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Svante Paabo wins 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine

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Stockholm, Oct 03: The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo "for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution".

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Svante Paabo

"Through his pioneering research, Svante Pääbo accomplished something seemingly impossible: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans. He also made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova.

Importantly, Pääbo also found that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa around 70,000 years ago. This ancient flow of genes to present-day humans has physiological relevance today, for example affecting how our immune system reacts to infections," a statement from the Nobel Prize committee said.

Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. It is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in their respective fields.

However, the Nobel Prizes for Physics will be announced on Tuesday, Chemistry on Wednesday and Literature on Thursday.

The prize ceremonies take place annually. Each recipient receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a monetary award.

The statement also claims that his seminal research gave rise to an entirely new scientific discipline; paleogenomics which provides the basis for exploring what makes us uniquely human.

By revealing genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins, his discoveries provide the basis for exploring what makes us uniquely human, it added.

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