Out of 23 monkeys that had Elon Musk’s Neuralink microchips implanted in their brains at the University of California Davis between 2017 and 2020, 15 of them died, and all suffered debilitating health effects, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Neuralink was founded in 2016 with a goal of helping people recover from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, curing depression, and connecting humans to the internet.
Out of a total of 23 monkeys implanted with Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chips at the University of California Davis between 2017 and 2020, at least 15 reportedly died.
Via Business Insiderand the New York Post, the news comes from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an animal-rights group that viewed over 700 pages of documents, veterinary records, and necropsy reports through a public records request at the university.
Neuralink was founded in 2016 with a goal of helping people recover from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, curing depression and other mental health disorders, and connecting humans to the internet for everything from music streaming to near-telepathic communication. The company has often touted its successes, such as a demonstration on a pig in 2020, and a 2021 video of a macaque playing Pong with its mind.
The project has attracted a great deal of interest from celebrities like Grimes and Lil Uzi Vert, and people suffering from paralysis often petition Musk on social media to be a part of human trials. Musk previously said that he hoped to begin human trials in 2021, but that goal has been pushed back to 2022. Based on the PCRM’s findings, the brain chips may be nowhere near ready.
“Pretty much every single monkey that had had implants put in their head suffered from pretty debilitating health effects,” said the PCRM’s research advocacy director Jeremy Beckham. “They were, frankly, maiming and killing the animals.”
Neuralink chips were implanted by drilling holes into the monkeys’ skulls. One primate developed a bloody skin infection and had to be euthanized. Another was discovered missing fingers and toes, “possibly from self-mutilation or some other unspecified trauma,” and had to be put down. A third began uncontrollably vomiting shortly after surgery, and days later “appeared to collapse from exhaustion/fatigue.” An autopsy revealed the animal suffered from a brain hemorrhage.
The PCRM filed a complaint with the the US Department of Agriculture on Thursday, accusing UC Davis and Neuralink of nine violations of the Animal Welfare Act. “Many, if not all, of the monkeys experienced extreme suffering as a result of inadequate animal care and the highly invasive experimental head implants during the experiments, which were performed in pursuit of developing what Neuralink and Elon Musk have publicly described as a ‘brain-machine interface,’” the group wrote in the complaint.
The sheer volume of medical findings that have been published during the recent decades is absolutely staggering. As such, it is difficult, if not impossible to test each and every one of them independently. Many contain errors, or even flat out lies.
There are plenty of reasons why this would be the case. Chief amongst them is the fact that scientists and researchers need money to conduct their experiments. Those who provide the funding might have their own agenda, when it comes to results, and will want the findings to reflect that agenda. In other cases, projects run out of funding, or need to be published quickly, to secure more money. In these situations, tests are often conducted improperly, or the results are not thoroughly verified.
Sometimes, a medical journal will publish preliminary, inconclusive results that will get picked up by the media and announced as if they were hardcore facts. If the news is a hit, they will often forget to mention the follow-up research that proved the initial results were incorrect.
1. Any Sort of “Scientifically Tested” Weight Loss Treatment
The truth is we’ve known how to lose weight for a very long time. Regular exercise, and a strict diet are enough to the trick in most situations. There are many different body types out there, so losing weight to the point where you look like an underfed fashion model might not be an option, regardless of how much you try.
However, losing weight the healthy way is a long, and difficult process, and a lot of people are looking for quick fixes to their problems. Popping a pill to slim down sounds like a great alternative to many.
Some products include an asterisk few people bother to check. If there is an actual medical test involved, the sample size of people is often so small it barely qualifies as a sample at all. But it’s enough that get that label attached to your product.
2. Flu Medicine that Actually Cures the Flu
It’s surprising anyone still believes that cold treatments actually work. Anyone who’s ever had the flu knows that it takes at least a few days for the symptoms to go away, even if you’re taking medicine.
The fact of the matter is, it’s not the flu medicine that’s working. At best, these treatments only alleviate the symptoms, but they don’t do anything against the actual virus. Next time you decide to buy pills that are advertised as being effective against the common cold, check their ingredients. You’ll notice they’re the same as those of common painkillers, or anti-inflammatory drugs.
The reason these drugs are marketed as flu medicine is to raise their price. It makes buyers feel like they’re going to be more effective than other drugs against influenza. And that’s going to make them willing to pay more.
3. Cancer Rates Have Increased Dramatically During the Past Decades
You’d think the numbers wouldn’t lie. And looking at statistics, it would seem that there’s a real cancer epidemic going on. While the number may or may not be true, the story that surrounds them is wildly exaggerated, to say the least.
In reality, there have been some major changes in our way of life, during the past decades. People tend to live longer. Since cancer is a disease related to aging, statistically, more people are expected to develop some form of cancer.
Secondly, people are much more aware of what cancer looks like, and medics have gotten better at detecting it. We no longer live in an age when things like ‘catching the evil eye’ can kill you. Now we can identify some of the causes that lead to diseases, and death.
So, why are the stories about soaring cancer rates so popular? It all comes down to money. The scarier the condition seems, the more funding researchers are going to receive.
4. Animal Testing Is a Good Way to Measure the Effectiveness of a Drug
Results of animal testing have very limited applicability when it comes to humans. Mice are usually preferred because they share certain genetic similarities with humans, but the truth is there similarities are not nearly enough to warrant a medical comparison.
The unreliability of animal testing, unfortunately, is often ignored. Drugs and treatments that have only been used on animals are marketed as being scientifically proven to work.
5. The “Talking Cure” Is an Effective Way to Deal with Trauma
Psychologists everywhere never cease to praise the merits of talking about a traumatic experience when it comes to depression, anxiety, and other diseases of the modern age. But patients’ testimonies seem to disprove these assessments. In some cases, the “talking cure” might actually do more harm than good. Some professionals might be so desperate to prove that the method works, that they actually convince patients that they have a deep, underlying issue they are not aware of, when that’s not the case.
And unfortunately, most antidepressants have been proven to be ineffective as well, which means more research should be done on a cure that actually works, rather than trying to prove that the old methods do have some value.
We often hear the phrase ‘Science still has a long way to go’, but rarely is used when it comes to ethics and reliability. It is true that the scientific community still has a lot to offer. But rather than always looking forward, to the next big discovery, it should take care to look to the past as well, and reanalyze the things it takes for granted, for whatever reason.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 7, 2011) — European legislation restricts animal testing within the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries and companies are increasingly looking at alternative systems to ensure that their products are safe to use. Research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Genomics demonstrates that the response of laboratory grown human cells can now be used to classify chemicals as sensitizing, or non-sensitizing, and can even predict the strength of allergic response, so providing an alternative to animal testing.