moreover, the authors
highlight the fact that ethnic polarisation involves only few ethnicities
within a region. If a regional society consists of a large number of
identities, then it is more accurate to use term ethnic fractionalisation. As a
consequence, it is polarisation that initiates the violent conflict rather than
societal fractionalisation either in ethnic or economic structures (Reynal-Querol, 2005).   

Introduction a similar hormone. Human STC shares


Homeostasis is the balance of
a consistent internal environment that is regulated by changes internally and
externally. It is controlled by the nervous system and the secretion of
hormones. Internal and external triggers send chemical messages throughout the
body that secrete hormones that are required for important overall regulation. For
example, the hypothalamus works together with other parts of the body to regulate
the body’s temperature, such as sweat glands and blood vessels. Water regulation is controlled by
homeostasis and is regulated by ingesting fluids when thirst is apparent. And
glucose regulation, hormones secreted from the pancreas help control blood sugar
levels, these hormones are called insulin and glucagon that are released when
glucose levels in the body are too high or too low. Stanniocalcin (STC;
previously named hypocalcin or teleocalcin) is a glycoprotein hormone that was
thought to be unique to teleostean and holostean fish (Ishibashi, 2002). Although, it is now known
that humans share a similar hormone. Human STC shares 60% identity and
80% similarity with fish STC (Zhang et
al. 2000). The role of stanniocalcin will be explained in detail including
comparisons of the hormone in bony fish and new studies including STC2 in
mammals and humans.

corpuscles of Stannius

The corpuscles of Stannius (CS) are small endocrine glands that
are generally located on the ventral surface of the kidneys of bony fishes (see fig. 1). They synthesize and
secrete stanniocalcin (STC) (Yeung et al.

2011) which is used primarily to protect against hypercalcemia. Initially,
the glands were mistakenly believed to be the piscine equivalents of mammalian
adrenal glands due to their intimate anatomical association with kidneys (Yeung et al 2011). The theory is that
stanniocalcin in bony fish is exclusive as humans and other mammals don’t have
the small endocrine glands. More recent studies comparing fish STC and human
STC suggest that certain human or mammalian STC has similar function to the fish,
and fish STC also has similar functions to mammals. Due to their amino acid
sequence similarity, many studies have been conducted by administering fish STC
or human/mammalian STC and focusing on how the hormone reacts to controls.  

in bony fish

main function of STC in fish is to prevent hypercalcemia, and a rise in serum
calcium levels is the primary stimulus for secretion (Madsen et al., 1998) In bony fish, the primary organs for
osmoregulation are the gills or the intestines, their kidneys can’t secrete
hypertonic urine so they use the gills and intestines to help fluid regulation.

Unlike terrestrial mammals, fish face the challenging task of balancing the
dramatic ionic/osmotic gradients between the aquatic environment and their body
fluids (Guh, 2015). The
gills have a large epithelial surface area that act as a respiratory organ, the
same as the kidney works in terrestrial animals. The gills aid ion
transportation, internal pH balance and secretions of nitrogenous waste and
maintenance. They have a similar function to the cells in a mammalian stomach
that secrete hydrochloric acid. Fish STC hormone compared to human STC hormone,
although similar in protein molecules, differ slightly in function. Fish STC is
known for its regulatory effect on calcium and phosphate transport by the gills,
gut and kidneys (Wagner, 2006). The function and secretion of STC in different species of
bony fish has been researched in depth, concentrating on how the hormone
transports gill calcium around the body and whether or not different species of
fish have different internal strategies of balancing and transporting gill
calcium. Current studies suggest Rainbow trout is more complex than in other
species of fish. Gill calcium transport and passive immunization was tested in
three different species of fish at three different times of the year. Rainbow
trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) was
compared to Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha)
and parr (young freshwater salmon). After the first experiment that
monitored gill Ca2+ transport, the Rainbow trout shown no
relationship between the two parameters in correlation plasma levels of STC,
prolactin and growth hormone. The same outcome occurred in experiment number
two and three. Although, during the first experiment, attempts were made to determine
passive immunization with STC antiserum that could neutralize endogenous STC,
this would significantly raise the rate of GCAT (gill Ca2+
transport). STC antiserum at a dosage of 10ml/kg elevated transport compared to
saline and NRS (normal rabbit serum) injected trout (see fig. 2). The assumption that certain species of salmonid have
a more complex form of STC can be neither true or false, during the study the
rate of gill Ca2+ transport (GCAT) over the three species was
measured three times weekly, they appeared to have similar peaks of GCAT that almost
mimics one another (see fig. 3). The study
focused on Rainbow trout compared to the other two species, over the course of
the three experiments they found no significant relationship between the plasma
STC levels and the rate of GCAT in the group of Rainbow trout. The study shown
that the correlation between plasma, prolactin and GCAT may be of significance and should
therefore be investigated in more detail. (molecular and cellular

