Tags: max hodak | neuralink | dinosaurs | science | jurassic park

Elon Musk's Partner: 'We Could Probably Build Jurassic Park'

Elon Musk's Partner: 'We Could Probably Build Jurassic Park'
Tesla head Elon Musk talks to the press as he arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on Sept. 3, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 08 April 2021 12:06 PM

Max Hodak, the co-founder of Neuralink along with Elon Musk, claims that "Jurassic Park" could be possible thanks to scientific advances that could create "super exotic novel species."

The book and film "Jurassic Park" involve scientists genetically engineering dinosaurs with the aim of opening a theme park.

"We could probably build Jurassic Park if we wanted to," 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."

He added, "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 did not specify how his company, which creates brain-machine interfaces, would be involved in this process.

In August 2020, Neuralink revealed that it had implanted a computer chip in the brain of a pig in the hopes of helping to find a cure for various neurological conditions like Alzheimer's and dementia.

Susie Maidment, a dinosaur researcher at the National History Museum in London, has said that although "Jurassic Park" depicts the return of dinosaurs thanks to blood found in mosquitos preserved in amber, this scenario is highly unlikely in real life.

"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."

She added, "In Jurassic Park, they say that they found fragmented DNA. They identified where the holes are and filled them with frog DNA. But the problem is that you don't know where the holes are if you don't have the whole genome," which is an organism’s complete set of DNA.

"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."

She also noted that "you could take a chicken and genetically engineer it so it has teeth or a long tail. But even if you do, it's not a dinosaur, because it was reverse engineered."

Maidment concludes, "As Dr. Malcolm says in Jurassic Park – 'just because you can, doesn't mean that you should.'"

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Max Hodak, the co-founder of Neuralink along with Elon Musk, claims that "Jurassic Park" could be possible thanks to scientific advances...
max hodak, neuralink, dinosaurs, science, jurassic park
Thursday, 08 April 2021 12:06 PM
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