Science

Elon Musk to test brain chip on humans – Reuters

Billionaire’s Neurotech Company Hires Staff for Clinical Trials Pending Regulatory Approval

Neuralink, the US neurotech company co-founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, has started hiring key employees to run its clinical trials, signaling that it is getting closer to launching human trials of its brain implants.

The company posted announcements to hire a Clinical Trials Manager and a Clinical Trials Coordinator. The announcements note that staff members “will work closely with some of the most innovative physicians and engineers, as well as working with early Neuralink clinical trial participants.” Neuralink said the director will lead and help build its clinical research team and develop “regulatory interactions that come with a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.” »

Musk, who ranks as the world’s richest person with an estimated fortune of $256 billion, said last month that he expects Neuralink brain chips to be implanted in humans sometime in 2022, pending regulatory approval. testing plans by the US Department of Food and Drugs. Administration (FDA). .

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Musk and his Neuralink partners founded the company in 2016 to develop brain chips that connect humans to computers. He claimed that the implants will allow paralyzed people to control devices such as smartphones with their brains. He hopes more breakthroughs, such as solving many physical disabilities by linking signals between neurons, will be made once human trials begin.

Neuralink has already tested its chips in the brain of a macaque monkey and a pig. The company surprised last April when it published images that claimed to show a monkey playing a video game with only his mind.

The first human test subjects will be people with severe spinal cord injuries, such as quadriplegics, Musk said last month at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit. “We have an opportunity with Neuralink to restore functionality to the entire body of someone who has a spinal cord injury,” he said.

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