Martin Larmuso wins EOS Public Prize for Science Communication

The award-winning Mama Mito project is a combination of genealogy and maternal DNA research. “Today, the science of the family tree is a man’s business,” explains Larmuso. Men in particular are looking for their family tree, mainly looking for the paternal line – the surname name. Why do we know the word “ancestor” and not the term “ancestor”? I want to change that.’

The project also contains a genetic component. Together with the genealogies, we create a database of Flemish mitochondrial DNA. This is the DNA that you only inherit through the maternal line. By combining DNA and pedigree, we can check, among other things, whether the pedigree is correct from a biological point of view. We hypothesize that for the maternal line, we will find more similarities between DNA and lineage. After all, you are “always sure” of the mother. However, there is such a thing as “homeless children”. In royal families, if a woman did not become pregnant, a false birth would sometimes be performed and a newborn baby would be pushed under the covers. Some births may have been hidden and later reported as those of another woman.

In addition, we can use DNA to examine early migrations in Flanders. Finally, the database will be used for medical research, because it will reveal what mutations – “mistakes” – the mitochondrial DNA contains and how often they occur. Mutations can lead to diseases. One in five thousand people suffers from such a mitochondrial disease. It can manifest itself in very different ways: fatigue, intestinal complaints, developmental problems…”

Martin Larmuso has nearly twenty percent of the vote in a public online poll on our website. Compete with other prize winners Science Communication 2022. In 2015, Larmuseau was also one of the five winners of the Eos Pipet.

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Podcast Interview “How Far Can You Go Back to Your Family Tree?”

At the beginning of 2020, Martin Larmuso spoke with Lisbeth Gisel about making family trees, as well as on the maternal line. Re-listen to the podcast here or via your favorite podcast channel:

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