After decades of research into the DNA of Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, scientists have discovered 14 of his living male relatives, hoping that they will be able to uncover the secrets of his genius.
Anthropology they plan to sequence da Vinci’s DNA with the intention of “better understanding his exceptional talent through genetic associations, especially his visual acumen,” while also creating a three-dimensional likeness of this scholar.
Previous research has described how da Vinci’s drawings of birds and dragonflies show his “supernatural” ability to observe rapid movement, and determined that this was due to a combination of genetic traits and exercise.
The new large-scale study, published in the Journal of Human Evolution, traces a continuous male line for 690 years – from his grandfather Michele for over 21 generations, including five family branches to 14 living descendants.
Michele da Vinci was born in 1331, his grandson Leonardo in 1452. Although he was childless, he had at least 22 half-brothers.
Scientists are monitoring the Y chromosome, which fathers pass on to their sons and which Leonard’s indirect descendants should share with the master himself, although several mutations may have occurred in more than 20 generations.
A comparison of the Y chromosome of contemporary male relatives with the chromosome of their ancestors in ancient and modern burial grounds would verify an unbroken lineage and at the same time confirm Leonard’s own chromosome marker Y.
It is believed that da Vinci’s remains are stored in the chapel of the palace of Amboise in France, their exact location is unknown. The project in question aims to determine irrevocably whether the remains are really his, as they were moved after the funeral in 1519.
Source: Pravda.sk – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.
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