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Biotech Idle

Dentist Wants To Clone John Lennon Using DNA Extracted From Lennon's Tooth 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the with-a-little-help-from-my-molar dept.
dryriver writes "People fantasizing about a Beatles comeback tour might yet see their dream come true, all thanks to Dr. Michael Zuk. This dentist is the proud owner of one of John Lennon's teeth, and hopes to use it to clone the musician. By the looks of it, Dr. Michael Zuk came in possession of the tooth in 2011. At that time, he purchased the molar at an auction organized in the United Kingdom, and paid about $30,000 (€22,424) for it. According to The Inquisitr, the dentist is now working alongside scientists in the United States, who are helping him figure out a way to extract DNA from the tooth without damaging it in the process. This DNA would serve to bring back John Lennon. Apparently, Dr. Michael Zuk hopes that his project will snowball into 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. I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon's DNA, very soon I hope,' the dentist reportedly commented on the importance of his work."
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Dentist Wants To Clone John Lennon Using DNA Extracted From Lennon's Tooth

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:32AM (#44640691)

    ... cloned from a little piece ... oOooo OOOO ooooOOooo...

  • Fantasists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:33AM (#44640701) Homepage

    It seems like most people don't understand what cloning is. They think that they will get John Lennon, but actually they will get a baby that looks exactly like John Lennon but doesn't have his personality or memories, or any learned talents for that matter.

    • Re:Fantasists (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Blaskowicz (634489) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:36AM (#44640719)

      He also won't have the same finger prints and iris patterns and some other things like spots on the skin and I don't know what.

      • Re:Fantasists (Score:4, Informative)

        by wmac1 (2478314) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:37AM (#44640937)

        Or perhaps even brain traits be a bit different and therefore this new person comes up with different set of capabilities. Besides different education and society will form his personality.

        Eventually you will have almost similar physics but very different outcomes. Smallest differences in two systems will chain and combine during the run time and produce totally different results.

        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          Indeed. I have indentical twins (10yo now) and let me tell ya: They don't have the same abilities nor the same personalities, even though we did raise them approximately the same way. They won't get anywhere with this, except making a clone of JL that will obviously fail to live up to what he will be told he should be. So he will be miserable. Talk about a personality disorder ;-)

          • by booch (4157)

            They won't get anywhere with this, except making a clone of JL that will obviously fail to live up to what he will be told he should be. So he will be miserable.

            If he's miserable, then he'd probably make a pretty good singer-songwriter. Success! Oh, wait.

            • Or he'll encounter my crowd and decide to become a death metal musician, heh heh.

              • by Darinbob (1142669)

                Or at an early age he gets introduced to the accordian and joins the polka circuit. It could be nearly as detrimental to the music as it was when John was introduced to Yoko.

    • Re:Fantasists (Score:5, Informative)

      by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:38AM (#44640727)

      The only thing they can be sure to be cloning is the body. And even that will only develop in the same way if it's used in a similar way as the original.

      So the only people that should be cloned are either athletes, models and porn actors/actresses.

      • Re:Fantasists (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:43AM (#44640969)

        So the only people that should be cloned are either athletes, models and porn actors/actresses.

        Porn "stars" probably should not be cloned because a lot of the value in a porn star is the novelty factor. The industry eats them up and spits them out. There's enough attractive people in the world willing to suck dick on camera for it to have next to no value.

        Besides, there's no need for real bodies, within 20 years mainstream porn will probably be entirely simulation, something like Hatsune Miku. User gets to direct the action, studios will make money on the upgrades like outfits, and won't have to pay the actress except a one time scanning fee. Studios will also be able to keep "actresses" exclusive and build brand name stars like comic books.

      • Re:Fantasists (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alexander_686 (957440) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @08:33AM (#44641749)

        And we are not even sure of that.

        There are a lot of steps between fertilized egg to a adult that we are still unraveling. We know that some genes are expressed differently deepening on the conditions within the womb – nutrition, diet, etc.

        And if you want an argument that cloning would not work, look at his son Julian Lennon. He looks, sings, and plays like him. If the Beatles were ever to reunite – more likely prior to George Harrison passing, Julian should have taken the place of his father. Yet Julian albums were never his fathers. Kind of a blessing and a curse.

    • by HJED (1304957) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:46AM (#44640753)
      Indeed, it would be an interesting experiment in nature vs nurture. I would suspect that you would get some aspects of his personality, but not others.
      However, artists draw strongly from their cultural background, that would certainly be very different so even if his musical talent is genetic his music would be very different. That's irrelevant though, it would be extremely cruel to clone an individual with such high expectations - especially one likely to be surrounded by media all his life.
      • Ethics of cloning (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:04AM (#44640821)
        At first I thought cloning a human at would be extremely cruel because of what happened to Dolly the sheep [wikipedia.org], but then I used teh Googlz and found that scientist have subsequently cloned Rhesus monkeys [ucdavis.edu] with success. So now I only think it would be totally reckless to clone a human, given how limited our understanding of its long-term consequences are.
      • by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:32AM (#44640923) Homepage
        An experiment performed with every identical twin.
      • by Rhacman (1528815)
        I think a lot would actually be shaped by peoples behaviors and expectations of the clone. A sort of self fulfilling prophecy. Imagine if from the day you were born you were surrounded by people that considered you to be the reincarnation of a famous guitar player, eventually you might start to believe it yourself. Heck, I'd be willing to bet that if you raised a child surrounded by people who believed he was a deity he might just try playing the part.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      ... doesn't have his personality or memories, or any learned talents for that matter.

