Feds investigate Elon Musk's Neuralink

Elon Musk's brain-computer interface company, Neuralink, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation for alleged packaging and transporting of contaminated hardware, CNBC reported Feb. 11.

In 2019, Neuralink allegedly mishandled devices removed from the brains of primates that may have been contaminated with viruses such as herpes B and bacteria like Staphylococcus and Klebsiella.

The Department of Transportation was first alerted to the alleged violations in a letter from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that opposes animal testing in medicine.

The PCRM obtained records from the University of California Davis, a Neuralink research partner, that showed researchers raised concerns about mishandled materials.

"Since the hardware components of the explanted neural device are not sealed and it was not disinfected prior to leaving the Primate Center, this presents a hazard for anyone potentially coming in contact with the device," the UC Davis staffer said in the email. "Simply labeling it 'hazardous' doesn't account for the risk of potentially contracting Herpes B."

Neuralink did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.

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