Elon Musk's controversial new 'brain microchip' looking for human volunteers after 1,000 animals dropped dead in trials | The Sun

ELON Musk's controversial "brain microchip" is looking for human volunteers to step up to the plate and trial the device after more than 1,000 animals dropped dead in previous trials.

The Tesla CEO faced major backlash but is still moving ahead after an independent review board approved testing on people who with cervical spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Those who suffer from a condition like paralysis can also participate in the trials.

Musk claimed in the past that the technology from his company, Neuralink, "will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs."

Neuralink will begin to recruit volunteers to take part in the study, however, the process will take about six years.

A robot will implant the chip in a part of the brain that's responsible for the intention to move as Musk's goal is for a person to control a computer cursor or keyboard with just their thoughts.

In May, Neuralink received FDA clearance for its first-in-human clinical trial, with the company saying it initially wanted to test on 10 humans.

"This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people," Neuralink tweeted.

However, there were FDA concerns, and the number was revised but the final decision wasn't publically revealed.

In a speech at the company headquarters back in December, Musk said: "We want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work before putting a device into a human."

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"The progress at first, particularly as it applies to humans, will seem perhaps agonizingly slow, but we are doing all of the things to bring it to scale in parallel."

The concern came from previous animal testing of the chip, which saw the deaths of several of the test subjects.

In April 2021, Neuralink showed a Macaque, known as "Pager," with one of the chips playing Pong.

The animal was seen using a joystick and then only used its mind via a wireless connection, said the company.

Still, the company reportedly implanted Bluetooth-enabled chips into the brains of several monkeys to see if they could communicate with computers through a small receiver.

Some of the test subjects are believed to have "suffered infections from the implanted electrodes placed in their brains," said the company.

About 1,500 animals – including more than 280 sheep, pigs, and monkeys – have died as a result of Neuralink tests since 2018, according to a report from last December.

While responding to a meme on X, formerly known as Twitter, Musk tweeted: "No monkey has died as a result of a Neuralink implant. First, our early implants, to minimize risk to healthy monkeys, we chose terminal moneys (sic) (close to death already)."

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