Neuralink has been dragged into a lawsuit by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine against the University of California, Davis. The lawsuit, which is being amended from its original May 2021 filing date, seeks UC Davis to release images and videos of inhumanely treated test subjects, including monkeys, who died after participating to certain research trials sponsored by Neuralink for the development of neural interface implant devices. We have assembled an exclusive timeline of events based on interviews and a review of over 700 pages of documents that UC Davis was to turn over to the PCRM.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a non-profit organization with more than 17,000 physician members. He today filed a formal complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture, claiming that UC Davis and Neuralink personnel violated federal animal welfare law related to experiments performed on 23 monkeys. . Neuralink paid over $1.4 million to UC Davis to carry out the experiments.

PCRM said in a press release that Neuralink and the University “failed to provide dying monkeys with adequate veterinary care, used an unapproved substance known as ‘Bioglue’ which killed monkeys by destroying parts of their brains and did not provide psychological well-being to monkeys assigned to the experiment.

In an exclusive interview with Teslarati Earlier today, Jeremy Beckham, MPA, MPH, PCRM’s Research Promotion Coordinator, said the lawsuit really intended to open up “basic facts about what the Neuralink tests have made to animals”. Beckham said the monkeys had their brains mutilated in the experiments. Veterinary records, which have been shared with Teslarati by PCRM, show that UC Davis and Neuralink personnel performed invasive and lethal experiments on monkeys to assess the effectiveness of the Neuralink device. The letter PCRM sent to the USDA earlier today gives several graphic descriptions of how the test animals were treated.


Neuralink details humane treatment of animals in Link v0.9 testing

One animal, known as “Animal 6,” was a 6-year-old macaque monkey that was killed on January 16, 2019. The letter states that on October 10, 2018, implanted electrodes “were placed in the using an experimental robot. then, “attached to the skull using titanium implant screws.” The location of the screws began to fester, according to the letter. On January 14, “Animal 6” had started picking the infected area. Staff euthanized the monkey two days later.

Chronology of events

PCRM has been working to clarify the situation since September 2020, but a more descriptive timeline of events would clarify how Neuralink, UC Davis and PCRM all combined in this issue.

  • May 2017 – University of California, Davis and Neuralink sign and agree to nondisclosure agreements regarding testing.
  • September 2017 – UC Davis and Neuralink officially begin their collaboration to conduct primate experiments at UC Davis facilities. The goal is to develop a brain-machine interface.
  • July 2018 – “Animal 4,” an 11-year-old macaque monkey is killed in the Neuralink/UC Davis experiments, according to the complaint. The monkey was “on antidepressants and suffered from chronic diarrhea and poor appetite”. Additionally, the monkey was observed to be “lethargic” and “depressed”, and hunched over and passed bloody diarrhea. The monkey eventually died in a fatal procedure on July 20.
    • Also in July 2018 – “Animal 12”, approximately 7 years old, undergoes a craniotomy procedure and insertion of electrodes. Records show the animal had “serious clinical adverse effects after implantation, had poor stool quality, was not eating, and had an eye infection.” Recordings abruptly stopped on July 30.
  • September 2018 – “Animal 21”, a 7-year-old female macaque undergoes an “electrode insertion survivability” procedure using “experimental robotics”. The animal was observed with adverse side effects the following day, including vomiting, gasping, retching, and had little interaction with its surroundings and observers. The animal was euthanized and showed signs of “Bioglue”, an unapproved adhesive, covering the brain.
  • December 2018 – “Animal 15”, a 7-year-old female macaque undergoes a craniotomy and the implantation of a recording device. After the operation, the area became infected and bloody. The animal was euthanized on March 21, 2019. The autopsy performed shows “remaining electrode wires”.
  • January 2019 – “Animal 6”, a 6-year-old macaque monkey is killed as part of the “experimental design”. The electrodes were secured by screws drilled into the monkey’s skull, and lab staff were forced to “frequently clean” the eroded skin near the monkey’s implant site.
  • March 2019 – “Animal 11” is killed at around age 11 in a terminal procedure. The monkey had a head or brain implant placed on Dec. 3, 2018, and began experiencing symptoms such as decreased appetite and missing fingers and toes, likely caused by self-harm.
  • January 2020 – “Animal 5”, another macaque monkey is “inadvertently” killed by an anticonvulsant. He showed signs of significant weight loss and alopecia.
  • July 2020 – Neuralink’s Elon Musk announces that the company will host an event on August 28, 2020 to show the progress of the V0.9 device. “Will show neurons firing in real time on August 28. The matrix within the matrix,” Musk said in a Tweeter.
    • Also July 2020 – Neuralink receives a “breakthrough device” designation from the FDA in July, and the company is working with the agency to make the technology as safe as possible.
  • August 2020 – Neuralink unveils device v0.9, displaying healthy and working pigs. Musk gives a presentation on the new device, showing off the simplified product that Neuralink has developed. “It’s like a FitBit in your skull with tiny wires,” Musk half-joked. “I could have it now and you wouldn’t even know it.” Maybe I do! The device is said to be installed without general anesthesia. There will be no bleeding and no noticeable damage after the device is implanted.
  • September 2020 – PCRM files a request in the California Public Records, seeking information about the UC Davis trials of the Neuralink device. The request is ultimately denied pursuant to California State Code 6255(a), which states that the Agency “justifies the retention of any record by demonstrating that the record in question is exempt under the express provisions of this chapter or that on the facts of the particular case, the public interest served by the non-disclosure of the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by the disclosure of the record.
  • October 2020 – “Animal 10”, an 8-year-old macaque monkey, is shipped to Neuralink’s Fremont facility. The monkey has severe hair loss, had lesions from ‘unspecified trauma’ and exhibited self-harming behavior.
  • November 2020 – Neuralink is severing ties with UC Davis on November 11. Neuralink then moves seven of the remaining monkeys to its facility in Fremont, California. Beckham said records show that 15 of the 23 monkeys used in the research died or were euthanized at UC Davis. The whereabouts of the final monkey are unclear, but it’s possible the animal was reassigned to a different project at UC Davis, Beckham said.
  • April 2021 – Neuralink posts a YouTube video of “Pager the Monkey” allegedly playing video games with a wireless neural interface. The video features a nine-year-old macaque named Pager playing “MindPong” while using a Neuralink device.
  • May 2021 – PCRM is suing University of California Davis under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) for failing to release records in September 2020. Before the suit reached a court ruling, the attorney for the University of California agrees to publish 700 pages of information.
  • October 2021 – University of California General Counsel turns over records, including animal experimentation records and veterinary reports, to PCRM. More than 700 pages of notices are returned.
  • February 2022 – PCRM files a separate complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture alleging that information the organization has already received reveals evidence of violations of federal animal welfare laws.

To advance

Beckham argues that the main point of the latest filing is to get UC Davis to turn over photographs and videos that reveal the inhumane treatment of animals as a result of the experiments. There are monkeys convulsing, vomiting and dying in these labs,” Beckham said. “People want to line up for first-in-man trials, and they should see that before they commit to it,” he said. Teslarati. Neuralink was slated for human trials this year, Musk said last year.

Beckham said these complaints can take a while to go through the court system. “In my years of involvement in humane testing litigation, I know these things can take a while. Maybe up to a year,” he said. “It also depends on how much they want to retaliate.”

Neuralink did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.

Beckham’s full letter to the USDA is available below.

2022-02-10 PCRM USDA Complaint Re UC Davis and Neuralink (No Exhibit) by Joey Klender on Scribd

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EXCLUSIVE: Neuralink dragged into a lawsuit for human testing – Timeline of events