Swedish Svante Pääbo was announced this Monday as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Pääbo was honored for his contribution to the complete sequencing of the Neanderthal genome and the founding of this discipline that analyzes DNA from ancient times to decipher human genes.
“By revealing the genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from the extinct homininshis discoveries have given the basis to the exploration of what makes us, humans, unique beings”, assured the jury.
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The European is considered a pioneer of paleogenetics, the study of past ages by analyzing the genetic material preserved from the remains of ancient organisms.
The Nobel committee said that “the genetic differences between Homo sapiens and our closest extinct relatives were not known until they were identified thanks to the work of Pääbo”.
Among other aspects, the genes that the scientist is talking about have helped in the immune system of today’s humans.
The Swede comes from a family of scientists, as his father, Sune Bergström, also won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1982. In addition, his mother was a renowned chemist.
Pääbo received from the committee a prize of about 900,000 dollars.
2022 #NobelPrize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Svante Pääbo “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution.” pic.twitter.com/fGFYYnCO6J
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 3, 2022