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Hello there,

It's easy to forget that Elon Musk does things other than rapidly fire off tweets and seemingly do his best to implode Twitter as a company after his pricey acquisition of the social media platform.

Amid the mass job cuts, alien theories and barbs aimed at the likes of Apple, Mr Musk is also involved in some very futuristic developments, namely with Neuralink, the neurotechnology company he co-founded.

This week, Neuralink announced that it aims to start putting computing brain implants into humans within six months.

These implants would allow for the transfer of information between humans and machines, and has been shown off by a monkey playing video games using his mind and also “telepathically typing” on a screen in front of it.

However, before we all start getting grand visions of controlling all of our actions through our thoughts, consider that part of your skull will need removing. And electrode-laced wires will need inserting too.

Now, for some people, this technology is going to bring major benefits, as Mr Musk revealed work on two major products in addition to the brain-computer interface.

There are implants for the spinal cord which could restore movement for the paralysed, and an ocular implant designed to restore vision.

Meanwhile, there's been another delay for the UAE's Rashid rover, which was due to blast off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida and head to the Moon.

And, with the World Cup in full flow, head injuries have come under the spotlight with a project hoping to assess the future impact of the trauma suffered by players.

Have a good week.

Ian Oxborrow, Business Audience Growth Editor

 

Elon Musk’s Neuralink aims for brain implants in humans in six months

FILE - In this March 14, 2019 file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Musk will face the electric car maker's shareholders during the company's annual meeting on Tuesday, June 11. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

In brief | Why interact with a phone or computer with your hands, when you can do it directly? There's a lot of hype, as there tends to be around Elon Musk, but he's adamant that his company will have coin-sized computing brain implants in humans very soon.

Quoted | “As miraculous as that may sound, we are confident that it is possible to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a severed spinal cord."

— Elon Musk, Neuralink co-founder

Why it matters | The potential health benefits for those with spinal injuries and vision impairment are obviously life-changing, should Neuralink be successful. And this could just be the start if other parts of the body can benefit further down the line. However, are we at risk of turning into cyborgs?

Burj Binghatti will have more than 112 storeys and is set to become the world’s tallest residential tower. Photo: Burj Binghatti

Head in the clouds | Dubai knows a thing or two about tall towers, and it looks like there could be another record on the cards with Burj Binghatti. To be the world’s highest residential tower, it has to exceed the 472m height of the current record-holder, New York’s Central Park Tower.

Sustainable flying | Airbus is developing a fuel-cell engine as it moves towards a hydrogen-powered aircraft, which is scheduled to enter service by 2035. The global aviation industry is under mounting pressure to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

Better treatments | An experimental Alzheimer’s drug has been found to moderately slow the brain disease, but doctors are divided over how much of a difference it will make to patients.

 

Predicting the future | Signal or noise? A former footballer is seeking UAE residents for a head injury study. The project involves studying the results of online brain assessments and MRI scans to detect very early signs of dementia in ex-pro footballers.

This is a signal | A recent clinical study of nearly 8,000 deceased former professional football players showed they were five times more likely to die from Alzheimer’s disease than the general population. Issues need to be detected at an earlier stage and more understanding is required to avoid future suffering among sports players.

 

In case you missed it

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will deliver the UAE's Rashid rover to space. Photo: Salem Al Marri Twitter

The Rashid Rover launch will be a "big moment" for the UAE, according to Salem Al Marri, director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. However the Moon mission has been delayed for a second time after further inspections. Hopefully next week we will be able to confirm that blast-off occurred.

Virtual reality is being used for people to experience Iraq's greatest historical sites. Five sites that were destroyed or damaged by ISIS during their three-year occupation of Mosul from 2014 have been reconstructed.

Saudi Arabia's electric car movement is gathering pace with a 359 million Saudi riyals ($96 million) deal signed for land to build a manufacturing plant for the kingdom's Ceer brand. Construction is set to begin early next year, with Ceer vehicles scheduled to be available from 2025.

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