public posts

The select public posts from syn·op·sis, written and reviewed by iSci students at McMaster University. Each post is interdisciplinary in nature, and a wide variety of subject matter is covered. So sit back, relax, and start learning.

Vioxx: The Controversy

Figure 1: Mode of action of non-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that target both COX-1 and COX-2.

As a strong analgesic with a significantly lower risk of stomach pain, rofecoxib (Vioxx) was a wildly successful painkiller with a worldwide annual revenue of 2.5 billion USD. However, following mounting evidence and public discovery that Vioxx doubles the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke, Merck & Co. withdrew the drug from the market on Read the full article…


The Shrinking Proton

The model of a proton

For decades there has been a unanimous agreement in the scientific community regarding the size of the proton (Lambert, 2013). Through various experiments, the size of the proton has been proven to be 0.8768 femtometers in radius. This value was widely accepted and considered to be as absolute as the speed of light in a Read the full article…






Quantum Teleportation

Although Captain Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise never actually spoke the phrase, “Beam me up, Scotty”, it is known by many as a hallmark of the Star Trek series. In the show Scotty wielded the power of the transporter, a fictional machine capable of instantly moving Captain Kirk and his crew from the Enterprise onto Read the full article…



The Origin of Viruses

Throughout history, viruses have been one of the major causes of disease and infection within humans, and have been responsible for a multitude of epidemics, including avian flu, the Spanish flu, and most recently, swine flu (Nicholls 2006). Viruses are unique organisms in that they lack the ability to replicate independently and require a host Read the full article…


The Applications of Cochlear Bioelectric Potential as Medical Device Power Sources

Current developments in sustainable and renewable energies focus mainly on bringing electrical energy to the masses. In these cases, technological development has not yet advanced to the point of making these energy sources efficient enough to be portable. This proves to be problematic for portable technologies, which require recharging or battery replacements. This is not Read the full article…


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