California [US], September 20 (ANI): Billionaire Elon Musk's brain implant company Neuralink, announced on Tuesday that it has received approval from an independent review board to start recruiting human participants in a brain implant trial aimed at helping individuals grappling with paralysis. The development comes after the company's previous announcement in May, wherein it announced its acquisition of the FDA to begin human testing.
According to a blog post from the California-based neurotechnology company, the main purpose of these human trials is to test whether its brain-computer interface (BCI)- called "the Link" - is safe and functional. "The aim of Neuralink's BCI and the company as a whole is to create implantable devices that'll let users control things with their brains. And while it sounds super sci-fi, Neuralink is far from the only company developing brain interface devices," as per the Mashable website.
"The initial goal of our BCI is to grant people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone," the company said in its announcement.
While this may be an exciting development for some, Neuralink's "first-in-human clinical trials" may represent a substantial risk to its patients, according to the Mashable website.
Musk and his company have already faced massive criticism for the trial of "brain chips" on lab animals. In February 2022, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine submitted a complaint alleging that Neuralink did "invasive and deadly brain experiments."By December of that year, the company was being investigated by federal authorities for potential violations of animal welfare standards, with documents indicating that the company had murdered around 1,500 animals, including rats, monkeys, pigs, and mice, since 2018.Neuralink fought back against these very serious allegations claiming that the rhesus macaque monkeys under its care were "respected and honored" by the team, the Mashable website reported.
Musk even took to X (formerly known as Twitter) this past week to say that "no monkey has died as a result of a Neuralink implant".
The announcement left it unclear when these trials would begin, but did state that those who have "quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)" may qualify for the trial, according to the Mashable website. (ANI)