in mammals

the corpuscles of Stannius do not exist in mammals, it was long assumed that
STC and its physiological effects on calcium and phosphate homeostasis were
unique to fish (Madsen et al., 1997).

STC in mammals has recently been discovered and is at early stages of discovery,
discussing the overall role and function of mammalian STC is yet to be
concluded, although, new research can give an insight into explaining mammalian
STC and how it differs compared to fish STC. In a recent study conducted by the
Department of Growth and Development, Hiroshima University, scientists tested mammalian
STC focusing on bones, skeletal tissues and other tissues. Mouse and rat models
were cloned using human STC, the results shown high levels of human STC in the
liver, heart, adipose tissue, mammary glands and testis. They concluded that physiological
and pathological processes are regulated by human STC levels and that calcium
and phosphate levels may be the reason why STC is synthesized and secreted. Only
further evidence of human STC tested on other mammals can help determine
exactly what the hormone can manipulate in certain species (Yoshiko, 2004).


In another study that claims to be the first to
examine in detail the effects of a mammalian form of STC in a mammalian model,
a study was conducted based on renal phosphate excretion in the rat. During the
study, a group of rats where anesthetized and their urine was collected
throughout the experiment in six intervals. During interval 2, human STC was
dissolved and administered to the rats, blood samples were also taken. At the
end of the experiment the rats were sacrificed and their kidneys were
processed. A second study was then conducted to examine the effects of human STC
on proximal tubular Na/Pi cotransporter activity. Human STC was
given with a concentration of 5 nmol/kg of body weight or, in control animals,
solvent alone. The rats where killed after 80 minutes and their kidneys were
removed. The results shown that human STC had no effect on renal blood flow,
glomerular filtration rate, urine flow and mean arterial pressure over the
course of the three dosages. Plasma levels of Na+, K+,
and Ca2 had no change during the course of the overall experiment in
the hSTC-treated and control groups of rats.

Previous studies have used
fish STC in certain mammals and have found that it caused hypercalcemia and hypocalcaemia
when given to rats. The kidney in the mammalian body is one of many tissues
that produce the protein in mammals, so it is unknown yet if STC is targeted
there renally.  

Case Studies between human STC (hSTC) and fish STC

The mammalian homolog to fish STC was discovered in
1995 and has resulted in progressively growing interest ever since as to its
possible role in humans (Wagner, 2006). Human
STC was found to be 247 amino acids long and to share 73% amino acid sequence
similarity with fish STC (Olsen et al,.

2006). Scientists have discovered that the STC hormone isn’t only produced by
the corpuscles of Stannius in fish, the kidneys in a human body prove to be a
possible source for secreting a similar functioning hormone. Human STC is known
to have been found in different regions of the body, suggesting that it may be an
inhibitor for mineral metabolism. In a recent study, goldfish were injected
with human STC and Salmon STC, another group was injected with saline. The results
shown that gill calcium transport was significantly reduced in comparison to saline-injected
controls, although, gill calcium transport was still noticeable in goldfish
that had been given human STC and salmon STC, proving that the antibodies of
recombinant STC had an effect (see fig. 4).

