The Swedish paleogeneticist Svante Paabo, who sequenced the Neanderthal genome and discovered the previously unknown hominin Denisov, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine on October 3, 2022.

FRANK WINKEN / DIGITAL / AFP

  • Svante Paabo, a Swedish paleogeneticist, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
  • Paabo sequenced the Neanderthal genome and discovered the previously unknown Denisovan hominin.
  • On Thursday and Friday, the long-awaited literature and peace awards will be presented.

Swedish paleogeneticist Svante Paabo, who sequenced the Neanderthal genome and discovered the previously unknown Denisovan hominin, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine on Monday.

“By revealing the genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins, his discoveries provide a basis for studying what makes us uniquely human,” the Nobel committee said.

Paabo discovered that gene transfer occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens.

“This ancient gene flow for modern humans has physiological significance even today, for example by influencing how our immune system responds to infections,” the jury said.

Paabo, 67, who will receive the prize of 10 million Swedish kroner ($901,500), will receive the award from King Carl XVI Gustaf at an official ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of the scientist Alfred Nobel, who created the prizes in his will and wills.

READ | Gold medals and millions in cash – 5 things you should know about the Nobel Prizes

Last year, the Medicine Award went to American couple David Julius and Ordem Pataputyan for their discovery of temperature and touch receptors, which have been used to develop treatments for a wide range of diseases and conditions, including chronic pain.

Nobel season continues this week with the announcement of the physics prize on Tuesday and the chemistry prize on Wednesday.

They will be followed by the highly anticipated Literary Awards on Thursday and the Peace Awards on Friday.

Possible winners of the peace prize include the International Criminal Court, tasked with investigating war crimes in Ukraine, imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The Economics Prize will end on Monday, October 10.


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