Owner of Lennon Tooth Plans to Clone Late Beatle

Dentist bought the artifact at auction two years ago

John Lennon
Rowland Scherman/Getty Images
August 21, 2013 3:05 PM ET

The man who bought John Lennon's molar two years ago – Canadian dentist Michael Zuk – is seeking headlines again, putting out a press release and launching a website indicating his intention to extract DNA from the tooth with the lofty goal of cloning the legendary musician.

Look Back at An Iconic Q&A: John Lennon's Rolling Stone Interview

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. (She placed the bit of tooth in a clay sculpture of Lennon's likeness.) It also toured the U.K. to promote awareness of the dangers of mouth cancer.



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