Scientists will also try and manipulate STC by
administering other hormones that may have an effect on STC secretion. For example,
calcitriol was recently used in a study to show the effects of fish STC (STC1)
and human STC (STC2). The hormone was given to rats over the course of 6 days,
the study focused on the changes of STC levels in the ovaries and kidneys, these
organs were chosen due to have demonstrated high levels of STC1. Changes were measured
by plasma and Ca2+ levels. The results shown that the level of STC1
increased in the kidneys and STC2 decreased (see fig. 6). This supports the theory that STC1 and STC2 are part
of the same stanniocalcin family, and that anti-hypercalcaemic and anti-hypocalcaemic
reactions were restoring normocalcemia. When analysing STC1 and STC2 levels in
the ovaries, both hormone was highly expressed although no changes occurred, this
may suggest an ovary related STC hormone working independently of the calcium













When Stanniocalcin was discovered in the human genome, it
was unsure as to whether the hormone displayed the same properties as
stanniocalcin found in fish. It has always been thought that stanniocalcin in
fish is used as an anti-hypercalcaemic glycoprotein (http://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/ajpgi.1998.274.1.G96).

Whether it had the same effect on humans was a question many scientists found
themselves asking. When researching the topic, fish STC has clearly been
studied for some time and the information available is widely spread. Although,
human STC is more difficult to uncover, due to the nature of the topic. Now, there
are many different studies surrounding human STC. I found that recent studies
replicated in terms methods and materials used to carry out a scientific study
on human or mammalian STC, although, the results differed across all findings,
and some studies found evidence of new information regarding human STC and fish
STC, such as STC1 and STC2 found in the ovaries of rats over the course of
calcitriol treatment remaining unchanged, suggesting the ovaries are capable of
controlling STC levels independently. As mentioned, research and studies
surrounding human and mammalian STC are of a minority compared to fish STC,
future studies will be the only way scientists can answer questions surrounding
this interesting topic.

In in the novel. Despite the difference

In both ‘A Thousand Splendid
Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini and ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy, the
authors both use their own individual narratives to demonstrate the unjust
position of females in their respective societies, be it in modern Afghanistan or
Victorian England. Both novels similarly explore and condemn the prevalent
patriarchy present in these societies, and question the inequitable social
expectations of women that are reinforced differently by the covert and
explicit tyrannical masculine characters within the novels. Both texts support
the idea that the imbalance of power between men and women is one of the most
persistent issues in literature. The authors themselves often take on an
intrusive role as narrator to reinforce this idea of gender inequality, and one
of the main aims of the novels is to directly inform both modern and past
audiences of the gender imbalance, and ultimately elicit sympathy for the
female characters in the novel.


Despite the difference in
culture and era, both the Victorian and 20th Century Afghanistan
societies were focused heavily on patriarchy. In a similar way, both Hardy and
Hosseini explore the expectations of female behaviour that is imposed upon
women in their respective societies. The female characters in the novel, Tess,
Mariam and Laila were forced to suffer, sacrifice and endure at the hand of
their male counterparts. The first relevant issue present in both texts is the
double standards enforced by society between men and women. This hypocrisy is
highlighted by Hardy through the confessions that Angel and Tess reveal post
marriage. Here, Angel admits to Tess he has committed a sin, which in the eyes
of a modern audience is equal to Tess’s. Tess forgives Angel immediately, yet
due to Tess being a woman, Angel refused to forgive her sin and in turn, left
Tess. Hardy relates this in the text when Angel simply calls his own sin a
‘folly’. Angel is trivialising his sin, suggesting that it isn’t of relevance
and shouldn’t be taken notice of. This immediately reflects not only Angel’s
attitude to his own sin, to which he feels he hasn’t completely done much
wrong, but this additionally reflects how the Victorian society will view Angel’s
sin. For men to have relations with women outside of marriage was more accepted
socially, men were in power and were not shunned for engaging in this kind of
activity out of wedlock. However, young Tess would receive the opposite
treatment from society, and more than likely shunned by her community, which is
reflected by the way in which Angel reacts to her sin. It is apparent here that
Angel falls victim to complying with societies idealistic expectations of
women, which would have been heavily influenced by Christianity in Victorian
England – women must remain a “pure, virgin woman”. This attitude however is
contradictory to what the bible teaches the Lord ‘s Prayer gives readers a
subtle reminded that Christianity is all about forgiveness and wants to remind
the Victorian reader of the true moral values of Christianity. Up until this
point in the novel, Angel refuses to see Tess for her flaws and continues to
picture her as an idealised version of herself, calling her names such as
‘Artemis’ the goddess of chastity. This however is ironic as Artemis was the
also the god of childbirth and fertility, yet this idea is rejected by Angel
and he focuses on the idealistic notion of a woman remaining pure and chaste. The
irony of the Bible being the cause of man’s downfall is clear here. Tess
realises Angel is creating this image of herself and retaliates when she says
to Angel ‘She who you love is not my real self’.


