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Musk’s brain implant company gets approval for human trials – Reuters

Neuralink aims to solve a range of medical problems by implanting a chip in a subject’s skull

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain implant company which hopes to use its technology to treat conditions such as paralysis and blindness, has been cleared to conduct human trials after receiving Food and U.S. Drug Administration (FDA), the company announced Thursday.

“We are thrilled to share that we have received FDA approval to initiate our first-in-man clinical study,” Neuralink said in a post on Twitter. Musk had repeatedly predicted the technology would be allowed to be tested, but a previous request in early 2022 was denied by the FDA, scientists working on the project told Reuters in March.

The approval is “an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people”, the company said, and is “the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team working closely with the FDA.”

Musk has previously said his ambition is for Neuralink “to restore full body functionality to someone who has a severed spinal cord.”

Neuralink says it has no plans to start recruiting participants yet, while the FDA has not officially commented on its decision to approve the technology for human testing. Last year, Musk said he was so confident in the device’s safety that he would be willing to implant the chip in the brains of his own children.

Prototypes of the Neuralink implant, which are the size of an average coin, have so far been implanted into the skulls of monkeys, the company has shown in demonstrations. The implant records nerve activity and transmits the information to an external device such as a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection.

In addition to helping with mobility issues or visual impairment, Musk says Neuralink could also benefit people with depression, schizophrenia and autism — and even act as a utility for web browsing and communication. telepathic communication between subjects.

Neuralink came under fire late last year amid complaints of alleged animal welfare violations. A Reuters report in December said around 1,500 animals, including monkeys, sheep and pigs, were killed during its early testing phases.

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