In Business This Week
MADONNA SHOULD BE NO PROBLEM
You could blow a bundle on a drop of Elvis Presley's personal sweat. Or, for just $10, you might someday buy a strand of The King's DNA. Biochemist Kary Mullis wants to market chromosomes of the rich and famous. His company, StarGene, based in San Rafael, Calif., is developing trading cards bearing holographic reproductions of celebs' DNA strands, alongside photos of the genetically exposed stars.
The problem: getting the goods. Mullis needs only a piece of hair or bone to scrape enough cells to reproduce the DNA strand. But the former Cetus biochemist says finding extant scraps of Elvis and other dead legends isn't easy, mostly because their legal handlers tend to be wary. Winning cloning rights from living stars also is problematic, though Mullis says Grateful Dead rocker Jerry Garcia may be interested. Jerry and his DNA were on the road and couldn't be reached.EDITED BY JULIE TILSNER