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  • Alyssa Syarbaini's Dairy Project (2008-2009)                                                                                                                                                                 March 4th, 4008     Dear Journal,         To whom I am writing in this journal and if someone finds it, right now there is a war between the natural and the selected ...
    Posted May 20, 2009, 7:49 AM by Manhattan Hunter Science High School Newsletter
  • The Ethical Implications of Cognitive Enhancement By: Sheikh Moeez Ahmed (Grade 10)         Cognitive enhancement is very popular in today’s society. Some use it in order to do well on their SAT exam. Some use it ...
    Posted May 16, 2009, 6:12 PM by Manhattan Hunter Science High School Newsletter
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Alyssa Syarbaini's Dairy Project (2008-2009)

posted May 16, 2009, 6:08 PM by Manhattan Hunter Science High School Newsletter   [ updated May 20, 2009, 7:49 AM ]

                                                                                                                                                                March 4th, 4008
    Dear Journal,
        To whom I am writing in this journal and if someone finds it, right now there is a war between the natural and the selected. The world has gone corrupt and many lives are at stake. Right now, our natural soldiers in the war are slowly dying because of the disease and the horror! Many of the soldiers are shell-shocked. My family and I are currently in South America and. The European and Middle Eastern nations, along with Russia are together since they support the selected. They have Africa and India in their control, decreasing the natural population since they were both a neutral type government. They are attacking Australia and are so close to coming to Asia.. The Americas, Japan, China, and Korea are the natural government and I am so glad that USA picked natural. We are all struggling to keep the Selected Powers off our land and are trying day by day to win this war. The Selected Powers are twice invincible than the Natural! Though our technology is th same, they can withstand the diseases and are able to not eat food with more than one week. I hope our natural army is surviving to keep up.

        Just a few weeks ago, every nation was calm and peaceful. As soon as one Yugoslavian citizen, who hated all Naturals, deciding it was alright to attack the president of the United States, Adam Theodore. I have read from millenniums back that this indeed is called a world war. Scary how history repeats itself, but this time it’s with the cause of new technology and science. The poverty and death, everywhere I turned in Central America, there were heads cut off, and houses burned. Blood in our waters and stealing our food, such cruelty makes me wish that time can stop. Mami is scared to death and she is only 10 years old. I am struggling to keep my family alive and my mother was caught prisoner by Germany’s army. Terrified at what happened to her, it has been 15 days since she has gone. I told my little sister she has passed and my father has gone missing, to search for my brother and husband.

        My parents were from Italy and Japan. My father, Angelo, was banished, along with a third of the population, because they chose to go the natural process of life. He decided to come to America, and bumped into my mother, Aya. I have always loved them and I hope for the best. As I am writing in my last page of this ripped, torn up journal, I hide it here. In this one cave, where I hope someone can find and read this if the war continues on. G’bye, farewell.

The Ethical Implications of Cognitive Enhancement

posted May 15, 2009, 5:38 PM by Manhattan Hunter Science High School Newsletter   [ updated May 16, 2009, 6:12 PM ]

By: Sheikh Moeez Ahmed (Grade 10)

        Cognitive enhancement is very popular in today’s society. Some use it in order to do well on their SAT exam. Some use it in order to be admitted into a world class university or medical school. There are various ways of brain enhancement today. It can be acquired from virtually anywhere illegally. Is cognitive enhancement unethical? It is very controversial currently. Many people are abusing the therapeutic drugs that are used in patients with psychological disabilities for the means of enhancement.

        There are many ways to enhance the human brain. Some use machines to increase electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex. How? A metal helmet is worn that is then electromagnetically charged and placed at the part of the brain where more activity of neurons is desired. However, there are side effects to this therapy. Seizures can emerge because the neurons are more active than usual after this enhancement. Others use drugs such as Ritalin, which is the most widely used drug among people according to statistics. Ritalin is a cognitive enhancement drug that does well only momentarily. It has many side effects which are very difficult to study. There about twenty different side effects already identified such as seizures, paranoia, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart problems, and sudden death from stroke, but there can be more symptoms. Permanent damage to the nervous system is inevitable according to some researchers, if used merely for enhancement, which is improving brain function with no abnormalities and not for therapeutic purposes which is improving brain function with abnormalities. It is very difficult to test this drug because it is difficult to distinguish in the experiment who actually needs the drug and who should be given placebo. It is very difficult to even attempt to test to see what the long-term effects are. Taking these drugs for an extended period of time can cause a lot of damage to the body just for the sake of increasing the rate of activity of the neurons. The drug leaves its mark everywhere, even for the patient who actually needs it. Ritalin also has narcotics effects and it is addicting substance as heroine or cocaine according to biochemists. Today, high school students are acquiring this drug from college students illegally. College students acquire these drugs illegally by for instance purchasing these drugs from someone who was prescribed for this drug.

        Is it unethical? Should there be laws to impose against it? Were drugs simply created for society to heal or to enhance? Is this changing the meaning of medicine? For example if a student takes a cognitive enhancement drug before taking an SAT exam and he/she scored a 2300 versus a student who does not take the drug and also scores 2300, can this change the meaning of hard work? A person who takes this drug does not have to work as hard as a person who actually scored the same score. This can be considered cheating to an extent because it is inequitable for the person who is naturally smart.

        It is healthier to use alternative food based methods of cognitive enhancement. One can consume a green tea leaf, which rejuvenate the neurons and calms the mind. People can also engage in solving difficult puzzles, which keeps the neurons more active, therefore enhancing your ability to perform better. One can also drink more water because the brain is primarily water and do more math problems which exercise the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Overall, cognitive enhancement can be debated as unethical and scientifically it is very unhealthy if used simply for the means of enhancement.

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