Elon Musk’s Neuralink Co-Founder Says They Could Build Jurassic Park… if They Wanted To

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It only took 27 years, but the billionaires are finally talking about building Jurassic Park.

They’re talking about the Jurassic Park seen in the movie of the same name – you know, the famous 1993 movie where some very rich people fill a theme park with real dinosaurs after extracting DNA preserved in resin, only for it all to go down horribly when a Tyrannosaurus Rex escapes its enclosures, eats humans, and wrecks havoc all over the island of Isla Nublar… that one. More specifically, Elon Musk’s Neuralink co-founder, Max Hodak, said on Twitter last week that they could likely build a Jurassic Park if they wanted to. It’s unclear who he was referring to when he used the word “we.”

While not directly connected, it seems Hodak is particularly interested in conserving the biodiversity on Earth, if not all together creating even more novel diversity. He tweeted on April 4 saying, “biodiversity is definitely valuable” and “conservation is important and makes sense.” He then asked, “but why do we stop there?” followed up by, “why don’t we more intentionally try to generate novel diversity?”

Biodiversity here refers to the variety of life on Earth ranging from variations as microscopic as genes to things as large as entire ecosystems. Credit where credit’s due, dinosaurs would certainly be a form of “novel diversity,” but it seems Hodak might be forgetting how the whole Jurassic Park thing went, not to mention how the sequels played out.

Neuralink is a company founded by Musk, Hodak, and others in 2016 and as the name suggests, it’s a company focused on creating implantable brain-machine interfaces. In February, Musk talked in the social app Clubhouse about how Neuralink, “has a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull with tiny wires.” The monkey is part of a trial where Neuralink hopes to make the cyborg monkey play “mind pong” with another cyborg monkey.

The Neuralink device being used in the trial is made up of more than 3000 electrodes that can monitor 1000 different neurons. As IGN reported back in February, Musk addressed concerns of animal welfare in Neuralink trials. The billionaire said, “you can’t see where the implant is and he’s a happy monkey,” and he claimed that an inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the company’s laboratory was, “the nicest monkey facility” they had examined.

To be clear, Hodak did not say he has any plans to create a real world Jurassic Park – he seemed to be referring to the technology either his company or humans as a whole, have in terms of possibilities of creating genetically modified species of dinosaurs.

For more about dinosaur creation, check out this story about how scientists extracting DNA from insects preserved in resin (sound familiar?) have, “no intention of raising dinosaurs.” Read this story about a new dinosaur species discovered recently in Patagonia dubbed the “one who causes fear” after that, and then check out this story about a T-Rex and Triceratops locked in the same fossil.


Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer, guide maker, and science guru for IGN. He likes dinosaurs, but doesn’t need them to be alive again and is totally fine with riding the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios for his dinosaur fix. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes

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