The co-founder of Elon Musk’s company Neuralink tweeted on Saturday that the startup has the technological advances and savvy to create its own “Jurassic Park.” The Hill reports: “We could probably build Jurassic Park if we wanted to,” Max Hodak tweeted 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 further explain what technology Neuralink could use to engineer the long-extinct dinosaurs. It’s worth noting that the tweet makes no mention of Neuralink, although one could presume Hodak is referring to the neurotechnology company because of his use of the word “we.”
In response to the statement, which has been picked up by a variety of publications Wednesday, CNET’s Jackson Ryan says we shouldn’t expect a “real Jurassic Park” anytime soon — or ever: [I]t’s pretty much impossible to resurrect a dinosaur. The science of bringing dinosaurs back from the dead isn’t really as sound as Hodak makes it seem though. Even humanity would have a tough time building a Jurassic Park in the next 15 years. First, we’d need some DNA from the prehistoric tyrants and unlike in the film Jurassic Park, where the DNA is retrieved from mosquitoes in amber and fused with frog DNA, that information has completely degraded.
However, more recently extinct animals, like the woolly mammoth, may be a good target for “de-extinction.” We can still extract DNA from these creatures and could theoretically build and implant a mammoth embryo in a modern-day elephant. The question is: should we? Jurassic Park offers a pretty good reason not to, but mammoths aren’t quite as bloodthirsty as Tyrannosaurus rex.