John Lennon 2.0?
A Canadian dentist who bought a John Lennon tooth at an auction apparently wants to clone the Beatles founder with DNA decoded from the molar.
Dr. Michael Zuk of Alberta has attracted worldwide attention previously for his plans to extract the genetic code from the tooth. He is now back in the news as a result of additional coverage on the UK television show Dead Famous DNA.
Zuk bought the tooth for $33,000 in November 2011 in an auction in Britain and since then he has claimed he wants to clone John Lennon if or when the human cloning technology develops the ability to do so. Lennon originally gave the tooth to his housekeeper.
“If there is enough DNA to sequence it, it could be basically genetic real estate. My goal is to own John Lennon’s DNA,” said the dentist, who believes John Lennon’s DNA sequence would be worth a fortune, assuming he can find a venue that would permit the cloning. “I think I can [own the rights to Lennon’s DNA] because of the laws. Depends on where you do these things. If it can’t be done in one country, you can do these things in another. To have John Lennon’s DNA sequence outside of the family protection to me, and full access to it, is worth millions.”
If the cloning ever takes place, Zuk plans to raise the John Lennon 2.0 baby as his own son. “He could be looked at as my son but I don’t think I would be the one, you know, owning his property, he would have the rights when he was old enough to make a claim.”
There’s no guarantee that the John Lennon clone would wind up as a superstar musician, but Zuk noted that “He would still be his exact duplicate but you know, hopefully keep him away from drugs and cigarettes, that kind of thing. But you know, guitar lessons wouldn’t hurt anyone right?”
The John Lennon DNA website indicates that “… Many will say the creation of a living clone of John Lennon is immoral or insane, but it can be argued otherwise. JL would have preferred to have lived a full life and continue with his efforts for PEACE. If things are left to natural progression… ”
Give DNA (in addition to peace) a chance? In other words, assuming the DNA technology ever reaches a point where human cloning becomes possible, what do you think about recreating John Lennon from a tooth?
[image credit: Roy Kerwood]