I Want to Clone Your Hand: Strange Effort to Clone John Lennon Moves Forward

Can a Canadian dentist really bring the Beatle back?

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Harry Benson / Express / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

John Lennon (1940 - 1980) of the Beatles plays the guitar in a hotel room in Paris, Jan. 16, 1964

Spending $31,000 for one of John Lennon’s teeth in 2011 was only the start of Michael Zuk’s strange behavior: The Canadian dentist wants to clone the late Beatles legend, and his mad-scientist plan to do so is moving forward.

Recently, Zuk sent the 50-plus-year-old tooth to a lab, hoping to find a shred of genetic data that would help sequence Lennon’s DNA.

“I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon’s DNA, very soon I hope,” Zuk said in a statement on his John Lennon Tooth site. “With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality.”

(PHOTOS: Celebrating The Beatles as Please Please Me Turns 50) 

Human cloning is still mostly the stuff of science fiction, but pulling DNA from old teeth is not. Researchers have even extracted DNA from the pulp — the material in the very center of a tooth — of a 4,000-year-old mummy tooth. But there’s no word yet on whether Lennon’s tooth will provide enough material to do anything. In addition, it was rotten to begin with and has not had the protection provided by burial in an ancient pyramid. When Lennon lost the tooth in the 1960s and, he gave it to his housekeeper for some reason. She then handed down the family heirloom to her son, who later sold it. We likely won’t know how the tooth’s condition affects Zuk’s plans; he plans to keep the results confidential.

If Zuk can grab some actual Lennon DNA, he believes he has a windfall on his hands — but the tooth has already proved to be a (sort of) sensible purchase. Sans the DNA angle, it has already toured the U.K. to promote charities and landed Zuk on TV for his odd hobby.

Whether or not Zuk succeeds in his plan (and whether or not that would actually be a good idea), one thing can be learned from this story: Even if you’re a rock star, don’t forget to floss.

65 comments
axekick_316
axekick_316

Instead of doing this research scientist must focus on other useful research like cloning human teeth that can help millions of people, scientist is known for being smart people but like a iron nail they need a hummer to use their head, focus on useful things that can benefit people.. >:(

davidlinton
davidlinton

@bylaurencarter insane. JL existed in a time and place that no longer exists. He is in my DNA. Beethoven would not get a grammy today.

jmlykins
jmlykins

@TIME It wouldn't really be him though would it? Just a copy..

spuddy009
spuddy009

@TIME Cloning Lennon is no guarantee of producing another musical genius. He would likely have different influences and tendencies

ChelsAngel7
ChelsAngel7

@TIME: Fan wants to clone John Lennon using DNA from the Beatles' tooth | ti.me/14mT4QN” :would be the greatest miracle ever

Co_Reps
Co_Reps

@TIME That is an odd thing. It's for these reasons that the Government should shut the whole thing down.

Loo_JiaLi
Loo_JiaLi

@TIME Este esta loco!!Va a clonar a Lennon de uno de sus dientes?wtf!

swamijoyforever
swamijoyforever

It may be possible to clone a human body (and I hope not) but the soul belongs to GOD.  This is a cruel idea when you consider John's family and friends who are still alive--I'm sure that they would not appreciate your plan.

EdKociela
EdKociela

This is simply bizarre. Having known George Harrison for a number of years, I understand how outrageous their public lives were and how they each cherish(ed) their privacy. I explain some of this in my new book, 'It Rocked! (Recollections of a reclusive rock critic).' These guys never knew a moment's peace. I cannot even begin to imagine what this guy is thinking.

rjespud
rjespud

Perhaps he has finally met Jesus or that other guy, more than ,likely---such need to stay dead.

swamijoyforever
swamijoyforever

There was only one John Lennon and he's dead.  Let it go--he did.

s2ndsight
s2ndsight

If such a thing were to ever happen, it would be clear how much life experiences shape us.  John Lennons clone would look like him, but chances are, they would not be much alike other than that.  I suspect that Johns experiences growing up had a lot to do with who he became, so it is not just up to DNA.

cpc65
cpc65

Watch there be some sort of mix up and the clone is half Lennon - half woolly mammoth. 

AdamRussell
AdamRussell

Would a clone be eligible for inheritance?  If it's his dna, is it his offspring?

JohnJones4
JohnJones4

I want to clone Marilyn Monroe.  Where are her teeth?

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

If they clone John Lennon you can be sure Yoko will claim she owns it. "I me, me, mine."

thenetworkestate
thenetworkestate

This is disgusting. Think about the poor child who is just a result of some medical mad man. Clones have a high rate or death and or genetic error, it is totally unsafe, cruel and inhuman to perform this experiment and the authorities should intervene.

gabygente
gabygente

@nachogiron yo tengo el corazon dividido: un poco john y un poco mas dylan. Bob tmb es todo.