When Angel and Tess meet,
Hardy makes a Biblical allusion when he compares Angel and Tess to Adam and
Eve, which foreshadowed how fun is inevitable where a woman is to blame, when
he says ‘as if they were Adam and Eve’. This simile could be Hardy be
insinuating how Angel and Tess, like Adam and Eve were created by God to be
together, which presents a sense of hope for the pair. However, in the story of
Adam and Eve, Eve will eventually convince Adam to sin. This again relates back
to the illusion that throughout history, it will always be the woman at fault
in the relationship, which the Victorian high power men and women of society
believe, which creates a definite sense of double standards created here, as
there is a presumption women cannot be given a position of power like men can.
In this passage, Tess is also referred to by Hardy as ‘Mary Magdalene’ who was
a reformed prostitute and accepted by the Lord. This could be implemented by
Hardy to introduce the idea of forgiveness and acceptance of women in society,
as although Mary Magdalene had sinned, she was forgiven and accepted for whom
she is. A social feminist critic would view the male characters in this novel as
misogynistic, and this self-entitled hubris is backed up by the patriarchal
nature and social constructs of society.


This male domination over
women reaches its peak when Alec rapes Tess. This is a true symbol of the
little to no power women had, shown through Tess’s vulnerability. Alec proves
this when after attempting to persuade Tess to sleep with him, he ‘settled the
matter by clasping his arm around here as he desired’. Not only is he
physically entrapping her through clasping his arm around her, but he
establishes his power he ‘settles the matter’ ‘as he desired’, this is
significant as to how men took control over women of the time and easily
dominated inferior females. This male domination over women is also reflected
in the sub characters of the novel. When Angel announces his love for Tess, Tess’s
female friends Retty and Marion are both heartbroken. Results in ‘poor
little Retty Priddle hev tried to drown herself’ and Marian becoming an
alcoholic. This signifies the sheer dependence that woman of the era had
towards dominant male characters.


The theme of double
standards between men and women is also explored in A Thousand Splendid Suns,
through the relationship between Mariam and Rasheed. The first key form of male
domination over women present in the Afghani society is the arranged marriage
in Chapter Eight. Mariam was arranged by a male who she wrongly trusted, Jalil,
to marry Rasheed, a man she had never met, against her will. However, society’s
strict standards of the attitude and propriety of women meant that Mariam was
silenced. This treatment was not the same for men, sons would always be
partnered with a suitor of their choice, and enforces the notion that marriage
was not for love but for social satisfaction and image. Additionally, Mariam
discovers that Rasheed possesses magazines featuring indecent images of women.
This is shocking to Mariam as Rasheed preaches the expectations that women
should remain pure yet he himself is impure through his objectification of
women through the pornography. The idea of forced marriages continues in Tess
of D’Ubervilles through Tess’s controversial marriages. Tess feels heavily
inclined to marry both Angel due to his persistence and declarations of love,
showering her in idealistic compliments and treating her like a goddess.  Then in another way, Tess feels like she must
marry Alec due to her poor economic situation and his seducing prospect of
money. This is reinforced by her own mother, when she arrives home, carrying
Alec’s child, and her mother is horrified to find out Tess has not accepted to
marry Alec. She states ‘Why didn’t ye think of doing some good for your family
instead o’ thinking only of yourself?’. This highlights how a woman was not
expected to do anything for self-gain or whatever they wished, but to serve
men, their superiors. Tess’s mother wanting her to sacrifice her happiness and
marry someone she does not love proves that a woman’s position in society was
more important than true happiness.



