Elon Musk’s Brain startup Neuralink is recruiting for its first human clinical trial

Neuralink Corp., the brain implant startup led by billionaire Elon Musk, is recruiting patients for a clinical trial, a long-awaited step that brings the science fiction-esque technology closer to human reality.

| Updated on: Sep 21 2023, 10:15 IST
Elon Musk says blocking feature on X ‘makes no sense’ to him
Elon Musk
1/7 Elon Musk, the CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter), has tweeted that he wants to eliminate the platform's 'block' feature. Musk made this decision in response to a query from a user, where he sought user opinions on the preference between muting and blocking. (Bloomberg)
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2/7 In a recent post on X (formerly Twitter), Musk clarified that the blocking feature will be discontinued, except for direct messages, while muting will remain an available option. (Bloomberg)
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3/7 On Friday, Musk shared a message, stating, "The 'block' feature is being completely removed, except for its use in direct messages. It simply doesn't make sense," commented the billionaire. (REUTERS)
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4/7 Muting vs. blocking: According to a report by Bloomberg, muting an account will still allow users to avoid seeing posts from that account. However, muted accounts will retain the ability to respond to the user's posts, share them with their own followers, add commentary, and send direct messages. (AFP)
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5/7 User concerns: Blocking, which has long served as a fundamental security measure on X, has raised concerns among users about potential increases in online harassment following its removal. (Pexels)
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6/7 One user reacted to Musk's tweet and replied, "Don’t go there. No one is entitled to other people’s posts. People should be able to block whoever they want". (Pexels)
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7/7 A series of transformations: Some of the significant alterations implemented under Musk's leadership include substantial workforce reductions, replacing the traditional verification program with the $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription, rebranding the company from Twitter to X, and introducing new features such as live streaming. (AP)
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Neuralink is recruiting patients for a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and functionality of its brain implant technology. (REUTERS)

Neuralink Corp., the brain implant startup led by billionaire Elon Musk, is recruiting patients for a clinical trial, a long-awaited step that brings the science fiction-esque technology closer to human reality.

In a blog post, the company said it was recruiting patients with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for the trial. Neuralink plans to evaluate the safety and functionality of its tool allowing people to manipulate external devices with their minds.

The initial goal “is to grant people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone,” the company said in the post.

The announcement marks a highly anticipated moment for the startup, which has created a wave of interest in the field of brain implants.

While Musk has discussed far-out targets for Neuralink — such as helping people learn languages or communicating thoughts mentally — he has also consistently said that its first project would be to help ameliorate brain injuries.

Several other companies working on similar technology have previously succeeded in embedding devices in brains. Synchron Inc. implanted its first device in a US patient via blood vessels rather than brain surgery. Synchron inserts its device via a surgical incision in the base of the neck and then maneuvers the implant to its destination in the brain.

Early Food and Drug Administration approval for Neuralink's trial came in May this year with an investigational device exemption, which allows medical device makers to move ahead with human trials. The company said it had also received approval from the hospital where it will perform the first surgeries, but did not name the hospital.

The path to the next set of trials and eventual widespread deployment is a long one. In May, Victor Krauthamer, a professor at George Washington University and the former director of the division of Biomedical Physics at the FDA, noted: “It usually takes years.”

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First Published Date: 21 Sep, 10:08 IST