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Neuralink Granted FDA Approval to Conduct Human Brain Chip Trials

Neuralink, a Silicon Valley tech startup co-founded by Elon Musk, was recently granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct clinical trials on humans to implant brain chips for creating brain-computer interfaces. This new technology has been designed to enable patients suffering from paralysis to operate devices through their brain activity alone.

What is Neuralink & Its Brain-Computer Interface Technology?

Neuralink is a tech company that is working on developing implantable brain-machine interfaces to help people with neurological problems. The wireless device, called Neuralink 1, is approximately the size of a coin and includes multiple chips, a wireless battery, and other electronics. Dozens of ultra-thin threads protrude from Neuralink’s brain implant, which directly inserts into the brain and transmits signals via Bluetooth to a brain-computer interface.

Upgrades to Improve Patients’ Lives:

Neuralink’s vision is to provide aid to patients paralyzed or suffering from disorders like Parkinson’s by developing a brain-computer interface. The chip would pick up and guide signals for someone suffering from paralysis, transmitting direct instructions to an electronic device. This device could be a phone or other electronics.

When Will Neuralink Commercialise Their Brain Implant?

Although the clinical trials for Neuralink’s implants could begin within six months, it could take a decade or more for the company to commercialize brain implants. The challenging aspect of this technology is ensuring safe protocols for human testing.

Elon Musk’s Vision for Neuralink:

Elon Musk has clarified that “First, Neuralink’s product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs. Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in the brain to Neuralinks in the body’s motor and sensory nerve clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again.” These ideas seem to be promising for the greater good of humanity, uniting scientific theories and technological advancements.

Concerns Raised by Regulators:

There are some concerns that regulators have raised about Neuralink’s methodology and research protocols, including the treatment of animals and the potential health risks of the brain implant. Currently, Neuralink is under investigation due to these concerns.

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As a company, Neuralink has garnered considerable attention and investment. However, it remains in the experimental stage of creating a brain-computer interface and implanting it into humans. This technology still has some way to go before the company can commercialize it, and stringent regulations need to be in place to ensure its safe and ethical application. Eventually, such technological breakthroughs can revolutionize medical care and help alleviate challenges faced by patients with neurological disorders.

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