1,500 animals died in agony during experiments for Neuralink. Monkeys had their skulls drilled and chips glued to their brains

1,500 animals died in agony during experiments for Neuralink. Monkeys had their skulls drilled and chips glued to their brains
1,500 animals died in agony during experiments for Neuralink. Monkeys had their skulls drilled and chips glued to their brains

Research for the Neuralink device announced a short time ago by Elon Musk, allegedly killed and tortured at least 1,500 animals, monkeys, sheep and pigs.

Elon Musk angers animal rights defenders PHOTO Shutterstock

Experiments carried out for the Tesla billionaire’s project included drilling holes in monkeys’ skulls and filling them with glue, according to the DailyMail.

Documents released by the University of Davis, California, which collaborated with Neuralink on the tests for three years from 2017 to 2020, show that the monkeys underwent multiple brain surgeries before being euthanized.

According to the source cited, surgeons drilled holes in the monkeys’ skulls to implant the Neuralink chips into their brains, but they were too large and did not fit properly.

Animal death reports reveal that the monkeys had parts of their limbs amputated and were euthanized after they started vomiting and had episodes of diarrhea.

The documents were obtained by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a campaign group, which said the monkeys suffered “extreme suffering” during a “systematic disregard” for their lives.

PCRM said the public should be skeptical of claims by Tesla and SpaceX founder Musk, who boasted this week: “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a typist or an auctioneer. This is the goal.

Elon Musk accused of misleading the public about Neuralink

In a statement to the DailyMail, PCRM said that Musk has a “long history of misleading the public about Neuralink’s alleged developments.”

Neuralink has a well-documented history of conducting unnecessary and sloppy experiments on monkeys, pigs, sheep and other animals, raising serious concerns about the safety of its device“, PCRM announced.

The statement added that “Musk’s true intentions for Neuralink are alarmingly clear“.

He has repeatedly said that the company’s goal is to ‘achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence’, which is not necessarily consistent with developing treatments for patients“, the statement also shows.

Although Musk reportedly stated that he wanted the test monkeys to live in a “The Taj Mahal of Monkeys“, photos from the UC Davis lab show a much grimmer reality, with small metal cages stacked on top of each other.

The documents include contracts between Neuralink and UC Davis, which specified that the university would have received $796,006 for the first round of tests, from July 2017 to July 2018.

An invoice shows the expenses included $11,870.40 for the purchase of three animals and $14,349.12 for the surgery.

UC Davis noted that there will be a “16-hour terminal surgery” and that the autopsy will require “additional fees” if the schedule is exceeded.

According to the documents, the monkeys tested at UC Davis were divided into four groups, the first of which “without surgical recovery (terminal procedure)“.

The monkeys were subjected to terrible torture

The monkeys were subjected to terrible torture PHOTO Neuralink via X

The main aim will be to behaviorally program the implanted animals and test the performance results in the preconditioned monkeys“, the file states.

The animals were to be prepared for surgery by being given drugs such as valium and fentanyl and anesthetics, after which an incision of up to 10 cm was made on the scalp.

The guidelines recognize that the fit for each implant “it may not be perfect” and that screws will be used to secure them.

Among the tests performed were behavioral training that mapped neural activity based on what the monkey was doing.

The animals reached specific places with their hands or performed short-term memory exercises that were reinforced with rewards.

Animals locked up for hours for experiments

A protocol for “use and care of animals“, which expired in July 2021, stated that animals can be forced to stay in a “seat” – defined as a “plastic box” – which forces them to remain in an upright position.

The document states that if the animal does not stick its head through the seat’s neck hole, the option to sedate the creature and put a collar on it to hold it in place was desired.

The document states: “Animals will be restrained for a maximum of five hours in a single day. They can be held in the chair several times in one day. The seat lock can be performed every day, including weekends“.

A July 2019 standard protocol amendment request noted that the implant was about the size of a coin with a diameter of 22.5 mm. This would have been anchored into the monkey’s skull with bone screws, dental acrylic, and/or other approved materials. A paper from the same month addresses the issue of using Bioglue on a monkey.

The cages where the animals were kept

The cages where the animals were kept PHOTO UC Davis vis Daily Mail

In the section “potential adverse effects“, an email from March 2021 states that bone screws will lead to “a number of holes in the monkey’s skull“. It also states that the needle used by the robot to insert the wires into the implant “it can break and leave fragments in the brain“.

Shocking details of monkey torture

Perhaps the most shocking documents are the reports of each monkey’s death.

A monkey named “Animal 8” had “multiple amputated toe tips” and had “diarrhea in the first year of life“, the documents note. In addition, the creature underwent a vasectomy. One report states that a “drill hole” in its head until the brain was exposed, the implant was placed and tested, then the animal was euthanized.

“Animal 4,” an 11-year-old macaque monkey, was on antidepressants before being euthanized in July 2018. UC Davis noted that the animal was “arch” and show “lethargicStaff expected the monkey to live less than a month after a procedure, but it lived another seven months.

Another monkey, known as “Animal 5“, was observed having “paternal alopecia” and significant hair loss. A monkey named “Animal 6” underwent a highly invasive procedure in October 2018, in which lab staff drilled holes in its skull and attached electrodes to its brain. Two months later, the area around the implant infected, which led to the use of a “large quantities” of antibiotics to clean it up.

Other monkeys had self-mutilating behaviors or seizures.

This is not the first time that Neuralink has been criticized for its treatment of test animals. In December 2022, Reuters reported that the company was being investigated by the USDA and the Department of Justice for animal welfare violations.

That month, members of Congress wrote to the USDA to raise their concerns about animal welfare at Neuralink. Last February, PCRM obtained additional records indicating that UC Davis may have violated federal law by transporting infectious pathogens without secure packaging.

Neuralink has previously stated that it is “absolutely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible“. UC Davis stated that “comply with all laws and regulations” and refused to release 371 photos of the monkeys they used in experiments for Neuralink.

The article is in Romanian

Tags: animals died agony experiments Neuralink Monkeys skulls drilled chips glued brains


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