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Home / Technology / No, Elon Musk’s Neuralink does not have the technology to ‘build Jurassic Park’

No, Elon Musk’s Neuralink does not have the technology to ‘build Jurassic Park’



jurassic-park-t-rex

Neuralink does not build dinosaurs, but it does do some cool brain experiments.

Universal images

The last we heard from Elon Musk’s startup of the brain implant, Neuralink, it had implanted a small coin size in a pig’s brain and listened to the signals it produced. Musk in the implant was like “a Fitbit in the skull” during a press conference in August last year, but the company was still far from bringing the product to market.

So it seemed a little strange to read, in a series of publications on Wednesday, that “Neuralink has the technology to build a real Jurassic Park.” The comments, according to the New York Post, can be attributed to Max Hodak, co-founder of Neuralink, and was quickly traced back to a tweet.

“We could probably build Jurassic Park if we wanted to,” Hodak tweeted on Saturday. “would not be genetically authentic dinosaurs but anskje. Maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic novel species,” he continued.

The tweet, and a subsequent statement on biodiversity, does not mention Neuralink, but it did not stop speculation, presumably due to Hodak’s use of the word “we”. It seems that Hodak referred to humanity and not the company he co-founded, but you would not know it from the reports, which have continued to drip out since Hodak’s statement.

We reached out to Neuralink to confirm Hodak’s comments, but did not hear anything at the time of publication, presumably because the company has genuine science to work with, rather than field questions about impossible dinosaur resurrections.

Still, it is quite impossible to revive a dinosaur. The science of bringing dinosaurs back from the dead is not really as sound as Hodak makes it seem though. Even humanity would have a hard time building a Jurassic Park for the next 15 years. First we need some DNA from the prehistoric tyrants. Unlike in the movie Jurassic Park, where DNA is extracted from mosquitoes in amber and fused with frog DNA, that information has completely degraded over the millions of years it has spent on the ground.

However, newer extinct animals, such as wool mammoths, can be a good target for “extinction”. We can still extract DNA from these creatures and could theoretically build and implant a mammoth fetus in a modern elephant. The question is: shall we? Jurassic Park has a pretty good reason not to, but mammoths are not as bloodthirsty as Tyrannosaurus rex.

In the case of Neuralink, The start-up has produced two interesting press conferences in the last two years. In 2019, the Neuralink unit debuted, and steady progress seemed to have been made the following year, when the pig implants were revealed. But the information is still small: Musk and Neuralink have published a scientific article, in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, back in October 2019.




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