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HomeTechnologyElon Musk's brain chip firm given all-clear to recruit for human trials

Elon Musk’s brain chip firm given all-clear to recruit for human trials

A brain chip company owned by Elon Musk has said it has received permission to start recruiting for human trials.

Neuralink has created an implant designed to let people control a computer mouse or keyboard with their thoughts.

It would be inserted into a region of the brain that controls the intention to move.

Musk, the billionaire owner of Tesla, SpaceX, and social media site X – formerly known as Twitter, has said he hopes the chips could one day help those with obesity, autism, depression, and schizophrenia.

He has claimed the devices are so safe he would happily use his children as test subjects.

Neuralink has not said how many people will take part in the first trial, but it will focus on paralysis patients.

It will hope to achieve similar results to that of a research project in Switzerland, which also used a so-called brain computer interface to help a paralysed man walk again.

That device was made up of two electronic implants, one in the brain and one in the spinal cord.

The “digital bridge” operated wirelessly, and together the components repaired the broken connection between the man’s brain and the region of the spinal cord that controls movement.

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Watch paralysed patient walk again

Neuralink, founded in 2016, has said its study will take about six years.

Approval for human trials was granted by the US Food and Drug Administration, which has previously expressed concerns about the brain chips.

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Among them were issues with its lithium battery, the chances of wires migrating with the brain, and whether safe removal without damaging brain tissue was possible.

The firm has also reportedly been investigated for alleged animal welfare violations, claims it has denied.

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