(Kidnapping, Covert/Illegal Operations, Mental Torture) - By E-mail From Dr.
Charles L Kyte, III , To Wes Penre,
Illuminati News, -
(Posted here: April 1, 2004)
technology is now being marketed ... but its unscrupulous past is not a thing of
yore. There are people being illegally experimented on. This does not implicate
the company in the Forbes article, but it speaks to the covert development of
Once the realm of science fiction, neural prosthetics are slowly becoming
In May a tiny, three-year-old company begins what could be a mind-bender of a
medical-device trial. Five quadriplegics will have a baby-aspirin-size microchip
implanted under the skull, with a wire running to a nearby computer.
Neuroscientists will ask them to think about moving a cursor on a computer
screen, and if the chips record their thoughts correctly, the cursor will move
by itself. The goal of the firm running the trial, Cyberkinetics of Foxborough,
Mass., is to help the severely paralyzed regain some function--dialing a phone,
switching on lights--through thought power.
Neural prosthetics have long been the stuff of science fiction. Morpheus and his
crew from the Matrix series, and Case, the hero of William Gibson's Neuromancer,
all "jack" their brains directly into computers. But the science is catching up
with the fiction, and several companies are slowly making neural prosthetics
real. "It's like the early days of the cardiac pacemaker," says Timothy Surgenor,
Cyberkinetics' chief executive.
Successful neural implants have thus far delivered mild corrective current to
regions of the brain involved with motor control. Medtronic's Activa device,
which generates an estimated $100 million in annual sales, sends weak electrical
pulses from a stimulator near the collarbone to a pair of electrodes near the
brain's thalamus region to calm the severe tremors that afflict Parkinson's
patients. Another company, Cyberonics, will probably generate $100 million in
revenue from a device that delivers jolts to the vagus nerve, reducing the
frequency of epileptic seizures (FORBES, Mar. 5, 2001). Northstar Neuroscience
is expected to complete midstage clinical trials in March for a device that
electrically stimulates the brains of stroke victims to help them recover use of
their limbs. Northstar, still privately held, has raised $57 million in venture
The next frontier is in going in the opposite direction, using implanted sensors
to decipher neural intent and convert it into movement of a cursor or, much
further off, an artificial limb. Cyberkinetics' Surgenor is focusing on the
300,000 to 400,000 Americans he estimates are paralyzed from spinal cord
injuries, Lou Gehrig's disease, cerebral palsy or other maladies. Cyberkinetics
has raised $9.3 million in venture money since its inception in 2001.
The human brain is a difficult computer to harness. We have 100 billion neurons,
each connecting to 1,000 others. That's 50 trillion roundtrip connections.
Academics have been tinkering with neural sensors for decades, with notable
recent work done at Duke University, Caltech and the University of Pittsburgh.
Philip Kennedy, the founder of Neural Signals, rocked the science world with a
successful human implant in 1998.
Cyberkinetics is one of the earliest to move the research beyond the campus.
When its cofounder, John Donoghue, chairman of Brown University's neuroscience
department, began eavesdropping on the brains of rats and monkeys in the early
1980s, the technology was still primitive and unreliable. Donoghue would glue a
bunch of wires together and insert them into an animal's frontal cortex, the
region controlling movement. As the neurons fired off electrochemical messages
to one another, triggering responses in the muscles and other parts of the body,
a computer would record the amplified staccato chatter of, at most, two neurons.
"We needed to study many brain cells at once," says Donoghue.
In 1994 Donoghue came across Richard Normann, who would later start a company
called Bionic Technologies. Normann had developed a 4mm silicon chip containing
100 microelectrodes, each able to pick up the signal of one or two neurons.
To prove they could translate thought into action, Donoghue and his team of
three scientists started implanting Bionic's chip in monkeys. The platinum tip
of the electrode sat near the trunk of the neuron where bursts of signals form.
Donoghue connected the electrodes by wires to a computer and trained the monkeys
to use a joystick to track a dot on a computer screen with a cursor. He
encouraged them to make as many hand movements as possible by rewarding them
with orange juice.
The Brown team then tried to match the hand movements to the monkeys' neural
activity, measured by spikes on an EKG-like printout. Three consecutive spikes
could mean a move to the left, ten spikes a move to the right.
Donoghue recorded signals from up to 30 neurons, looking for patterns. Even
though a hand movement is a result of millions of neural signals, the output
from as few as 7 to 30 neurons was enough to move a cursor. Donoghue then
switched off the joystick, and the code the humans had written allowed the
monkeys to move the cursor with their brains.
Decoding human brains in this fashion seemed years off, until Phil Kennedy's
1998 groundbreaking procedure. Near the surface of the brain of a paralyzed
stroke victim he implanted a tiny cone-shaped device that wirelessly relayed
neural signals to a computer. The surgery took ten hours, and the patient was
able to type by thinking, although it took him 20 seconds to get a letter out.
It was primitive in that it only recorded one neuron.
Yet Neural Signals hasn't taken off. Kennedy has made only feeble attempts to
raise venture money, funding the technology on his own and with government
grants totaling $1.7 million. "I'm not interested in selling out--this is my
baby, we'll grow together," says Kennedy.
Donoghue was more willing to tap outside investors. In 2001 he formed
Cyberkinetics with a $75,000 grant from the state of Rhode Island. Too busy to
write a business plan, he enlisted Brown sophomore Mikhail Shapiro.
Shapiro combed academia for patents, negotiating exclusive licenses with Emory
University, Brown and MIT.
In March 2002 Donoghue published the results of his monkey experiments in
Nature. Mark Carthy, a venture capitalist at Oxford Bioscience Partners, was
captivated enough to consider investing. "The animal data were phenomenal,"
Before he would invest, Carthy wanted Cyberkinetics to own the factory that made
the brain chips. After convincing Bionic Technologies' founder to sell his
company, which was already generating $500,000 in revenue, for an 8% stake in
Cyberkinetics, Oxford invested $4 million in Cyberkinetics for a 33% stake. The
company has raised another $5.3 million since. Shapiro, who got some equity, is
now a senior at Brown doing his own research in neuroscience.
Cyberkinetics is awaiting Food & Drug Administration approval to begin its first
human trials. Surgeons will take about three hours to implant the 4mm chip into
a hole on the surface of the cortex of the five quadriplegics.
Wires will emerge behind the ear to connect with a computer.
Some are skeptical. "The technology is a little premature to commercialize,"
says Duke neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, who showed that monkeys can move
robotic arms remotely by thinking. "We have to be very careful. It's like gene
therapy. If we make one mistake, the whole field is dead."