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Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment, Science & Technology | 1 comment

Dentist attempting to clone John Lennon with a tooth

john_lennon_imagine

Could murdered onetime Beatle John Lennon rise again — due to an old, decaying tooth? Yes, if Canadian dentist Michael Zuk has something about it. This deals with the dentist looking at cloning (you know the drill):

A rotten tooth from the mouth of former Beatles member John Lennon has made its way into the hands of Canadian dentist Michael Zuk, who, in what sounds like the premise of a low-budget horror film, plans to use it to clone the famous musician.

In the 1960s, Lennon gave the extracted molar to his housekeeper, suggesting she pass it on to her daughter, a Beatles fan. In 2011, the tooth left the family and was auctioned off to Zuk for around $30,000.

In a press release, Zuk, who is described as a “dentist-tooth collector,” announces his plans to work with U.S. scientists to use the DNA from the rotten tooth to clone.

Here’s part of the press release:

John Lennon’s tooth is going under the microscope in a US lab with scientists considering ways to extract the genetic code from the fragile specimen owned by Canadian dentist-tooth collector Dr. Michael Zuk. “I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon’s DNA, very soon I hope. With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality,” says Dr. Zuk.

The dentist attracted attention from skeptics for purchasing the rotten molar for over $30,000 US at a UK auction in 2011, with commentary from Bill O’Reilly and Anderson Cooper (making the Ridiculist). Dr. Zuk is standing firm with his conviction that the investment could be one of the best decisions of his life. Zuk says “to potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of Rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing.

Other interesting considerations related to this story include:
*How future human cloning of the ultra-rich and famous could become the rage.

*New challenges to the laws that could need to recognize the legal rights of human clones.

*A unique Beatle DNA sculpture of Lennon & McCartney which may be donated to the John Lennon Art School in Liverpool.


Rolling Stone’s blog offers more details:

At the time of the tooth’s sale, RS reported Lennon’s molar was too fragile to be DNA tested to confirm it belonged to him. However, Zuk now contends he has hopes to “fully sequence” Lennon’s DNA. “With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality,” he said in a (certainly scientifically dubious) statement. “To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing.”

In the mid-1960s, John Lennon gave one of his extracted molars to his housekeeper for disposal — but that was just the beginning of the tooth’s extremely odd journey. He then suggested she pass the tooth to her daughter, who was a big Beatles fan, and the artifact stayed in the family until November 2011, when it sold at auction for more than $30,000.

In August 2012, Zuk permitted his sister to use a fragment of the tooth in a work of art.

Will Michael Jackson and Tiny Tim be next?

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