Neuralink, the biotechnology start-up trying to implant chips in the human brain under the watchful eye of entrepreneur Elon Musk, announced Tuesday that it will begin recruiting for its first human clinical trial. .CNNThis coincided with a publication by the “Wired” website, which claimed that the American billionaire had “misled” his followers about killing monkeys during clinical trials of the same chip.
After receiving approval from an independent review board, the company said Neuralink has decided to begin offering operations to implant its chips into the brains of stroke victims as part of the “PRIME” study, which stands for “PRIME.” Brain-Computer Interface, which means: “A precise, robotically implanted brain-computer interface.
The tests seek to evaluate the safety and functionality of the implanted chip.
Participating patients are expected to have a chip surgically implanted in the part of the brain that controls movement commands. The chip, installed by the robot, will then record and transmit brain signals to an app on a smart device, which seeks to “give people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using only their thoughts.” Written by the company.
People with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be eligible for the study, which will last six years, including 18 months of home and clinic visits and five years of follow-up visits. Interested candidates can register. In the patient registry on the Neuralink website. .
Musk has spent the past five years working toward Neuralink’s goal of using chips to connect human brains to computers, but the company has so far only tested them on animals. The company faced scrutiny in 2022 after a monkey died while testing the program as part of an effort to get animals to play video games with their thoughts, according to the network.
Allegations of ‘dead monkeys’
An investigation conducted by the website revealedWiredA technology expert said on Wednesday that Musk had said none of the primate species used in the chip tests had died, and the investigation has called for US officials to investigate Musk’s claims.
The website indicated that there were “new allegations of possible security fraud” related to Musk’s statements following the deaths of monkeys participating in experiments for the company “Neuralink”.
That said the site Several letters sent by the Medical Ethics Committee The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) “Physicians’ Panel for Responsible Medicine” called on the agency to investigate Musk’s allegations that macaques died during experiments because they suffered fatal diseases, not brain damage. pieces.
However, veterinarian records show that the monkeys died from complications following the implantation of the brain chips, the website said, citing letters sent to the committee’s authority.
Kasthuri confirmed that the monkeys had died… Tweet through his VX accountOn September 10th, he owned, in a reply to a user, where he denied that the dead animals were caused by a “Neuralink chip” and said researchers were “interested in using animals on the brink.” Death.”
At the same time, in a presentation to his company last year, Musk confirmed that Neuralink’s experiments on animals were never for “research” reasons, but rather to ensure that unified scientific principles were proven. “We are very careful.”
But public records it reviewed, as well as interviews with a former NeuraLink employee and a researcher who now works at the Primate Species Center at the University of California, Davis, “paint a completely different picture” of what’s going on in NeuraLink’s animal experiments, Wired noted. .
It noted that the public documents include veterinary records, made public for the first time last year, that “contain gruesome images of the suffering of up to 12 animals of Neuraling’s flagship species, all of whom had to be euthanized.”
Wired noted that the records “could form the basis of a possible SEC investigation into Musk’s comments about NeuraLink,” which has faced multiple federal investigations as the company moves toward its goal of introducing the first commercially available brain-computer interface for humans.
The U.S. authority declined Wired’s request for comment regarding the group’s ethics messages, and Neuralink did not respond to Wired’s questions about Musk’s comments or the group’s allegations.