Elon Musk company approved for brain chip implant

Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain transplant company, said it has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implant the chip in the human brain.

"We are pleased to announce that Neuralink has been approved by the FDA for the first clinical study in humans," Neuralink wrote on Twitter May 25. "This is an important start to the future, when our technology will be used to help more people."

Neuralink said it has not yet determined when to test the implant in humans, but promises "to be announced soon". Soon after, Elon Musk also retweeted the post and said "congratulations to the team".

Neuralink logo displayed on laptop, behind is an image of Elon Musk. Photo: Reuters

According to the Washington Post , the approval of the chip implant in humans is an important milestone for Neuralink. The company applied to the FDA but was rejected multiple times. The most recent was in early March when the FDA deemed Neuralink's brain chip test unsafe . The bureau made a series of requests that the company needed to deal with, of which the main concern was the lithium battery in the device. Regulators say they do not believe the battery system works properly when inserted into the brain and Neuralink must prove it does not cause major problems.

Before Neuralink, another company, Synchron, had successfully inserted the chip into an American patient with ALS - a neurodegenerative disease that affects the ability to move and speak. Synchron's chip implantation has been approved by the FDA since July 2021.

Musk founded Neuralink in 2016. He hopes to successfully develop a "brain-computer interface" to allow humans to merge with AI in the future. In December 2022, the US billionaire said he would implant the chip in his body when the technology is ready to be applied to humans. At the time, he said the company's only hurdle was waiting for FDA approval.

Neuralink has eight founding members including Elon Musk, Ben Rapoport, Dongjin Seo, Max Hodak, Paul Merolla, Tim Gardner, Tim Hanson, and Vanessa Tolosa, but six of them have retired . Currently, the company only has two people on the founding team, Musk and implant engineer Dongjin Seo.

Bao Lam

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