Real-Life Jurassic Park? Elon Musk Could Make It Happen, According To Business Partner
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 07: Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity, attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7, 2015 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful business people from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 33nd year.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Last weekend, Elon Musk’s business partner said that he could “probably build Jurassic Park.”

According to Max Hodak, the co-founder of Elon Musk’s firm Neuralink, they have the technological ability to build a real-life version of “Jurassic Park,” the fictional wildlife park populated with formerly-extinct dinosaurs.

“We could probably build Jurassic Park if we wanted to,” Max Hodak tweeted on Saturday. “Wouldn’t be genetically authentic dinosaurs but [shrugging emoji]. Maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic novel species.”

“Hodak didn’t elaborate on how his neurotechnology company might be able to revive the long-extinct prehistoric beasts but he later championed the idea, claiming it could increase biodiversity,” reported the New York Post.

“Biodiversity (antifragility) is definitely valuable; conservation is important and makes sense. But why do we stop there? Why don’t we more intentionally try to generate novel diversity?” Hodak added.

“Launched in 2017, Neuralink works on creating brain-computer interfaces with the hopes to one day help those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, paralysis and spinal cord injuries, among others,” reported The Hill.

In August 2020, Musk debuted Gertrude, a pig that Neuralink had implanted a small computer chip in its brain. The chip was planted near the part of the brain that controls its snout, so as Gertrude ate, a computer showed waves and spikes being emitted from the chip, monitoring Gertrude’s neural response,” The Hill added.

Scientists have cloned a number of animals, including wolves, dogs, cats, monkeys and, famously, sheep. A black-footed ferret, which is on the US endangered species list, has also been cloned, but scientists have not managed to create an extinct animal yet,” noted the Independent, adding that “The challenge in creating genetically authentic dinosaurs is due to the fact that soft material which would contain DNA is hard to preserve.”

“We do have mosquitos and biting flies from the time of the dinosaurs and they do preserve in amber. But when amber preserves things, it tends to preserve the husk, not the soft tissues. So you don’t get blood preserved inside mosquitos in amber”, Dr Susie Maidment, a dinosaur researcher at the Natural History Museum, has said.

“A genome is the complete set of DNA of a living thing. Without the full genome, it would be impossible to tell which parts of the DNA have been found and therefore impossible to fill the gaps to build a whole animal,” Dr Maidment added.

“But if you did have the whole genome and you were going to fill the holes in fragments, then you definitely wouldn’t do it with frogs, because frogs are amphibians. If you were going to do it, you’d use bird DNA, because birds are dinosaurs. Or you might do it with crocodile DNA, because they share a common ancestor,” Dr Maidment concluded.

Hodak’s suggestion raised eyebrows among movie fans, given the outcome of the Jurassic Park plot. As one Twitter user noted, “If [there’s] one thing I’ve learned after watching all the Jurassic Park films, it’s that building them was definitely a good idea.”

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