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elvis john lennon
A Canadian dentist who is the proud owner of teeth from John Lennon and Elvis Presley has grand plans for the extracted chompers. (AP Photos)

Dentist wants clones of Elvis, John Lennon from teeth

A Canadian dentist who is the proud owner of teeth from John Lennon and Elvis Presley has grand plans for the extracted chompers.

"Sequencing and cloning possibilities are kind of the ultimate scientific expression of this purchase," Dr. Michael Zuk tells KIRO Radio's Dori Monson.

Zuk bought the Lennon molar at auction for around $32,000.

"According to my sources, the housekeeper asked for the tooth from John Lennon after he came back from the dentist," says Zuk. "The housekeeper turned 90-some a few years ago and I guess her family was thinking it was time to cash out, and they put it up for auction."

He also found Elvis' tooth at auction, but says he got that one for a steal at only $10,000.

While the practice of cloning humans isn't in play yet, Zuk says it's not far off.

"Right at this moment, there are scientists working on cloning cave people. They're looking for women to actually bear these genetic replicas of cave men. So it obviously is in the works. There are mammoths that are being worked on right now, so cloning is happening right now."

Ethical questions and legal issues might pop up around cloning, but Zuk says inevitably, if it's possible, it will be happening somewhere.

"Whenever science can let something happen, it happens, right?" says Zuk. "I'm sure there are laws against everything in different countries, but you can do these things in countries that do permit it. It's just going to go on."

But Monson questions whether it's right to lay such a burden on a child, them being a clone of someone who lived a big life and maintains a strong legacy.

"You'd be OK with bringing a kid into the world that automatically has the burden of that sort of expectation of their life on them?" says Monson.

"Well, if it was me being born into that situation, I would think I'd be OK with that. We're talking about way down in the future. It's going to be not necessarily the same as if we brought back the same person right at this moment in time."

Bottom line, Zuk says the cloning of celebrities is definitely going to happen.

"The whole world of genetics is totally insane," says Zuk. "There are scientists working on bringing back dead species right now, and they're doing it."

While they might be brought up in a different setting, Zuk thinks if the clones have the motivation, they can achieve the same talents as their predecessors, and people will definitely want to capitalize on that. He says people will be interested in seeing people like JFK or Marilyn Monroe that made such a big impact, but weren't alive when they were.

"There are so many cool people that lived that we may not have lived to see, and people in the future will be interested," says Zuk.

When Zuk asked Monson who he'd like to see cloned, Monson thought it over and landed on one person he'd be confident in.

"I guess if I really wanted to just improve the world and improve mankind, I would just commission a bunch of clones of myself."

Jamie Skorheim, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.
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