Dr. Michael Zuk didn’t blow $30,000 on John Lennon’s tooth for its medical significance or second-hand value. When the Canadian dentist purchased the molar at an auction in 2011, he had an ambitious goal in mind: bringing the rock legend back from the dead. Zuk believes that by deriving a genetic blueprint from the tooth, the scientific community will be able to produce a Lennon clone.
“If scientists think they can clone Mammoths, then John Lennon could be next,” he explained to The Examiner. Two years after the widely publicized auction, Zuc maintains that the tooth could prove to be the investment of his life, as it stands to launch a scientific and pop-cultural revolution.
"To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of Rock's greatest stars would be mind-blowing,” he said. "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."
To assess the prospect of cloning Lennon, Zuc has enlisted a team of U.S. scientists, who will examine the fragile specimen and – hopefully – extract a viable genetic code. But like any prudent visionary, Zuc refuses to share any in-depth details about the process.
John Lennon's Tooth Through the Years
The story of Lennon’s itinerant tooth began in the 1960s. In an odd gesture of gratitude, the musician decided to give his rotting molar to his house keeper, Dorothy “Dot” Jarlett. For years, the gift remained with her.
"She was very close with John, and one day whilst chatting in the kitchen, John gave my mother the tooth (he had been to the dentist to have it removed that day) and suggested giving it to my sister as a souvenir, as she was a huge Beatles fan," said Jarret’s son, Barry, speaking to CNN. "It has been in the family ever since."
Since then, the tooth has been involved in a number of charitable ventures, including a U.K. oral cancer-awareness tour. Zuk wants to continue this tradition by giving the world the ultimate gift: John Lennon himself.
“Many Beatles fans remember where they were when they heard John Lennon was shot. I hope they also live to hear the day he was given another chance,” he states on his website.