Doctors’ group claims UC Davis has 371 photos of Musk’s Neuralink experiments on killed monkeys

According to the PCRM press release, UC Davis admitted it has photos related to the animals killed during Neuralink’s experiments to implant brain chips 

September 30, 2022 04:05 pm | Updated 04:15 pm IST

File photo of Elon Musk, co-founder of the brain-machine interface company Neuralink

File photo of Elon Musk, co-founder of the brain-machine interface company Neuralink | Photo Credit: AP

An American university revealed it has 371 photographs relating to experiments on monkeys which died during Neuralink’s mission to insert brain chips in them, according to a press release published by a doctors’ group on September 26.

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The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine group sued the University of California, Davis in February this year when it would not release photos and videos of the Neuralink experiments.

Neuralink, a brain-machine interface company co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, aims to make it possible for brains to interact with computers. The company has admitted that some of its test subjects were euthanised in the past.

According to the PCRM press release, UC Davis admitted it had 185 photographs related to the animals killed during Neuralink’s experiments. University attorneys reportedly did not want the photos released due to fears of the public misunderstanding them.

The release also claimed UC Davis admitted there were another 186 photographs taken by Neuralink employees as part of the experiments on monkeys, but said the photos are “proprietary” and should not be released. This brings the total to 371 images.

Animal rights activists believe the images might be graphic, violent, or provide proof that monkeys were tortured as part of Neuralink’s experiments.

“UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re looking at,” said Ryan Merkley, director of research advocacy with the Physicians Committee. 

“But it’s clear the university is simply trying to hide from taxpayers the fact that it partnered with Elon Musk to conduct experiments in which animals suffered and died,” he added in the release.

Past reports and complaints by the PCRM group alleged that monkeys underwent “crude surgeries” and had holes in their skulls filled with an unapproved “BioGlue.” The group said the monkeys later suffered symptoms such as bleeding in the brain and extreme vomiting which led to open sores in one monkey’s oesophagus.

Neuralink paid over $1 million to use the university’s facilities and research animals, according to the press release.

The company co-founded by Musk has previously denied claims of animal cruelty. Earlier this year, Neuralink said research animals were “respected and honored” by its team. A company blog post on its animal welfare policies featured photos of a pig enjoying walks and monkeys playing with toys.

UC Davis reported its collaboration with Neuralink ended in 2020. 

The public records lawsuit is ongoing.

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