This website is intended for Medical Professionals only. By using this site you confirm that you are a healthcare professional.

Imaging Breast Implant Rupture Dr Pierre Vassallo - Breast augmentation is the most common form ... (18 May 2018)
The 39th World Medical & Health Games ... Sports Director Pierre Chicco talks Medigames with TheSynapse. ... (18 May 2018)
Maddy's Pandora: Cherry Blossoms and ... Michelle Muscat   i2i Publishing; 200 pages; £8.95 ... (18 May 2018)
Is this disseminated ovarian cancer or not? Short accounts of interesting cases, some medical disasters, ... (18 May 2018)
Rare diseases - why bother? Dr Frans Agius   (18 May 2018)
Friday, 18 May 2018 21:48

Imaging Breast Implant Rupture

Written by

Dr Pierre Vassallo - Breast augmentation is the most common form of cosmetic surgery performed today.

Sports Director Pierre Chicco talks Medigames with TheSynapse.


Michelle Muscat


i2i Publishing; 200 pages; £8.95

Published in December 2017


''Every single one of us has a story to tell.'' This story revolves around two girls of the same age with initially apparently very little in common characterwise, called Madeleine and Madison Moretti. One is an intelligent and hardworking medical doctor interested in clinical chemistry, the other
seemingly a Japanese pop culture expert, and a manga, anime and gaming enthusiast with deep roots in the land of the rising sun where the cherry blossoms fall. The story is rich with interspersed cultural and comedic elements. Flipping seamlessly from Madeleine's medical drama to Madison's
everyday life and her figurine and keychain collections, unexpected revelations are made. Moving from daily routines to illusions beyond the looking glass that transcend the mortal realm, to the vermillion gates of Inari, and the Coomassie's brilliant blue waters, even deeper secrets surface at the end. The girls touch upon the artefact called romantic love with its many shapes and guises, ranging from Tietz's fiancee, the unique allure of virtual characters, and a fateful chance meeting. Philosophical musing on what constitutes true `happiness' after a potentially fatal incident, and the strong thematic element of duality, blend in to make the story more intuitive and accessible. It incorporates suspense, and final realisations as to who Madison and Madeleine really were, or who they could have been, with depiction of chemical pathology through the eyes of a girl and references drawn from famous Japanese pop culture elements by a girl who's story could no longer be told.




'The author's research was partially funded through the Endeavour Scholarship Scheme'

Short accounts of interesting cases, some medical disasters, involving pathology and clinical practice, from the recollection of Prof. Albert Cilia-Vincenti.

Friday, 18 May 2018 20:48

Rare diseases - why bother?

Written by

Dr Frans Agius


Friday, 18 May 2018 20:45

Gene Editing … Quo Vadis?

Written by

Ian Ellul - As discussed in the last editorial, modern gene editing is quite precise but it is not perfect.


Writer: Tomonori Inoue

Publisher: Kodansha

Magazine: Monthly Young Magazine

Run: 2008 – 2016



Director: Shingo Suzuki

Writer: Makoto Nakamura

Run: October – December 2013

Various radioactivity alertness programmes and strategies have been developed. These encompass both the medical countermeasures subsequent to radiation exposure as well as longer term plans for bioremediation. ‘Coppelion’ provides a compelling glimpse at the wasteland left after a nuclear disaster and a peculiar new concept, namely that of the radiation-immune genetically engineered human.

Before delving into the fictional universe of ‘Coppelion’, it is worthy to note some relevant real life instances. In the wake of past nuclear disasters which led to large-scale release of radioactivity such as the notorious Chernobyl disaster back in 1986, and more recently, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, Belgium had announced precautionary measures as part of a nuclear emergency plan, which included providing the whole population with iodine tablets. Medical countermeasures to radioactive exposure include use of potassium iodide, prussian blue, DTPA (diethylenetriamine pentaacetate) and filgrastim1-7.

In the science fiction world of ‘Coppelion’ we are initially presented with three genetically engineered girls forming the medical unit Coppelion, after a large scale nuclear meltdown. Concepts of environmental toxicology are central to the plot progression and in various instances the viewer is presented with issues of waste disposal, such as waste being dumped in the wasteland of the nuclear incident; and at one point one of the girls is treated with hyperbaric oxygen. ‘Coppelion’ anime television series was based on a seinen manga by the same name, written by Tomonori Inoue and published by Kodansha from 2008-2016. The story of ‘Coppelion’ plays heavily on the elements of science fiction, namely rendering the teenage girl protagonists immune to the nuclear radiation and hence able to roam freely amongst the ruins without requiring personal protective gear.

In a classical comic ballet which premiered in 1870 and bearing a similar name, namely ‘Coppélia’, Dr Coppélius creates a life-sized doll. The life-sized doll or ‘puppet’ parallels are felt in the Coppelion story, which in turn give rise to ethically-charged questions with respect to the subjecting of these girls to genetic modification. The lead girl, Ibara Naruse, however, still retains hope and a positive outlook, in the inhospitable surroundings and challenging situations.

