A California university is refusing to release a cache of grisly photos of monkeys reportedly injured during experiments testing Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain implant technology, in spite of a lawsuit aiming to force the school’s hand.
In a press release, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocacy group said that it had learned that the University of California, Davis is in possession of 371 photos of the experimented-upon monkeys that were subjected to Neuralink tests, which took place at the school’s veterinary lab facilities.
Earlier this year, Neuralink admitted that a fifth of the 23 rhesus macaques monkeys it used to test its brain-hacking implants had been euthanized after developing infections and malfunctions. Bolstering PCRM’s credibility, that admission came in the wake of its a complaint it filed against Neuralink.
Now, PCRM says it learned that UC Davis is in possession of the hundreds of photos depicting, among other things, “necropsies of animals killed” in the experiments after filing a lawsuit against the school in February over its shielding of the photos, which the university argues are “proprietary.”
“UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re looking at,” Physicians Committee research director Ryan Merkley said in the press release. “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.”
The nonprofit said in the release that it had learned through its lawsuit that Neuralink paid UC Davis $1.4 million to use its facilities between 2017 and 2020.
As the release notes, the school has already released hundreds of pages of documents which “showed monkeys suffering from chronic infections, seizures, paralysis, and painful side effects following [the] experiments.”
In February, UC Davis and Neuralink both responded to the lawsuit by issuing statements saying that they had complied with established research protocols and regulations. UC Davis directed Futurism to that February statement, and added that the school has “fully complied with the state law in responding to PCRM’s public records request.” Futurism has also reached out to Neuralink for comment regarding the lawsuit and its plans to prevent such harm from coming to animal research subjects in the future.
For now, we don’t know how gruesome the photos of the experimented-upon macaques may be — and until the school or Neuralink is forced to give them up, we’ll have to contend with our imaginations.