The oppression of women is
apparent in the Afghanistan society through the extremist rules and regulations
set out in society for woman to remain in order. From the very first
introduction of Mariam in the novel, she recalls her Nana being named a ‘harami’
or bastard by her superior male, Jalil, for simply breaking piece of a tea set.
It is immediately made apparent by Hosseini through this how women are treated
not only with an unjust disrespect, but shamed for being inferior to their male
counterparts. This sets a precedent for the theme of shame throughout A
Thousand Splendid Suns, with the use of ‘harami’ being less of a cast off
derogatory comment but a standpoint for how women are viewed in the eye of
Afghani society, low status and undeserving of high levels respect.


Public expectations of
female propriety are prevalent in the expectations of women within these novels.
This is clear when it is stated “they want us to operate in
burqa,” this is a clear condemnation of Afghanistan’s extreme social
regulations by Hosseini.  Another example
of the unjust nature of the expectation of women in society is Jalil’s many legitimate
wives. These wives reinforce the obscene cultural expectations and how the
women are expected to be comfortable ‘sharing’ a male partner with other women.
Due to their lower position in the patriarchy, women are not given a voice in
society, yet women comply with these expectations and highlight the nature of
an anti-feminist character in the novel.



The issue of relationship
abuse is apparent throughout the both novels. Whereas Rasheed explicit physical
dominance compared to subtle mental domination of Angel. Rasheed physically
abuses Mariam, in the most horrific of ways, such as when he uses domestic
violence towards Mariam, making her chew pebbles for simply boiling rice too
long. This is significant when he uses the imperative command ‘Put. These. In
your mouth.’ He also puts a complete abusive hold over Mariam when she wants to
escape Rasheed, when he says “You try this again and I will find you…And,
when I do, there isn’t a court in this godforsaken country that will hold me
accountable for what I will do.”  It could be argued that Angel also
abuses Tess without even realising it, through being unrealistic in his
expectations of Tess and forever trying to maintain an idealized ‘child of
nature’ version of Tess and does not give her respect of discovering who she
really is, despite her attempts to come clean. No overt domination yet
continuing expectations of Tess that is established by his status and Christian
values established in his society.



the overwhelming presentation of male dominance in both novels, both Hardy and
Hosseini also offer moments of female empowerment at the very end of the texts.

first time any female empowerment comes into a Thousand Splendid Suns is when
the unlikely friendship of Laila and Mariam develops. Both women were unable to
settle their differences throughout the novel, yet there is a key turning point
for the pair, as although Rasheed’s dominance over the woman was intended by
him to pin the ladies against each other, the two women actually came together
and formed a friendship. Hosseini presents the power of the feminine likeness
that males in this novel did not possess. Through the exchange of peace
offerings, Laila and Mariam are able to come to a new understanding. Mariam’s
gift of girl clothes shows Laila that she no longer resents Laila and Aziza’s
presence. Laila returns the favour by suggesting they ‘drink chai on the porch’.
These exchanges are symbols for the change in their relationship. Their
alienation from Rasheed no longer pits them against each other but unites them.
They seal their friendship when the two ‘sinners have us a cup of chai in the
yard’. They put this friendship to the test when they unite to try and escape
Rasheed’s dominance. When this fails, Mariam and Laila successfully murder
Rasheed by hitting him with a shovel. This finalises the juxtaposition between
the beginning of the novel and the female empowerment present at the end. It is
proof of the women coming together to stand up to violence and reject the
domination of their abusive male.


final theme of female empowerment is present in Tess of D’Urbervilles. In the
beginning of the novel, Tess could be considered noble to take on the ‘adult
role’ at the fault of her father or superior male, when he gets too drunk to go
to work. The dispossession of country people was a common occurrence and forced
young women like Tess into work.  Additionally, Tess fails to react to her
mother’s imposition that she must marry Alec even though he raped her. Here,
she has stood up for her own morals and self-beliefs by refusing to conform to
the social idealisations of the Victorian society. Finally, at the very end of
the novel, like Laila and Mariam, Tess retaliates to her ongoing oppression and
abuse by her superior male by stabbing Alec in the chest. This is the ultimate
moment of female empowerment within the novel and is a true representation of
how relentless abuse can lead to female empowerment. Across
these two endings, the accepted pattern of submissive women giving in to
dominant men is interrupted, and Tess’s act in the eyes of Hardy is heroic.

