Neuralink's Brain Chip Approved For Human Tests
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Neuralink can now test its brain chips in humans in the US. This was announced on Thursday. Regulatory approval has been granted.
Neuralink creates chips for brain-computer interface to put in the skull. The chips could restore vision for the sightless. They could also assist the paralyzed in walking again.
Mr. Musk said in 2019 that his company was ready to experiment in humans to treat paralysis and blindness. But the FDA rejected the company's proposals to begin human clinical trials.
Neuralink requested human testing in 2022 but the FDA said "no". There were many problems that needed to be fixed.
The FDA had concerns about Neuralink's device using lithium batteries. They were also worried that the implant's wires could cause problems with the brain.
The government agency is worried about the implants. They think the implants might damage the brain if they are removed.
The US government is investigating Neuralink. They are looking into the treatment of research monkeys. An animal rights group claimed the monkeys were not properly cared for.
The brain chip company has killed 1,500 animals. They killed sheep, pigs, and monkeys. The killing began in 2018. Reuters wrote about it before.
The US Department of Agriculture is looking into Neuralink. They're checking if they broke the Animal Welfare Act.
In a blog post, the company addressed the abuse complaints. They stated their commitment to work with animals in a humane and ethical way.
They planned and considered how to use every animal. It was to balance science and ethics.
Last November, Mr. Musk tweeted he was sure Neuralink's device was ready for people. He said the time for human trials depended on getting FDA approval.
The boss of Tesla and SpaceX said they want to be sure a device works well before putting it in a human. They sent most of their paperwork to the FDA. The boss thinks they can upload Neuralink in a human in about six months.
The company said it got approval to start human trials on Thursday.
The company making a brain chip said they're happy because they got approval from the FDA. They can launch a clinical study for the first time!
Neuralink said the FDA approval was an essential first stage. The company aims to assist many individuals with their technology. They plan to share more details on clinical trial recruitment shortly.
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The Independent asked the FDA about Neuralink's approval claim. The FDA hasn't responded yet.