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.

Bedtime Procrastination

Before you begin reading, please take the time to respond to each of the following nine phrases with a simple yes or no (Kroese et al., 2014). I go to bed later than I intended to. I go to bed late, even if I have to get up early in the morning. If it is Read the full article…


Fly Away Little Salamander

Humans have long been fascinated by flight. As a dominant terrestrial species, the notion of sustained suspension in the air has created a wonder that transcends both cultures and generations (Alexander, 2002). While the flight of birds has created an entire industry, from bird watching to backyard feeders (Tobalske, 2006), many other species have mastered Read the full article…



Do I Help My Sports Team Win?

The Effect of Fans on Sport While you can “take [yourself] out to the ball game” and “root, root, root for the home team”, will it really alter the game’s outcome (Norworth and Von Tilzer, 1908)? Many sports fans, as well as sports literature, believe that fans’ stadium presence with their team, wearing the team’s Read the full article…




Cichlid Speciation Explosion in Lake Tanganyika

Located in the heart of Africa lies the Great Rift Valley. Situated on a divergent plate boundary, this 7000 km series of trenches has fashioned a string of great lakes. The greatest of them all, Lake Tanganyika. As the second oldest lake and second largest lake by volume, Tanganyika has been an evolutionary powerhouse for Read the full article…


Thwaites Glacier: are we skating on thin ice?

The impacts of climate change are all around us and can be observed in our everyday lives. A direct and progressively concerning consequence of climate change is the rise of global sea levels. Conservative trajectories predict that the sea level will rise 49-56 cm by 2100 (Kopp, et al., 2017). Worst-case scenarios predict increases of Read the full article…


The Dunning-Kruger Effect

If I were to ask you how good of a driver you think you are, or what score you think you would receive when given a standardized test, what would you say? Now if you were to actually undergo said driving or standardized test, would your score align with what you inferred? Probably not. This Read the full article…


SPF 1000?

In 2020, the world’s largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, experienced its third mass bleaching event in the last five years (Nelson, 2020). Exacerbated by climate change, extreme heat waves bleach coral as their thermal tolerance and photosynthetic symbionts are exceeded (Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999). While bleaching does not always lead to organism death, it Read the full article…