Praedictio Infrastructure Maintenance in Production environment. With

Praedictio : Machine Learning



Praedictio is a business
predictions framework that provides powerful predictive analytics by analysing
the business data scattered across different repositories in an organization.
Praedictio framework will enable developers and data scientists to integrate
data driven ML models to business applications quickly and easily with powerful
tools to aggregate data, do data modeling, training and deploying.


Praedictio can run on-premise or
on any cloud platform and serve highly accurate business predictions that will
enable the business owners and decision makers to make timely decisions on
their business.



Machine Learning is growing it’s
popularity in a wide spectrum of business domains to cater the need of
providing customer focused, accurate and robust business insights. One of the
biggest challenges in creating and maintaining a Machine Learning based
prediction system is orchestrating the Model Creation, Learning, Model
Validation and Deployment and Infrastructure Maintenance in Production
environment.   With the high volatility of data and improved
learning models deploying fresh models become trickier.  Most machine learning frameworks and systems
only address model training or 
deployment and connectivity between different components is done ad hoc
via glue code or custom scripts.  Praedictio integrates the aforementioned compoents
into one platform simplifying the platform configuration and reducing time to
production  while increasing scalability.


Praedictio introduces a modular
architecture to simplify model development and deployment across frameworks and
applications. Furthermore, by introducing caching, batching, and adaptive model
selection techniques, Praedictio reduces prediction latency and improves
prediction throughput, accuracy, and robustness without modifying the
underlying machine learning frameworks. The platform also can be Integrated
with enterprise systems, while satisfying stringent data security, privacy, or
regulatory requirements.

Platform Design and


The Praedictio design adopts the
following principles:


One machine learning platform for many learning tasks.


There is a large and growing
number of machine learning frameworks. Each framework has strengths and
weaknesses and many are optimized for specific models or application domains
(e.g., computer vision). Thus, there is no dominant framework and often
multiple frameworks may be used for a single application.  In a situation where training data grows
requirement arises for a framework with distributed training leading to change
of frameworks once selected as the best available in Machine Learning.  Even though common model exchange formats had
been introduced in the past due to the rapid technological advancements and
fact that additional errors arising from parallel implementations for training
and serving these common message formats didn’t gain popularity.


We chose to use TensorFlow and
Scikit Learn as the trainer but the platform design is not limited to these
specific librarariesy.
One factor in choosing (or dismissing) a machine learning platform is its
coverage of existing algorithms. Scikit holds a wide variety of pre implemented
ML algorithms and TensorFlow provides full flexibility for implementing any
type of model architecture.


Continuous training.

Most machine learning pipelines
execute the components in a sequential manner leading to all the components to
be re-executed  with the growth of data
to be fed.  This becomes a bottleneck
since most of the real world use cases require continuous training. Preadictio
supports several continuation strategies that result from the interaction
between data visitation and warm-starting options.


Easy-to-use configuration and tools.

Providing an admin and
configuration framework is only possible if components also share utilities
that allow them to communicate and share assets. A Praedictio user is only
exposed to one admin panel to manage all components.


Production-level reliability and scalability.

Only a small fraction of a
machine learning platform is the actual code implementing the training
algorithm. If the platform handles and encapsulates the complexity of machine
learning deployment, engineers and scientists have more time to focus on the modeling

Product Road Map

The Praedictio platforms road map has been envisioned to
deliver the core components in an iterative manner.


MVP – Prediction Serving System and API gateway

Alpha – Training pipeline , Admin panel

Beta – Action Engine

Architecture and


Figure 1 shows a high-level component overview
and architecture of the machine learning platform and highlights the components
discussed in the following sections:

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