A Canadian dentist who bought one of John Lennon's molars two years ago is setting out to clone the famous Beatle.
The tooth is going under the microscope in a US lab with scientists considering ways to extract the genetic code from the specimen, owner Dr Michael Zuk 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," Dr Zuk said.
The dentist attracted attention from sceptics for buying the rotten molar for more than US$30,000 at a British auction in 2011.
Dr Zuk is convinced that the investment could be one of the best decisions of his life, he said in a statement.
"To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock's greatest stars would be mind-blowing.''
The molar was put up for auction by the Lennon's former housekeeper, Dot Jarlett.
Since changing owners the 2 centimetre tall, slightly brown specimen has not been idly sitting around.
It has participated in several charitable ventures, including a tour of Britain to raise awareness of mouth cancer, a line of John Lennon DNA pendants, television appearances and a celebrity DNA documentary.
The exact details of the scientific research are being kept confidential.
If sequencing is possible, the dentist says he has approved tests to be conducted to gain insight into Lennon's genes for a British documentary on celebrity genetics.
- © Fairfax NZ News