In practice, many biotechnology techniques have been put forth in an attempt to help decontaminate soil, such as for example, the use of immobilized photosynthetic bacteria coupled with anaerobic digestion and fermentation of lactic acid8. Scavenging-precipitation ion exchange methods9 form part of the growing initiative in ecotoxicology for bioremediation10. There are both severe acute and long term consequences to health arising from the dispersion of radioactive material11, 12, hence viewing ‘Coppelion’ is both entertaining and topical. 

This review is partially funded through the Endeavour Scholarship Scheme


  1. Breeman WA, De Jong MT, De Blois E, Bernard BF, De Jong M, Krenning EP. Reduction of skeletal accumulation of radioactivity by co-injection of DTPA in [90Y-DOTA0,Tyr3]octreotide solutions containing free 90Y3+. Nuclear medicine and biology. 2004;31(6):821-4.
  2. Kitajima A, Ogawa H, Kobayashi T et al. Monitoring low-radioactivity caesium in Fukushima waters. Environmental science Processes & impacts. 2014;16(1):28-32.
  3. Kunii Y, Uruno T, Mukasa K et al. Inhibitory effect of low-dose inorganic iodine on thyroidal radioactive iodine uptake in healthy Japanese adults. Endocr J. 2016;63(1):21-7.
  4. Verger P, Aurengo A, Geoffroy B, Le Guen B. Iodine kinetics and effectiveness of stable iodine prophylaxis after intake of radioactive iodine: a review. Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association. 2001;11(4):353-60.
  5. Zanzonico PB, Becker DV. Effects of time of administration and dietary iodine levels on potassium iodide (KI) blockade of thyroid irradiation by 131I from radioactive fallout. Health physics. 2000;78(6):660-7.
  6. MacVittie TJ, Bennett AW, Farese AM et al. The Effect of Radiation Dose and Variation in Neupogen(R) Initiation Schedule on the Mitigation of Myelosuppression during the Concomitant GI-ARS and H-ARS in a Nonhuman Primate Model of High-dose Exposure with Marrow Sparing. Health physics. 2015;109(5):427-39.
  7. Did you know? Prussian blue dye. Consumer reports. 2004;69(1):45.
  8. Sasaki K, Morikawa H, Kishibe T et al. Practical removal of radioactivity from soil in Fukushima using immobilized photosynthetic bacteria combined with anaerobic digestion and lactic acid fermentation as pre-treatment. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2012;76(9):1809-14.
  9. Brooksbank RE, Browder FN, Holcomb RR, Whitson WR. Low-Radioactivity-Level Waste Treatment. Ii. Pilot Plant Demonstration of the Removal of Activity from Low-Level Process Wastes by a Scavenging-Precipitation Ion-Exchange Process. Ornl-3349. ORINS [reports] US Atomic Energy Commission. 1963;86:1-63.
  10. Luo X, Zeng XC, He Z et al. Isolation and characterization of a radiation-resistant bacterium from Taklamakan Desert showing potent ability to accumulate Lead (II) and considerable potential for bioremediation of radioactive wastes. Ecotoxicology. 2014;23(10):1915-21.
  11. Thiessen KM, Andersson KG, Batandjieva B et al. Modelling the long-term consequences of a hypothetical dispersal of radioactivity in an urban area including remediation alternatives. Journal of environmental radioactivity. 2009;100(6):445-55.
  12. Jonsson L, Plamboeck AH, Johansson E, Waldenvik M. Various consequences regarding hypothetical dispersion of airborne radioactivity in a city center. Journal of environmental radioactivity. 2013;116:99-113.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018 20:07

Nip and Tuck … Embrace the Future

Written by

I wish to start 2018 by discussing gene editing which, following last year’s remarkable advances, is rumoured to continue to make a star appearance on stage. Gene editing basically rewrites DNA, disabling target genes, correcting harmful mutations and changing the activity of specific genes.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 20:04

Is Lymphoma Curable?

Written by

Short accounts of interesting cases, some medical disasters, involving pathology and clinical practice, from the recollection of Prof. Albert Cilia-Vincenti.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 19:52

How and Why We Age: Clinical Implications

Written by

Dr Alfred Grech & Dr Michael Balzan  

Page 1 of 45

TheSynapse Videos



  • WASP Course in Bahrain

    WASP Course, led by Prof Victor Grech and Prof Charles Savona Ventura, has recently organised a course in Bahrain. Co-hosted with Arabian Gulf University, the course, on how to write a scientific paper, focused on quantitative analysis methods and was targeted for medical doctors and allied health professionals.

    Written on April 24, 2018



Connect with other Medical Professionals on fb in a closed facebook group


Template Settings

Theme Colors

Cyan Red Green Oranges Teal


Wide Boxed Framed Rounded
Patterns for Layour: Boxed, Framed, Rounded
We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…