Leonardo da Vinci secrets hasfascinated the world of art for a long time, starting with triumphal thriller of Dan Brown "Da Vinci Code" and finishing with countless theories about the personality of the Mona Lisa. (Was she his mother? And what is the mystery going about her smile?)

Ecology scientist Jesse H. Ausubel, director of the environmental program at the New York University of Rockefeller, now will lead the work deciding the mystery of da Vinci, which you probably did not even consider. To begin with, Ausubel wants to take up a problem about the great artist’s DNA.

"I think that Leonardo, who was so fond of puzzles, would be happy with our success if we learn the truth," Ausubel tells reporters.

This technology was used to analyze the DNA of Neanderthals, proving that many modern people partially carry genes (almost 2%) of species that died out about 20 thousand years ago. Historical figures, including Christopher Columbus and King Richard III, also received DNA sequencing treatment. The scientific process has come a long way over the past 10 years.

"The things that have happened over the last decade is that we are very well treated with the so-called unicellular genomics, that can literally operate from one cell or part of the cell in the case of mitochondria, even if it has been damaged," the scientist commented.

Technology development have also made this process more accessible. According to the scientist, the sequencing of one human genome costs about $ 2 billion, but today you can implement the same operation for $ 10 thousand or less.

Tracking a viable sample may be the most difficult part of an operation. Ausubel insisted that he be allowed to go directly to the burial of the artist; it is worth mentioning that Leonardo's grave in Saint Amboise was violated twice since his death in 1519. Therefore, any sample obtained from it can not be considered a master's DNA.

However, there is a way for scientists to make sure that Leonardo's bones were not moved. To do this, they will compare the received samples with the remains of the father, brothers and sisters who rest in Florence in the church of Badia Fiorentina. "If the DNA from the father and half of hisbrother’s DNA in Badia matched to the DNA found in Amboise, this would be very encouraging," the researcher noted.

However, if this venture fails, there is another promising source of Leonardo's genetic material, which is the famous notebooks of the artist.

"Da Vinci drew almost every square inch of both sides of sheets of paper, which means he spent a lot of time working on it. They will probably be able to find scales of the skin, fingerprints, hair or saliva of the master. "

According to the scientist, the DNA sequence is more than just an intriguing task.

"Artist’s good vision is genetic, which means that one day we will be able to reproduce this desirable feature in other people."

Should they decode the genome of Leonardo, the researchers could also identify other works of the artist based on the traces of genetic material left in the pictures. According to Jesse H. Ausubel, this is an advantage that can improve the authentification process of art in general.