...By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
Elon Musk’s brain chip company, Neuralink, has announced that it has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence human studies.
In a tweet on Thursday, Neuralink expressed excitement about the approval, stating that it marks an important first step towards utilizing their technology to assist numerous individuals.
The company did not provide specific details about the study’s objectives or the commencement of trials, but it clarified that it is not currently recruiting participants.
Potential Applications and Elon Musk’s Vision
Elon Musk has previously claimed that Neuralink’s devices are safe enough to use on his own children, expressing his hopes that they will eventually aid in addressing various conditions, such as obesity, autism, depression, schizophrenia, as well as facilitate activities like web browsing and telepathy.
While Mr. Musk has indicated on multiple occasions since 2019 that human trials would begin, Neuralink had only recently applied for FDA approval last year.
The agency had initially declined the request due to concerns related to the implant’s lithium battery, wire migration within the brain, and the safe removal of the device without causing harm to brain tissue.
Investigations and Animal Welfare Concerns
Neuralink, established in 2016, has been the subject of several federal investigations.
In December of the previous year, it reportedly faced an inquiry regarding alleged violations of animal welfare during its work, although the company has denied these claims.
According to a report, 1,500 animals died over the course of four years, leading to internal complaints about rushed animal testing resulting in unnecessary suffering and fatalities.
Employees stated that the pressure from Musk to expedite development led to flawed experiments that needed to be repeated.
In one instance, 25 pigs were implanted with incorrectly sized devices, which could have been avoided with better preparation, according to a source cited by Reuters news agency.
Neuralink’s Vision for Neurological Issues
Neuralink aims to develop an implant that could potentially assist paralyzed individuals in regaining the ability to walk and provide solutions for other neurological problems.
The company’s work holds promise for advancing medical treatments and restoring functionality to those affected by debilitating conditions.