15 of the 23 monkeys implanted with Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Chips are said to have died.
According to reports, at least 15 of the 23 primates implanted with Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain implants at the University of California Davis between 2017 and 2020 perished.
The disclosure comes from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an animal-rights organization that obtained over 700 pages of paperwork, veterinarian records, and necropsy reports from the institution via a public records request.
Neuralink was developed in 2016 with the intention of assisting individuals in recovering from catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries, healing depression and other mental health illnesses, and linking humans to the internet for purposes ranging from music streaming to near-telepathic conversation. The firm has frequently boasted its accomplishments, such as a pig demonstration in 2020 and a video of a macaque playing Pong with its thoughts in 2021.
Celebrities such as Grimes and Lil Uzi Vert have expressed interest in the idea, and those suffering from paralysis frequently beg Musk on social media to be a part of human testing. Musk has previously stated that he intended to begin human testing in 2021, but that target has now been moved out to 2022. According to the PCRM’s results, the brain chips are not yet ready.
“Almost every single monkey that had implants inserted in their heads suffered from really devastating health impacts,” said Jeremy Beckham, research advocacy director at the PCRM. “To be honest, they were maiming and murdering the creatures.”
Drilling holes in the animals’ heads allowed Neuralink chips to be inserted. One monkey became ill with a bloody skin infection and had to be killed. Another was found with missing fingers and toes, “perhaps from self-mutilation or some other unidentified trauma,” and had to be euthanized. A third patient began vomiting violently immediately after surgery and “looked to collapse from exhaustion/fatigue” a few days later. An autopsy found that the animal died as a result of a brain hemorrhage.
On Thursday, the PCRM filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture, accusing UC Davis and Neuralink of nine breaches of the Animal Welfare Act. “Many, if not all, of the monkeys experienced extreme suffering as a result of inadequate animal care and the highly invasive experimental head implants used during the experiments in pursuit of developing what Neuralink and Elon Musk have publicly described as a ‘brain-machine interface,'” the group wrote in the complaint.
“These very intrusive implants and their related hardware, which are put into the brain after cutting holes in the animals’ skulls, have resulted in reoccurring infections in the animals, greatly jeopardizing their health as well as the credibility of the research.”
In response to the complaint, a UC Davis spokeswoman stated, “We endeavor to offer the best possible care to animals in our care.” Animal research is carefully controlled, and UC Davis abides by all relevant rules and regulations, including those imposed by the United States Department of Agriculture.”
— Consequence (@consequence) February 11, 2022
15 of the 23 monkeys implanted with Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Chips are said to have died 15 of the 23 monkeys implanted with Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Chips are said to have died