Technology UK innovation agency plots brain implants to rival Elon...

UK innovation agency plots brain implants to rival Elon Musk's Neuralink

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Dominic Cummings, the former adviser to Boris Johnson, was the architect of ARIA, which launched with a £800m budget to back high-risk scientific ideas.

It is now playing catch-up to Mr Musk’s Neuralink, which started recruiting for its first human clinical trials in September.

The trial will involve placing a “small, cosmetically invisible implant in a part of the brain that plans movements” so that they can use their thoughts to operate a computer.

ARIA’s plans are at a very early stage as it is seeking experts to submit ideas before awarding them a slice of funding to take them forward.

It says that novel “deep brain” stimulator treatments, where an implanted device sends pulses of electricity into the brain, could help those with depression or anxiety.

Similar treatments are already used for treating Parkinson’s disease.

ARIA’s latest research also highlighted a technology developed by Australian company Synchron, a rival to Neuralink, which has created a stent that can be inserted into the brain’s blood vessels to pick up signals.

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