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Ahamarshan Jn (ash)
Science and Technology - Scholar - University of Oxford
Science and Technology - Scholar - University of Oxford

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Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) a.k.a Bone Morphogenetic Protein and its role in ageing has been challenged. #stemcells   #ageing  

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Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos

In a world first, Chinese scientists have reported editing the genomes of human embryos. The results are published1 in the online journal Protein & Cell and confirm widespread rumours that such experiments had been conducted—rumours that  sparked a high-profile debate last month2, 3 about the ethical implications of such work.

In the paper, researchers led by Junjiu Huang, a gene-function researcher at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, tried to head off such concerns by using 'non-viable' embryos, which cannot result in a live birth, that were obtained from local fertility clinics. The team attempted to modify the gene responsible for β-thalassaemia, a potentially fatal blood disorder, using a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR/Cas9. The researchers say that their results reveal serious obstacles to using the method in medical applications.


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【Birth Control May Alter The Structure Of A Woman's Brain】 |

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Chromothripsis impact on the reproduction and child health.

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"If Americans came from British people, then why are there still British people?"
Take a biology course if you are still asking the same questions.

#theoryofevolution   #evolutionisreal  

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Please help us defend our trademark from Groupon and support GNOME!  

"GNOME" the trademark has been a familiar name for the past 17 years in the Free and Open Source Software community. The GNOME project has been a staple desktop for GNU/Linux and BSD desktops. It was the default desktop for Sun Microsystems workstation class machines, continues to be the default desktop for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server distributions, and it is the default desktop of Fedora and Debian. SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service solution for the retail industry is based on GNOME. GNOME technology can be found in TVs, tablets, phones, consumer devices, and in common software everywhere.

Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed is available on our groupon page linked). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.

We want to show that our brand matters and that you care. Of the 28 trademark applications Groupon filed, we have to file formal proceedings to oppose 10 of them by December 3, 2014. Help us raise the funds to fight back and most of all call public attention to this terrible behavior by Groupon. Help us make sure that when people hear about GNOME software they learn about freedom and not proprietary software. Our counsel has advised us that we will need $80,000 to oppose the registration of the first set of 10 applications. If we are able to defend the mark without spending this amount, we will use the remaining funds to bolster and improve GNOME. Please help us raise the money to protect GNOME's trademark and strengthen Free Software!

Please donate here:

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The Hallmarks of Cancer: 9 - Reprogramming Energy Metabolism

The 9th article in my series is finally published! To coincide with this, I also want to announce my (newish) website - Jargonwall ( For now, it is an archive of all my science articles, easily searchable and under my own control. It feels really good to have my own website, and have my own 'home' for my outreach efforts. I will continue posting about science here on G+, but I will also use Jargonwall for longer articles explaining detailed molecular biology processes minus the jargon. I don’t have any ads on my site, and I’ve also made sure that it displays well on mobiles and tablets. I hope you enjoy it! 

The Hallmarks of Cancer are ten anti-cancer defense mechanisms that are hardwired into our cells, that must be breached by a cell on the path towards cancer. The Ninth Hallmark of Cancer is defined as "Reprogramming Energy Metabolism". You can read the detailed article here (, and the previous Hallmarks of Cancer articles can be found here ( 

✤ Uncontrolled growth defines cancer. Growth requires a cancer’s cells to replicate all of their cellular components; their DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids must all be doubled in order to divide into daughter cells. Of course, this process requires energy. Cancer cells must adjust their metabolism accordingly, to enable this frenzied growth.

✤ Cancer cells switch their metabolic pathway, from normal respiration to a process known as aerobic glycolysis. Cancer cells consume more than 20 times as much glucose compared to normal cells, but do so through an inefficient metabolic pathway. Why do cancer cells do this, when they can obtain sixteen times as much ATP per molecule of glucose by opting for normal respiration?

✤ Although cancer cells produce far less ATP per molecule of glucose, they produce it much faster. Cancer cells produce ATP almost a hundred times faster than normal cells. It is essentially a cost-benefit calculation, where the benefits of speedy ATP production outweigh the costs associated with inefficient glucose breakdown. Cancer cells undergoing aerobic glycolysis also produce many intermediate biosynthetic precursors. These molecules are used as building blocks for the production of proteins, lipids and DNA required by the rapidly dividing cells.

✤ Cancer cells are addicted to these metabolic precursors; the enzymes that control these pathways are often over-expressed or mutated in cancer cells. This addiction is exploited in chemotherapy strategies. For example, 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, and pemetrexed inhibit the biosynthesis of DNA precursor molecules. The high glucose consumption of cancer cells is also exploited when imaging cancer; Positron Emission Tomography (PET) combined with Computer Tomography (PET/CT) is used to detect the absorption of the glucose analogue fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) by tumours, and has a better than 90% sensitivity and specificity for the detection of metastases of most cancers.

✤  Cancer cells do not function in isolation. Tumours are complex tissues, made up not only of cancer cells, but blood vessels, immune cells and other bystanders. These healthy cells are co-opted and subverted to perform tasks that support cancer progression. The cellular pathways described in the Hallmarks of Cancer are not only interconnected, the body’s own cells, when trapped inside the tumour microenvironment, engage in complementary metabolic pathways, supporting and encouraging cancer cell survival and growth.

Image adapted from Jens Maus, Wikimedia Public Domain (
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Nietzsche is obviously talking about religious people here.

#nietzsche   #atheism   #antitheism   #rationality   #reason   #illusion   #godisntreal  
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