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Jihadist courage

Bioethicists and transhumanists – and I – have long speculated on the ability and usefulness of drugs to enhance performance. However, assassins, murderers and the subgroup that are the jihadists, have a completely different goal for their “enhancement.”

“Captagon — a synthetic amphetamine-based pill — is considered the drug of choice for Islamic State fighters in Syria, Iraq and, now it seems, Paris.

‘When French police raided a hotel room at Alfortville, south-east of Paris, last week they found a stash of syringes, needles and plastic tubing.”  (from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-24/captagon-the-drug-that-kept-the-paris-attackers-calm/6970464 )

Hat tip to BioEdge

Confusions About Totipotency: Stem Cells Are Not Embryos (Updated)

Dr. Maureen Condic explains why reprogrammed stem cells are not embryos – an “organism” is organized.

Totipotent zygotes are distinct from pluripotent or even plenipotent stem cells because they undergo development. The ability to both produce all cell types and to organize them into a coherent body plan is the defining feature of a totipotent human organism.

via Confusions About Totipotency: Stem Cells Are Not Embryos | Public Discourse.

Update: The original article by Dr. Condic is available by pdf at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/scd.2013.0364

Hat Tip to the bioethics newsletter, BioEdge, and Michael Cook http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10888

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