After more than 1,500 animals were murdered in tests since 2018, Elon Musk’s brain implant business Neuralink is under investigation by the US government. Neuralink, which is creating a brain implant it hopes will treat neurological disorders, mainly relies on animal research.
India Today Web Desk In response to accusations that animal testing is being hurried to produce findings after missing many deadlines, Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device business, is under investigation by the federal government for a possible breach of animal welfare rules.
This comes only days after the richest man in the world declared that he feels at ease having a Neuralink brain chip implanted in himself. Neuralink Corp. is working on a brain implant that it hopes will allow paralysed individuals to walk again and treat other neurological conditions.
The investigation also comes amid rising discontent among Neuralink staff, who assert that Elon Musk’s urge to hasten development has led to failed tests that have resulted in more animal fatalities and suffering, according to Reuters.
However, it is unclear if the whole scope of the probe encompasses the same alleged issues with animal research that Neuralink staff members reportedly discovered.
According to data seen by Reuters, the corporation has killed over 1,500 animals overall, including over 280 sheep, pigs, rats, mice, and monkeys after studies since 2018. The company does not keep exact records on the number of animals tested and killed, according to the sources, who described the number as an approximate estimate.
The overall number of animals killed does not necessarily mean that Neuralink is doing it in a way that is against the law or against accepted research procedures. Many businesses routinely employ animals in research to promote human health care, and they are under financial pressure to launch treatments as soon as possible. When an experiment is over, the animals are usually put to death, frequently so that they can be dissected for study purposes after death.
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In the past few years, human mistake ruined four research involving 86 pigs and two monkeys. According to Reuters, the errors reduced the research value of the tests and necessitated their repetition, which killed more animals.
Even after failed experiments, Neuralink continues to run tests without resolving the problems or coming to a final conclusion, which results in further animal deaths.
These issues might prevent the business from attempting to begin human trials, something Musk has stated the business hopes to undertake within the next six months.
More than a year ago, Neuralink showed a monkey with a brain chip using only its thoughts to play a video game.