Mon, 02 Oct 2023

FREMONT, California: Brain implant company Neuralink announced that it has received approval from US regulators to begin human brain implant trials.

The company, owned by Elon Musk, who also owns Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX, made the announcement on Twitter.

Neuralink is one of many groups that aims to develop technology that will help treat brain disorders, overcome brain injuries and related applications, though linking the nervous system to computers.

Earlier this week, scientists in Switzerland published research in the journal Nature about an implant that restores communication between the brain and spinal cord, which enabled a paralyzed man to stand and walk.

The website, clinicaltrials.gov., said there are more than 30 brain or spine computer interface trials currently in progress.

In December, Musk said his team asked regulators to allow them to test the Neuralink device, which is about the size of a large coin and is implanted in the skull with ultra-thin wires, who go directly into the brain.

The first two human trials would attempt to restore vision and help people with limited motor functions, Musk said, adding he envisions that signals from the brain could be bridged to Neuralink devices in the spinal cord for sufferers of broken necks.

However, Rajesh Rao, co-director of the Center for Neurotechnology at the University of Washington, said Neuralink is not ahead of other teams, in terms of brain-computer interface achievements, but is "quite ahead" in terms of hardware.

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