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What is a Microchip Implant?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
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A microchip implant is a small electronic circuit which is designed to be implanted into the body. The circuit is usually covered in a housing which will not react with the body or break down with use, protecting the chip inside for the lifetime of the wearer. A wide variety of information can be encoded on the microchip, ranging from data about allergies to identifying information. Microchip implants have not been without controversy, especially among people who are concerned about the potential for government tracking of human beings.

Microchip implants were first used in animals. An animal microchip implant can be used in a pet to ensure that the animal can be identified even if it loses its collar and tags, and microchips can also be used to identify and manage livestock, along with animals such as racehorses. Human microchip implants for medical use have been released by several companies, and some researchers have also experimented with microchip implants which interact with the environment, such as a chip which communicates with a computer to turn lights on and off.

Whether in a human or animal, a microchip implant works in the same way. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice, and it is typically equipped with RFID technology. Using a reader which is held over the site of the implant, someone can gather the information on the chip. Some can be written to by a reader/writer, while others must be programmed before insertion. Due to concerns about RFID security, some are encoded so that the information on the chip is secure.

Many are designed to be inserted with a large-bore needle which injects the microchip into the site, with this practice being standard for veterinary implants. Others are large enough that a surgical procedure must be used to implant the chip.

From a biological standpoint, one of the major problems with a microchip implant is that it is difficult to build chips which will remain stable in the body for a prolonged period. Sometimes chips are rejected by the body, and in other cases, they are corroded by body fluids. Glass-encased implants are inert, but the glass could break, potentially posing a very serious health risks. Biomedical researchers have worked on a number of microchip implant designs which are designed to address these problems.

Ethicists have also expressed concerns about microchip implants. Some of these concerns revolve around the insecurity of RFID technology, with the potential for the harvesting of personal data from implants with the use of a device which can gather information from RFID transmitters. Other people have expressed concerns that microchipping of humans is an ethically questionable practice which could set the stage for government monitoring or other potentially sinister uses which have not been specified.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Maxx — On Jun 11, 2014

I implanted a microchip on a magnetic resonance tamography that shows scales with bioelectric analysis. It did not show my result, and many of my friends already have microchips. If you know how it can be disabled, let me know.

By anon308391 — On Dec 10, 2012

Question? If you have a microchip inside you how can you break it? Salt in the blood stream or losing weight? Anything?

By anon160459 — On Mar 15, 2011

I've searched the internet on information about implants. The first implant is said to have been in ohio in 1974 but there is nothing about who or how many or what happened to them. I've also seen where electrodes were being implanted in babies' heads as early as 1946 without parental consent/knowledge. Also there was an implant called the "rambo chip" used on soldiers during the vietnam war. That was before 1975.

So how does Ohio fit in? Did it ever really stop after 1946? Or after Vietnam? The NSA has poison kits to run pharmapsychology drugs into homes. Drugs used to aid in mind control. I've found powder in my ears in several places in ohio. I've been followed by police in indiana and ohio. Do i have a gps implant or one in my car? I was born in 1976. This is 2011. How far has it come without anyone knowing?

Why doesn't anyone believe the technology is there except the people that are harassed and the people who design and use it? Is it possible that most people have implants from birth or the unlucky visit to a doctor who sold out? Implants can control all of your brain functions and can induce and control dreams. Is that how some people who are born deaf dream in spoken english? A survey in Great Britain showed that 7-10 percent of the people hear voices. A psychiatrist suggested to one woman she should talk to the voices. He said they were all part of her subconscious.

I believe we all have an inner voice but don't think it talks to us, or that we even hear actual spoken words. I don't think she's crazy. I think she has an implant. How many people in this country have an actual "inner voice"? Go read something to yourself. Do you hear the words in your head? Maybe you have an implant. And if you don't hear voices or an inner voice that doesn't mean they're not watching you.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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