Put this in the column of seriously strange news. A dentist in Canada who bought an old tooth that came Beatles icon John Lennon’s mouth now thinks he can turn DNA from that tooth into a baby via cloning.
Michael Zuk, who paid $33,000 for the tooth at an auction three years ago, told Britian’s Channel 4 during an episode of “Dead Famous DNA” that he now is going to try to make a John Lennon-like baby that he can raise as his own.
“If there is enough DNA to sequence it, it could be basically genetic real estate,” Mr. Zuk said. “My goal is to own John Lennon’s DNA.”
Now that he has a piece of the former musician, who was shot dead in 1980 outside the entrance of his New York City apartment building, Mr. Zuk thinks he rightfully owns all of him, in terms of DNA.
“I think I can [clone him] because of the laws,” the dentist said on the Channel 4 show. “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.”
The new version of John Lennon would be the same as the old version — only healthier, Mr. Zuk promised.
The test-tube baby, he said, would still be Lennon’s “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?”
• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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