Scientists on the hunt for genes: 14 descendants of Leonardo Da Vinci identified

They are all still alive, their contribution will be crucial in research associated with DNA: 14 descendants of Leonardo Da Vinci identified.

There are 14 descendants of Leonardo da Vinci who are currently still alive. These people are probably not even aware that they hold within themselves the key to the DNA of one of the greatest geniuses known. Born in the Renaissance, specifically on April 15, 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist, philosopher, architect, painter, sculptor, draftsman, treatise maker, stage designer, mathematician, anatomist, botanist, musician, engineer and designer.

Where do Leonardo da Vinci's descendants live and what do they do

Today, Leonardo da Vinci's descendants live in the surroundings of Vinci, a town belonging to the metropolitan city of Florence, and do common jobs, such as "clerk, surveyor, craftsman". The profile was drawn up by Alessandro Vezzosi, founder of the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci and author, together with Agnese Sabato, president of the Leonardo da Vinci Heritage Association, of a study published in the scientific journal Human Evolution. The purpose of the research, which has mapped 21 generations, from 1331 to the present day, is to reconstruct the genetic profile of the Renaissance genius.

"In 2016 we had already identified 35 living descendants of Leonardo, but they were mostly indirect, the result of parallel kinship also in the female line, as in the most famous case of the director Franco Zeffirelli: so they were not people who could give us useful information on Leonardo's DNA and in particular on the Y chromosome, which is transmitted to male descendants and remains almost unchanged for 25 generations," these are the words of Vezzosi.

An international team for an ambitious result

The 14 descendants recently identified by the study, between 1 and 85 years of age, could represent a turning point in research precisely because they descend from Leonardo da Vinci's half-brother Domenico and father, Ser Piero, therefore from the male line. The plan of the researchers foresees a DNA analysis for all 14 descendants, to be done in the next months, with the aim of enriching the knowledge in the hands of an international task force headed by Jesse Ausubel, university professor at the Rockefeller in New York. The group of researchers, with branches also in Italy, has founded a project called 'The Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project', which also includes a Californian institute and the University of Bologna.

Celebrated all over the world, with La Gioconda Leonardo da Vinci is the great protagonist of the Louvre. You don't have to travel to France to see his most representative work, in fact, you can also see the museum online. Between tradition and innovation, the man-symbol of the Renaissance was a great protagonist of the Milan Design Week.

Giuseppe Giordano