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Elon Musk's Neuralink Receive Approval for Brain Chip Implantation in Second Patient

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Photo: Elon Musk's Neuralink Receive Approval for Brain Chip Implantation in Second Patient. Source: Collage The Gaze / by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: Elon Musk's Neuralink Receive Approval for Brain Chip Implantation in Second Patient. Source: Collage The Gaze / by Leonid Lukashenko

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow Elon Musk's brain chip company Neuralink to implant its device in a second patient next month, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The federal agency was satisfied with Neuralink's proposals to correct errors reported in the company's first patient, Noland Arbaugh, a 30-year-old paraplegic who was able to control the cursor on a computer screen using only his thoughts and play games and chat with friends.

Earlier this month, Neuralink announced that the implant's tiny wires, which are thinner than a human hair, had moved away from Arbaugh's brain, reducing the number of electrodes that could measure brain signals.

Arbaugh's brain was moving about three times faster than the company expected, which led to the retraction of the wires that transmit brain signals. 

The signals are converted into actions, such as moving the mouse cursor on a computer screen.

The company said it was able to restore the implant's ability to control the patient's brain signals by making changes that included modifying its algorithm to be more sensitive.

It was known from the animal trials the company conducted prior to US approval last year that the wires could retract, removing the sensitive electrodes that decode brain signals with them. According to the report, Neuralink deemed this risk to be low enough. 

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