On November 30, Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain chip startup, will have a ‘Show and Tell’ event, but a group of doctors has accused the company of torturing and killing monkeys in order to advance its research.
Musk used Twitter to promote the annual event, during which the company displays its newest innovations. The inaugural Show and Tell featured the brain implant in a pig in 2020, and the following year, the world saw it in use in a monkey who tragically passed just a few months after receiving the implant in 2021.
A new website by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) describes the horrific experiences of monkeys allegedly used in inhumane experiments. PCRM disclosed the results of many trials with monkeys in which electrodes were surgically inserted. The lawsuit claims that the monkeys were killed when an unauthorized chemical called BioGlue destroyed their brains after they contracted infections from having electrodes implanted.
According to PCRM, which represents more than 17,000 doctors, the studies were carried out at UC Davis, with Neuralink forking out $1.4 million to do so. As previously reported, Neuralink confirmed it conducted testing at the institution and slaughtered some animals.
This lawsuit describes the horrific treatment of several animals. “Animal 21” is one of them. According to the organization’s website and complaint, this monkey entered the Neuralink program in 2018 and underwent surgery on September 10. The lawsuit claims that animal number 21 had electrodes implanted into its brain as part of a “survivability operation” to increase the chances of the animal’s survival. The letter goes on to reveal that just two days after the procedure, the monkey was inconsolable, unable to feed, and barely engaged with its surroundings. Three days after the treatment, the monkey reportedly appeared completely depleted, and she was euthanized soon after. A necropsy revealed that the bleeding in the monkey’s brain was caused by the adhesive BioGlue, which had been employed to patch holes in the primate’s skull.
The Physicians Committee notes that data acquired from patients undergoing medically necessary neurosurgery and other non-invasive procedures can help enhance brain-machine interfaces. In September, the Physicians Committee began its campaign against Neuralink, claiming that there are hundreds of graphic photos of animals that were allegedly harmed or murdered during tests.
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