      Thank you, captain obvious.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Indeed. Non-scientists routinely overvalue the influence of genetics. Identical twins can be very different in personality, for example.

      • by tverbeek (457094)
        Even though identical twins spend the first several years of their lives in much the same environment, the difference between being "the one who sleeps by the window" vs. "the one who sleeps by the door", or "the one who got nipped by the dog" vs. "the one who didn't" can lead to all sorts of personality differences.

        A time-displaced genetic twin of John Lennon growing up in a later century would look a lot like John, but would not be John in any meaningful sense. You could even place him with foster par
        • by bfandreas (603438)

          Even though identical twins spend the first several years of their lives in much the same environment, the difference between being "the one who sleeps by the window" vs. "the one who sleeps by the door", or "the one who got nipped by the dog" vs. "the one who didn't" can lead to all sorts of personality differences.

          There are even much more extreme differences caused by one single event. Take for instance Arnold Rimmer versus Ace Rimmer. One is a failed chicken soup vending machine repairman(deceased) and the other is permanently lubricated.

    • We will teach him the accordion and raise him on a diet of raw chicken and oompa music.

      Mwaaaa, Ha, Ha, Ha!

    • Re:Fantasists (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rob Hostetter (2908585) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:50AM (#44640999)
      You are correct. OTOH my biological father had almost no contact with me from the age of 2 until I was 15. When I first met him it was uncanny. We talked the same, thought the same way, laughed the same. It was insane. My wife and my sister both get creeped out by how similar we are. So nurture is important, but nature is too!
    • by fiziko (97143)

      Exactly. In addition to lacking personality, memories and learned talents, he's also going to be under tremendous pressure to live up to an impossible standard. Very few musicians stay as relevant as they used to be. A clone now could make Lennon-like music almost perfectly, and wouldn't be the pop culture phenomenon Lennon was because the music industry has changed. I cannot imagine circumstances in which a clone can have a healthy upbringing with no abnormal expectations.

      • by khallow (566160)

        I cannot imagine circumstances in which a clone can have a healthy upbringing with no abnormal expectations.

        You'd probably have similar troubles with any human child, but those expectations tend to get more abnormal than usual when the parents think they're bring the band together again.

      • by tverbeek (457094)
        See also: Julian Lennon, Sean Lennon.
    • Isn't Gene Expression [wikipedia.org] equally as important as which genes you have in the first place, and isn't expression often a response to external events, so even if you were to make a perfect copy of John Lennon, the copy would be quite different? Especially as time goes on?

      Or am I misunderstanding how all this works in the first place.

    • by morgauxo (974071)

      Nope. He wouldn't even look exactly like John Lennon, just really close to it. Have you never met identical twins? Any that I have known I could easily tell apart after about a day of being around them.

    • Re:Fantasists (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @07:37AM (#44641287) Homepage
      I would never go to a dentist whose grasp of biology was this tenuous.
      • by dywolf (2673597)

        why not? his area of expertise is only in one facet of biology. cant expect everyone to know everything. be like refusing to use a waste water engineer who doesnt understand geological engineering.

    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      Its laughable that anyone would would think a clone would be just as capable as the genetic "parent". Cloned Lennon (CL) could turn out to be a carpenter who hates the Beatles, or a PHD physicist who listens to Death Metal. There is no guarantee that he will be able to fill his genetic parents shoes as what makes a person is more than just genes. Where he grew up, his parents, peers, teachers, period music, life experiences are what shaped and made John Lennon *John Lennon*. Hell he could also be born with

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      It won't even look like John Lennon, though it will probably look like a brother.
      There are identical twins, same DNA, same womb, same environment, who do not look identical.

  • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:36AM (#44640715)
    Even if this were possible, why should that new life be forced to play guitar for this nutcase? Maybe clone Lennon has other ambitions. Maybe work for 3 years on the moon... Clone rights people!
    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:49AM (#44640767)

      It would be hilarious if John Lennon II grew to become the head of the largest world banking corporation.

      "Imagine there's no taxes. It's easy if you try. No crash below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people. Living just to pay..." - John Lennon II.

      • by OzPeter (195038)

        It would be hilarious if John Lennon II grew to become the head of the largest world banking corporation.

        "Imagine there's no taxes. It's easy if you try. No crash below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people. Living just to pay..." - John Lennon II.

