Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM ET
The dentist who purchased John Lennon's rotten molar for $31,000 at a 2011 auction now has plans for the tooth: He's getting it genetically sequenced in the hopes of cloning the musician, who died in 1980.
"I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon's DNA, very soon I hope," Dr. Zuk said in the release. "With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality."
"To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock's greatest stars would be mind-blowing," he added.
As Rolling Stone wrote, Lennon had given an extracted molar to a housekeeper for disposal in the mid-1960s, but the magazine says Lennon also said she should give the tooth to her Beatles-loving daughter. So the tooth became a family heirloom until it was sold in Nov. 2011.
Dr. Zuk has also permitted a fragment from the molar to be put into a clay sculpture of John Lennon created by his sister, which in 2012 toured the U.K. to promote the charity Smile Train.
But that's not all; Dr. Zuk's press release goes on to note that the "molar has been busy" since being sold. "It participated in a number of charitable ventures" including a line of John Lennon DNA pendants and a documentary.
Maybe it's time to get the tooth its own agent.