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Abuse and unnecessary death of animals: federal investigation against Elon Musk's brain chip company - voila! technology

2022-12-06T10:46:12.242Z

The company Neuralink, which develops brain-interface chips for human implantation, is under investigation by the US authorities



Elon Musk (Photo: GettyImages)

The Inspector General of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investigating the company Neuralink (Neuralink) on suspicion of violating animal welfare laws - according to a report in the Reuters news agency.

According to the publication, internal documents show that the company's staff rushed to perform experiments on animals that caused them to suffer and even die.

Neuralink's chips, based on tiny components intended for implantation inside the brain, are designed to allow patients with physical disabilities to move and communicate.



Former and current employees told Reuters that Musk, who serves as the company's CEO, urged employees to advance the development of the chips, thus causing experiments to be carried out that led to high mortality rates of laboratory animals. In fact, the report shows that since 2018, Neuralink has caused the death of about 1,500 animals in experiments , including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys. However, these figures are only a rough estimate, as the company does not keep accurate records of the number of animals that died during experiments.

Neuralink (Photo: Neuralink)

The US regulations do not specify how many animals companies can use for research, and they give significant leeway to scientists to determine when and how to use animals in experiments.

From a review of the regulatory documents - Neuralink passed all the tests of the US Department of Agriculture.



The total number of animal deaths does not necessarily indicate that the company is violating regulations or standard research practices.

Many companies routinely use animals in experiments to advance human health research, and they face financial pressure to bring products to market quickly.

The animals are usually killed upon completion of experiments, often so that they can be examined postmortem for research purposes.

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Elon Musk expects to begin human trials of Neuralink's brain chip in 6 months (Reuters)

According to internal testimony, on several occasions over the years, Musk told employees to imagine they had a bomb strapped to their heads in an effort to get them to work faster.

Last week, Musk announced at a celebratory event that the company had submitted most of the required documents to the FDA to begin human trials.



The event was mostly a technical presentation of the device, which presented how the system was built, challenges the team faced, how the technology has improved so far, and what developments are expected to come.

Researchers at the company said they are developing treatments that could help improve or restore vision, or restore movement in people with paralysis.

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Source: walla

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