Elon Musk is somewhat ambitious when it comes to projects. From monkeys that can play video games with their minds to taking tourists into space, Musk is almost like a real-life Bond villain. Yet, the entrepreneur’s business partner, Max Hodak, has taken things one step further – he reckons we could create a Jurassic Park.
Hodak and Musk co-founded Neuralink, the company responsible for turning monkeys into gamers. In a series of tweets, Hodak nonchalantly suggested that humans could recreate Spielberg’s fictional park in reality, dinosaurs and all [via The Independent]:
“We could probably build jurassic park if we wanted to. wouldn’t be genetically authentic dinosaurs but [shrug]. Maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic novel species”, he said.
The tweet was made last week, so perhaps Hodak was spending his day binging on classic cinema. That being said, maybe the Neuralink co-founder’s boastful tweets are a sign of things to come.
As a company, Neuralink already has some pretty far out projects on the go involving a wide range of animals. While the company doesn’t currently experiment with cloning and genetics, it seems like the prospect could be on the cards.
So, you’re probably wondering if recreating dinosaurs is actually possible. Well, according to Dr Susie Maidment of the Natural History Museum, it’s all down to DNA preservation:
“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.”
Dr Maidment also dismissed the films take on how to grow a dinosaur, explaining why using frog DNA wouldn’t be possible:
“A genome is the complete set of DNA of a living thing. Without the full genome, it would be impossible to tell which parts of the DNA have been found and therefore impossible to fill the gaps to build a whole animal,
“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.”
Whether or not Hodak has something up his sleeve remains to be seen. Nevertheless, until he produces the prehistoric goods, we can only assume that the Neuralink founder’s tweets are a mere daydream.
Would you like to see a real-life Jurassic Park? It didn’t end too well in the movies…! Let us know your thoughts across our social media channels.
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Featured Image Credit: Universal