An autopsy report has confirmed that a Neuralink implant ruptured the brain of a female macaque during an experiment, forcing scientists to end its suffering.
According to an Oct. 4 report by Wired magazine , the implant “deformed and ruptured” the brain of the test animal after an experiment caused severe cerebral swelling. The 2018 experiment done at the University of California, Davis ‘ (UC Davis) California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) left the seven-year-old monkey with “severe neurological defects.”
Researchers realized that the test animal was in a terminal state after noting the severity of its brain swelling. But instead of ending its suffering, the scientist overseeing the experiment insisted that the monkey be kept alive another day. Wired then recounted the animal’s torturous final 24 hours before being put down.
“The monkey seized and vomited; [its] pupils reacted less and less to the light. [Its] right leg went limp, and [it] could no longer support the weight of [its] 15-pound body without gripping the bars of [its] cage,” the magazine wrote. “Sometimes [the monkey] would wake and scratch at [its] throat, retching and gasping for air before collapsing again, exhausted.”
An anonymous former Neuralink employee disclosed: “If you want to split hairs, the implant itself did not cause death. We sacrificed her to end her suffering.”
An autopsy disclosed the reason behind the monkey’s suffering. A “toxic adhesive” from the implant leaked internally, causing inflammation and “painful pressure” on a part of the monkey’s brain that secretes cerebrospinal fluid. The effects were so severe that the rear part of the monkey’s brain protruded from its skull.
The results of the experiment opened up Neuralink, which is headed by Elon Musk, to potential legal actions under the Animal Welfare Act. But the CNPRC had proactively reported the violation to authorities, thus it could not be legally cited. Ethics group demands TRANSPARENCY from Neuralink
The incident of the Neuralink monkey’s gruesome consequence as a result of the implants was among the records obtained by Wired . But the magazine noted that this may not be the only instance of monkeys suffering from such experiments as UC Davis has a tight grip on records being released to the public.
In October 2022, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) sued UC Davis in an attempt to gain access to records of Neuralink’s work with the CNPRC, including videos and documents. It argued in California state court that the public has the right to know about any suffering resulting from taxpayer-funded animal tests, given that UC Davis is a public institution. The lawsuit filed in the Yolo County Superior Court is ongoing.
Corey Page, PCRM’s legal counsel, said disclosure of information regarding these monkey experiments “is particularly important because Neuralink actively misleads the public about, and downplays the gruesome nature of, the experiments.”
Despite the lawsuit, the university remains adamant about refusing to release documentation about the female monkey that died during Neuralink’s experiments. It argues that the public is simply unequipped to properly interpret the photographs. Moreover, it also claims that the backlash caused by the content of the photos would not only endanger the scientists but discourage them from taking such photos in the first place.
“Nevertheless, the negative press hasn’t deterred Neuralink from going ahead with human trials,” Futurism ‘s Frank Landymore wrote in an Oct. 7 piece. He pointed out, however, that “the outcome of the [PCRM’s] lawsuit may cast a long shadow over those experiments.” (Related: FDA rejects Elon Musk’s bid to test Neuralink brain implants in humans. )
Visit MedicalExperiments.news for more stories about Neuralink’s experiments with monkeys.
Watch this video of researchers implanting a Neuralink device onto a monkey’s brain . Neuralink Brain Chip Experiment
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