- Neuraling, the tech company owned by Elon Musk, said it is starting human trials for brain implants
- The company said that it has opened recruitment for volunteers as part of the trials
- The development is part of the company's plan to connect human brains to a computer and get them to do something by thinking about them
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The controversial biotech start-up Neuralink, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, opened recruitment for its first human clinical trial for its brain implant on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.
CNN quotes the firm's blog as saying that after receiving approval from an independent review board, Neuralink is poised to begin offering brain implants to paralysis patients as part of the Precise Roboticall Implanted Computer Interface (PRIME) Study.
The implant seeks to get patients to move object with their thoughts
PRIME is being carried out to assess the implant's safety and functionality in humans.
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Trial patients will be surgically implanted with a chip that controls the intention to move.
The robotically installed chip will then record and send brain signals to an app, with the initial plan to give the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard with their thoughts alone.
Those suffering from spinal cord injury or ALS may also be eligible for the six-year-long study, with 18 months of at-home clinic visits and follow-up visits over five-year period.
The billionaire has been on Neuralink's goal of using implants to connect the human brain to a computer for five years, but the firm has only tested the chip on animals.
Monkey dies during trials
Neuralink came under scrutiny after a monkey died in project testing last year as part of the plans to get the monkey to play a pong.
The company tweeted in May that it had received regulatory approval for the human clinical trials.
The start-up had raised about $280 million in a seed funding round led by Founders Fund, a San Francisco-based VC firm owned by Peter Thiel.
Before the trials will hit the market, they will need FDA approvals, the regulatory agency stated in 2021.
Elon Musk’s brain chips implanted in monkeys killed 15 out of 23 of them
Legit.ng reported that 15 out of the 23 monkeys that carried Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chips have reportedly died.
The monkeys received the chips between 2017 and 2020 and the experiment was moving to humans as it was reportedly said the chips would be tested on humans anytime soon.
Business Insider and the New York Post report that the news came from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is an animal-rights group that pored through more than 700 pages of documents, vet records, and necropsy reports through public records at the university.