From experience to design – The science behind Aspirin

How does aspirin reduce pain and inflammation? How does it prevent heart attacks? Why does it upset the stomach? How do scientists discover the answers? This article examines research and development in the history from willow bark to aspirin to “super aspirins” Celebrex and Vioxx. Scientists adopt various approaches: trial and error, laboratory experiment, clinical test, elucidation of underlying mechanisms, concept-directed research, and rational drug design. Each approach is limited, but they complement each other in unraveling the mystery of a wonder drug.
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