        You mean Pope John Lennon II ?

      • It would be hilarious if John Lennon II grew to become the head of the largest world banking corporation.

        If he has any innate personality that was reflected in our John Lennon, and society was constantly telling him he had to be a great musician, he'd probably do the opposite anyway.

    • by bfandreas (603438)

      Even if this were possible, why should that new life be forced to play guitar for this nutcase? Maybe clone Lennon has other ambitions. Maybe work for 3 years on the moon... Clone rights people!

      Amen, brother!
      If he wanted gently weeping guitars he'd need George Harrison.

      C'mon! Focus, people!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:36AM (#44640717)

    First they clone Lennon. Then they clone Stallon. Soon enough, they've cloned Hittlor.

  • by somersault (912633) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:37AM (#44640721) Homepage Journal

    Dr. Alan Grant: [finding egg shells] Oh my God. Do you know what this is? This is a Beatle egg. The pop stars are breeding.

    Tim: But Grandpa said all the Beatles were men.

    Dr. Alan Grant: Lady Gaga DNA.

    Lex: What's that?

    Dr. Alan Grant: Well, on the tour, the film said they used Lady Gaga's DNA to fill in the gene sequence gaps. They mutated the Beatle genetic code and blended it with that of a crazy bitch who dresses like a homeless person having a fit in a garbage can, but comes up with incredibly catchy melodies. Now, Lady Gaga has been known to spontaneously change sex from male to female depending on which angle she gets photographed from. Malcolm was right. Look...
    [we see a trail of baby Beatle footprints]

    Dr. Alan Grant: Life found a way.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Imagine reincarnation
    It's easy if you try
    Only one tooth is needed
    No one ever needs to die...

  • by tgd (2822) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:22AM (#44640887)

    "Damn it, I hate Slashdot on April Fools day"...

    Then I realized it was October. I think I have 4/1 PTSD.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Dude, you're posting through a time window. Awesome!

      Quick, which stocks do the best in the next month? I'll split the proceeds 50/50 when I catch up to you.

  • Fine, do beta testing on pop-stars. And when technology is proven and tested then clone Einstein.
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @07:01AM (#44641055) Homepage

    People fantasizing about a Beatles comeback tour might yet see their dream come true

    Only if they're morons and don't understand that cloning isn't miraculous resurrection of an individual.

    there is no reason why the same technological advances could not be used to resurrect rock legends.

    *facepalm*

    • by jeremyp (130771)

      It's not even as if John Lennon is the only dead Beatle.

      George Harrison died in 2001 and Paul McCartney died (pretty badly) during the opening ceremony of of the 2012 Olympics.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Only if they're morons and don't understand that cloning isn't miraculous resurrection of an individual.

      I think you seriously underestimate just how much people don't understand cloning.

      You're not getting Duncan Idaho here, you're getting some poor schmuck who is forever going to be pestered and annoyed by the comparison to John Lennon. Or he'll figure out he can make money off it, and you'll see the most cynical, jaded bastard imaginable -- "fine, I'll wear the glasses and do the accent, just give me my a

      • You're not getting Duncan Idaho here

        He was a ghola and you know it. Totally different ;)

        you'll see the most cynical, jaded bastard imaginable -- "fine, I'll wear the glasses and do the accent, just give me my appearance fee".

        That [wikipedia.org] has already been done [wikipedia.org] ;)

  • He is the egg man.

  • To obtain a complete sequence suitable for cloning you would need a DNA sample that was obtained from living tissue and either processed immediately or suitably frozen in the interim. DNA starts to degrade pretty quickly. That's why nobody is going to clone Lennon or any mammoths any time soon. Regarding the mammoths: yes, they've been fozen but they're discovered as the ice thaws (by which time the damage has been done).
    • by rwise2112 (648849)

      To obtain a complete sequence suitable for cloning you would need a DNA sample that was obtained from living tissue and either processed immediately or suitably frozen in the interim. DNA starts to degrade pretty quickly.

      Not true. DNA has been estimated to have a approximate half life of 521 years. John hasn't been dead very long.

  • Get one! This is not April 1st!

  • Will the clone still enjoy John's favourite chocolate beverage? [youtube.com]
  • They used a walrus egg, man.

    I'll get me coat.

    .
  • I mean society is fundamentally stupid so the moment you announce this it's instant controversy.

    Just do it, and in 20 years when a new John Lennon emerges in the music scene you can tell people to shut the fuck up and enjoy the music.

  • Wouldn't cloning Lenin be more interesting?

  • OMG, if this works, maybe Tupac really will come back.
  • There simply aren't enough drugs around to re-create the Beatles "talent" these days.

  • I mean, look at the difference in interests and abilities of millions of clones, er, twins, triplets, etc. And the clone won't, of course, have even *vaguely* the same background - parentage, location and environment growing up, friends, etc.

    If he does it, I see a "great" career... as a John Lennon imitator.

                        mark

  • Yoko Ono could be the surrogate!

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