No, startup Elona Muska Neuralink doesn’t have the technology to ‘build a real Jurassic Park’

Neuralink doesn’t build dinosaurs, but it does some cool experiments on the brain.

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The we last heard from Elon Musk’s implant launch, Neuralink, implanted a small coin-sized device in a pig’s brain and listened to the signals it produced. Musk said the implant was like “Fitbit in your skull” during an August press conference last year, but the company was still a long way from bringing the product to market.

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

“We could probably build Jurassic Park if we wanted to,” Hodak posted on Twitter on Saturday. “They wouldn’t be genetically authentic dinosaurs, but 🤷. Maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic new species,” he continued.

Tweet and a subsequent statement on biodiversity do not mention Neuralink, but that hasn’t stopped speculation, presumably because of Hodak’s use of the word “we”. Hodak seems to have meant humanity, not the company he founded, but you wouldn’t know that from the report.

We called Neuralink to confirm Hodak’s comments, but we did not receive a response at the time of publication, probably because the company really a science to work on, not to ask questions about the impossible resurrections of dinosaurs.

And it is almost impossible to resurrect a dinosaur. The science of bringing dinosaurs back from the dead isn’t really as resonant as Hodak seems. Even humanity would find it difficult to build a Jurassic Park in the next 15 years. First, we need DNA from prehistoric tyrants, and unlike the movie Jurassic Park, where DNA is taken from mosquitoes in amber and fused with a frog DNA, that information is completely degraded.

However, recently extinct animals, such as the woolly mammoth, can be a good target for “extinction.” We can still extract DNA from these creatures and theoretically we could build and incorporate a mammoth embryo into a modern elephant. The question is: should we? Jurassic Park offers a pretty good reason not to do this, but mammoths aren’t quite as bloodthirsty as Tyrannosaurus rex.

As for Neuralink, the startup has produced two interesting press briefings in the last two years. The Neuralink device was introduced in 2019, and it seems that steady progress has been made in the following year, when pig implants were discovered. But the information is still scarce: Musk and Neuralink published a scientific paper in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in October 2019.