A cache of horrific images of monkeys injured or killed in experiments with Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain implant technology may not be released – amid a legal battle to get the University of California to do so – as the brain transplant company denies allegations of animal abuse.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocacy group says it has learned that UCSD Davis has 371 photos of monkeys tested inside the school’s veterinary lab facilities.
The prestigious University of California has hundreds of images depicting, among other things, “dissections of animals killed” in experiments, according to PCRM, which also filed a complaint against Neuralink.
Musk’s plan is to connect the human brain with a micron-sized “neural lace” device to implant tiny electrodes that could one day read a person’s mind. This technology will initially be used to help people with degenerative brain disorders such as ALS, but it could have broader uses as well.
A cache of horrific images of monkeys reportedly injured or killed in experiments with Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain implant technology may not be released – amid a legal battle aimed at pushing the University of California to do so.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocacy group says it has learned that the University of California, Davis has 371 images of monkeys tested within the school’s veterinary laboratory facilities.
Musk’s plan is to connect the human brain with a micron-sized “neural lace” device to implant tiny electrodes that could one day read a person’s mind. The technology will initially be used to help people with degenerative brain disorders such as ALS, but it could have broader uses as well.
Neuralink: Elon Musk’s Computer Interface and Brain Game
Elon Musk’s Neuralink connects the human brain to a machine interface by creating micron-sized devices.
Neuralink was registered in California as a “medical research” company in July 2016, and Musk funded the company mostly himself.
He will work on what Musk calls “neural lace” technology, implanting tiny electrodes into the brain that may one day upload and download ideas.
This technology will initially be used to help people with severe degenerative brain disorders such as ALS, but it could have wider uses in the coming years.
“UC Davis thinks the public is so stupid that they don’t know what they’re looking for,” says Ryan Merkley, Physicians Committee Research Director.
“But it is clear that the university is simply trying to hide the fact that it partnered with taxpayer Elon Musk to conduct experiments in which animals suffered and died,” he says in a press release.
When contacted by DailyMail.com for comment, a Neuralink spokesperson referred to a company blog post detailing its commitment to animal welfare.
This blog post says that all work done at UC Davis has been approved by the School’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, a federal mandate, and that in 2020 Neuralink built a 6,000-square-foot dwelling for farm animals and rhesus macaques. “He works with caretakers who are passionate about animal welfare, a core tenet of Neuralink’s philosophy.”
“It’s worth noting that Neuralink never received a citation from USDA inspections of our facilities and animal welfare program,” the company says.
“We recently applied for and were awarded accreditation by the International Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), an international voluntary agency that accredits excellence in animal care.”
The blog post details a number of ways the company says it goes beyond industry standards for animal welfare, including in the areas of housing, diet, care, data collection, and activity.
Neuralink PCRM is described as a group that opposes any use of animals in scientific research. On its website, PCRM talks about “moving from animal use to human-relevant research methods,” replacing animals with “simulators,” as well as “supportive methods for replacing animal testing.”
Earlier this year, Neuralink admitted that several of the rhesus macaques it used to test their brain technology had been euthanized after malfunctions or infections. This came on the heels of a PCRM complaint against Neuralink that was filed with the USDA and alleged multiple charges of animal abuse between 2017 and 2020.
The University of California at Davis has already released more than 600 pages of records that showed monkeys suffering from chronic infections, paralysis and seizures, according to the animal rights organization.
But the animal rights organization says the school still has two large photo caches, totaling 317, showing monkeys participating in the experiments – including some that were allegedly killed.
A UC Davis spokesperson told DailyMail.com that they fully complied with the California Public Records Act in response to PCRM’s request and referred us to its earlier statement.
UC Davis ended its relationship with Neuralink in 2020 and says it reviewed and agreed to all research protocols during the trials. According to PCRM, brain technology company Musk paid $1.4 million to use its facilities between 2017 and 2020.
Musk said there will be a “show and tell” event for the Neuralink update on October 31.