Elon Musks startup Neuralink successfully implanted a chip into the
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Elon Musk’s startup Neuralink successfully implanted a chip into the brain of the first patient

Neuralink, a company that has long sought the right to begin human clinical trials, has already performed the first operation this year to implant a patient with an implant that allows them to interact with a computer. It was previously reported that a total of 11 volunteer patients would undergo such operations this year.

    Image source: Neuralink

Image source: Neuralink

In most cases, people are driven to take such a risk by severe motor impairments that do not allow them to move their limbs independently. Neuralink wants to configure the interface between the human brain and a computer so that patients can effectively control bionic prostheses or exoskeletons and, ideally, begin moving their limbs themselves.

Yesterday Elon Musk on the pages of his social network X authorizedthat the first person received a Neuralink implant and is now recovering from surgery. Let’s remember that a small cylindrical implant is inserted into a hole in the human skull and connected to the brain using the thinnest electrodes. According to the company’s plan, specialized robots will carry out such operations. Elon Musk added that the initial results are encouraging as the implant is already able to record the activity of the patient’s neurons.

The company has already come up with a name for its implant and plans to mass-produce it if clinical trials are successful. This is called telepathy and allows a person to control a smartphone, computer or other device “literally with the power of thought.” According to Musk, the goal of the startup is to help people with severe disorders in the interaction of the brain with the nervous system. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a skilled typist can type or say an auctioneer.” — The company boss gave an example.

Let us recall that in the previous phases of testing, the Neuralink solution was used by experimental monkeys to control objects in computer games using brain signals. For example, a macaque implanted with a chip played table tennis on a computer screen. The company originally wanted to begin testing the implant on humans by the end of 2019, but approval was only obtained in the past. The electrodes that penetrate the patient’s cerebral cortex reach less than 2 millimeters deep, but that’s more than most competing solutions. It typically takes about six months to test the implants on the first group of five or ten patients. If everything goes well in this phase, the company can expand its testing. Neuralink’s scientific advisers say it will take years before the company’s brain implants are approved for mass use.

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