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‘Elvis Day’ arranged to raise awareness of mouth cancer

Mon

A dental crown made for legendary performer Elvis Presley is being toured across the UK as a dozen dentists are set to take part in ‘Elvis Day’ this May, in order to promote awareness of mouth cancer. The crown was made for Elvis by Memphis dentist Henry J Weiss and the restoration will be on display alongside costumes, music and free mouth cancer screenings for patients. 1,985 people in the UK died from oral cancer in 2010.

The crown was made after Elvis visited the dentist at 10.30pm on August 15th 1977, the day before he passed away at his Graceland home in Memphis, aged 42. The tooth restoration was then bought at auction in February 2012 for $11,000 (about £6,600) by a Canadian dentist who collects celebrity teeth. Dr Michael Zuk has also been making headlines recently as he claimed to be considering cloning singer John Lennon from DNA taken from a wisdom tooth that he also purchased at auction, saying that the clone ‘could be looked at as my son’.

This famous Beatles tooth was also sent to 16 different dental clinics in the UK as part of a similar campaign back in 2012. The tooth was put into a pendant and it toured the surgeries to raise awareness of dental problems, including oral cancers.

Dentist claims that John Lennon can be cloned from his tooth

Tue

The Canadian dentist who bought John Lennon’s rotten molar for nearly £20,000 has claimed that the tooth can now be used to clone the former Beatle and supposedly bring him back to life. Dr Michael Zuk bought the tooth in 2011 and he also says that a similar method could be used to clone Elvis; the two clones could be walking the earth as early as 2040, in his opinion.

In an interview with dentistry site Teethwise, Dr Zuk suggested that the same process used to clone Dolly the Sheep back in 1996 could be used to bring the two singing legends back; he seemed unconcerned about the legal complications, saying ‘Legally, it is not a problem. If something is illegal in one country it’s a matter of crossing a border. Animal cloning still has some glitches they are working out but they are already cloning species. Once the glitches are worked out humans will follow.’

Regarding Lennon’s tooth, Dr Zuk explains that ‘collecting celebrity DNA will be insane in the future as it creates a risk for celebs to have surprise offspring.’ The dentist also seems to have overlooked the moral and ethical complications related to such a task and is more concerned with the media scrutiny that the new ‘John’ would have to endure, saying ‘It could be a little unfair. Whilst some elements of the cloning process would be publicised, it is likely the identity of the child would not initially be disclosed publicly.’

Dentist plans John Lennon clone using tooth DNA

Tue

Canadian dentist Dr Michael Zuk hit the headlines last year when he purchased John Lennon’s wisdom tooth at auction for around £20,000; the rotten molar had been removed in the 60’s and was left with the housekeeper Dot Jarlett, before coming up for auction in 2012. Dr Zuk, an enthusiastic collector of Beatles memorabilia, has decided to go one step further and is considering cloning the song-writer using DNA from the extracted tooth.

Dr Zuk believes that he could create a Lennon clone with the DNA, and a little help from a team of scientists; he told The Examiner that advances in scientific technology have already cloned mammoths, so using the same techniques for human cloning should not be too much of a leap. Dr Zuk is feeling confident about the theory, saying ‘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.’

He went on to say that the prospect of Lennon ‘re-born’ would be incredible, adding ‘to potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing.’

The tooth is currently on tour across the world to promote cancer awareness.

John Lennon’s tooth goes on tour

Thu

A molar belonging to the late Beatle John Lennon is set to go on tour some fifty years after it was extracted; the tooth recently fetched £19,000 at auction and part of it has since been incorporated into a necklace by Beverly Hills designer Ari Soffer. The John Lennon DNA Tooth Necklace is currently worth around £15,600.

Over the coming weeks, the DNA necklace is to be toured around sixteen dental practices in the UK to raise awareness of mouth cancer, as part of National Mouth Cancer Month – which includes free mouth screening, fundraising and promotions at each dental surgery.

Dr Chris Branfield, who works at a clinic in Hull, was the first to receive the tooth/necklace, and said he was pleased that the people of Hull were taking more notice of their oral health by receiving free screenings, giving dentists the chance to diagnose the condition while it was in the early stages. He added ‘People even got to wear John Lennon’s tooth around their neck and have a picture taken too.’

Other sections of the tooth were incorporated into a clay model of the iconic singer, which went on display at the Edmonton Fringe Festival in Canada.

This is not the first time American jeweller Soffer has worked with famous DNA to create pieces; he has also worked with drummer Tommy Lee, and Guns ‘N’ Roses legends Slash and Axl Rose.

Dentist adds the King’s crown to his collection

Tue

The Canadian dentist who bought John Lennon’s rotten molar for $30,000 has added another famous dental item to his collection – the spare crown that Elvis took on tour in case he damaged his front teeth, complete with plaster mould of the King’s jaws. It has not yet been revealed how much Dr Michael Zuk paid for the item, but he admitted that his wife was not too happy with his decision to bid on the crown, urging him not to waste his money on ‘another stupid tooth’.

Despite his wife’s misgivings, Dr Zuk couldn’t help himself when the Elvis memorabilia came up for auction yesterday in Stockport, he collected this piece and the extracted tooth of Beatles legend John Lennon because he feels that the two men where important icons that should be remembered. Since purchasing the crown, Dr Zuk has been asked to take part in a documentary about celebrity DNA, to discuss the significance of the dental artefact in relation to popular culture.

Dr Zuk is also thought to be selling limited edition commemorative prints of the Lennon molar under the banner of ‘Rot Star Art’, which will go on sale as a celebration of the Beatles arriving in the US in February 1964. The molar – which also has its own Twitter following – is currently being considered for the Guinness book of records, as long as it can be cross-referenced with the DNA of a living relative, to ensure its origins.

Lennon tooth sells for almost £20,000

Mon

 

A rotten tooth that once belonged to legendary musician John Lennon has been sold for £19,000 at an auction that took place in Stockport over the weekend. The Omega Auction House in Greater Manchester had listed the tooth’s reserve price at £10,000, apparently underestimating the demand for Beatles memorabilia from fans all over the world.

Canadian dentist Michael Zuk was the lucky winner of the decaying extracted molar, placing the winning bid by telephone in the final moments of the auction. 49-year-old Michael, from Alberta, described himself as ‘buzzing’ after winning the tooth, telling the BBC, ‘Once I heard it was up for sale, I had to have it. Some people will think it’s gross; other will be fascinated by it. Most people would say I was crazy, but I think it’s fantastic’.

Michael – whose credits include a book on celebrity teeth – said that he would be displaying the famous tooth in a glass case at his dental practice. Lennon’s tooth was originally passed on to his house keeper after it was removed during the sixties. Auctioneer, Paul Fairweather, described it as ‘the most weird and wonderful item’ they had ever had for sale at the auction house. He went on to say that the bidding was a tense affair, but the watching crowd gave a huge cheer when the gavel finally fell.

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