Today's Big Stories

Paralysis 'cured' in chimps, but radical experiment raises ethical dilemma

Swiss scientists are breaking ground with an experiment on restoring mobility.

The movement of two paralysed monkeys was restored in a wireless brain implant operation, which may soon be used to help people with damaged spines.

The scientist conducted the experiment in China, were primate research is still allowed, and severed parts of the animals' spinal cords.

They added two implants inside the monkey's body - in the brain and in the spine - and the chips were able to transmit motor "intentions" from the brain to the spine using wireless technology.

The monkeys walked normally again after having the pioneering device implanted.

Science journalist Sarah Wild says the research raises an ethical dilemma about the use of animals for such experiments.

Wild advises that scientists need to confront the uncomfortable and complex complications of animal experimentation.

Because humans have very similar anatomy the experiment make be replicated in humans in a few years time.

Take a listen to Sarah Wild unpack the complexities:


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