The Morning After: The FDA reportedly denied Neuralink’s request to begin human trials of its brain implant | Engadget

Neuralink’s efforts to bring a brain-computer interface still have a ways to go. According to a new report from ReutersApparently, the FDA has denied the 2022 startup Elon Musk permission to conduct human trials using the same devices that, well, killed 1,500 animals. Those tests, according to internal reports, cause unnecessary suffering and death for test subjects.

Current and former Neuralink employees said Reuters: “The agency’s main safety concerns involved the device’s lithium battery, the possibility of the tiny wires of the implant migrating to other areas of the brain, and questions about whether and how the device can be removed without damaging the brain tissue”.

The FDA is concerned that because of the tiny size of the electrical wires, they are at risk of breaking during removal (or even during use). At the Neuralink open house last November, Musk said the company would get FDA approval “within six months,” basically this spring. That seems increasingly unlikely.

–Matt Smith

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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