Davis, Calif. – Neuralink’s Ilana Mask, an implant company whose goal is to allow the brain to connect and communicate with computers, has admitted that the monkeys died as part of a testing process, but denies allegations of animal cruelty.

In a blog post on his websiteNeuralink turned to “recent articles” that “raised questions about the use of Neuralink research animals at the University of California, Davis Primate Center” (UC Davis) and said that “all new medical devices and treatments must be tested on animals before they it is possible to test ethically on people “.

Neuralink used macaque monkeys in testing as the company developed implanted chips with Bluetooth support – inserted into the monkeys’ brains – which the company said could communicate with computers via a small receiver.

Last April, Neuralink claimed that monkeys could play Pong – a computer game – using only their minds when it released a video in which Pager, a male macaque, moves the cursor on the screen without using a joystick.

The company said this was achieved after the Neuralink chip transmitted information from monkey neurons to a decoder, which was then used to predict Pager’s expected hand movements – allowing the decoder output to be used to move the cursor instead of the Pager. joystick manipulation.

SEE ALSO: More research monkeys retire after research, but funding, quality care remain barriers

Neuralink’s statement came after the Committee of Physicians for Responsible Medicine, a U.S. nonprofit that advocates for alternatives to animal testing, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging violations and asking it to investigate that it calls “blatant outrageous violations of the Animal Welfare Act related to the treatment of monkeys used in invasive brain experiments.”

The document states that the experiments were conducted in accordance with the contractual agreements between UC Davis and Neuralink. In a letter spanning more than 700 pages, the Committee of Physicians said the records they received for the 23 monkeys used in the experiments reflected a “pattern of extreme suffering and negligence on the part of the staff.” The committee said the USDA letter is based on nearly 600 pages of what it calls “troubled” documents released after the committee filed its original 2021 public records lawsuit.

The Committee of Physicians said in a press release on February 10 that UC Davis received more than $ 1.4 million from Neuralink for conducting experiments on macaque monkeys.

CNN contacted UC Davis and the Regent’s Council for comment. In a statement to KCRA 3, UC Davis spokeswoman Andy Fell said: “The study protocols have been carefully reviewed and approved by the Institutional Committee for the Care and Use of Campus Animals (IACUC).” Fell added: “The work was conducted by Neuralink researchers at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis. UC Davis staff provided veterinary care, including round-the-clock monitoring of experimental animals. When the incident occurred, it was reported to the IACUC, which provides training and changes to the protocols as needed.

On February 10, the Committee of Physicians said they had filed a second lawsuit on public records to force the university to publish videos and photos of the monkeys. Neuralink is not part of the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, the committee alleges that university staff “removed pieces of rhesus macaque skulls and inserted electrodes into the animals’ brains.”

The lawsuit alleges that the monkeys were not provided with adequate veterinary care and that an “unapproved substance” known as BioGlue “killed the monkeys, destroying parts of their brains.”

In a Neuralink blog, the company reported that there was “one surgical complication involving the use of an FDA-approved product (BioGlue),” and the monkey was euthanized.

The lawsuit committee also claims that the University of California refused to publish photos and videos of the experiments, saying the records belonged to Neuralink, a private company not covered by the California Public Records Act.

MORE: Time Magazine Man of the Year 2021 – Tesla, CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk

In a statement posted on the Neuralink website, Neuralink said the company “is absolutely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible.”

It also says that its “main mission is to develop an animal care program that sets priorities for animal needs, rather than a typical construction strategy just for human convenience.”

Neuralink said that “the use of each animal has been carefully planned and viewed as a balance of scientific discoveries with the ethical use of animals.” Citing statements from the Committee of Physicians on euthanasia, Neuralink said that “two animals were euthanized at the scheduled end of time to collect important histological data, and six animals were euthanized on the medical recommendation of UC Davis veterinary staff.”

Neuralink said it has decided to collaborate with UC Davis in 2017 to conduct animal research. In 2020, Mask opened a 6,000-square-foot vivarium to house farm animals and rhesus macaques, Neuralink said in a statement.

A Neuralink statement said it was “never satisfied with current animal welfare standards, and we will always push ourselves to do more for animals that contribute so much to humanity.”

Jeremy Beckham, research coordinator for the Committee of Physicians, said in a press release that documents used by the committee in its letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture “show that monkeys were mutilated in bad experiments and were left to suffer and die. “.

Neuralink previously stated that the purpose of their study was to enable a person with paralysis to use a device such as a computer or phone using only brain activity.

The-CNN-Wire © & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., WarnerMedia. All rights reserved.

Source link

Previous articleThe Broncs are looking to rebound in Manhattan – Trentonian
Next articleBiden will dine in the District of Columbia, ignores questions about Ukraine when the crisis with Russia worsens