Elon Musk may get into another scandal. This time, it’s because of the death of primates involved in testing the Neuralink brain implant. This may be due to the information published by WIRED, writes The Verge.
The publication cites disturbing documents obtained by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). This is a non-profit organization that opposes the use of live animals in research. According to its information, the experimental monkeys were euthanized after complications including “bloody diarrhea, partial paralysis and brain swelling.”
For example, a primate underwent this procedure in the spring of 2020 “after its brain implant became loose.” An autopsy of the animal showed that “the breakdown of this implant can be considered purely mechanical, not caused by infection.”
The documents also show another case that occurred in 2019. Then, euthanasia was applied to a monkey after a piece of the Neuralink implant broke off during surgery, leading to infection.
Another monkey, known as Animal-15, “began to press its head to the floor for no apparent reason” a few days after the implant was placed. As the animal’s condition deteriorated, it was eventually euthanized as well. The necropsy report indicates that she was bleeding in the brain and that the Neuralink implants had left parts of her cerebral cortex focally destroyed.
The situation is complicated by the fact that Elon Musk recently stated that “not a single monkey has died from a Neuralink implant.” According to him, animals close to death were chosen for the study to minimize risks to healthy monkeys. However, a former Neuralink employee denies this information. He claims that the animals were kept for about a year before any surgery was performed.
PCRM provided information on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) trial accusing Elon Musk of securities fraud, citing reports of $280 million that Neuralink raised from investors to create a brain computer interface.
Earlier it was reported that Elon Musk’s Neuralink has received approval from an independent oversight committee to start recruiting participants for the first trial of a brain implant for patients with paralysis.