Who is Svante Pääbo, the Swedish scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his work in paleogenetics


Svante Pääbo has been announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicineafter his groundbreaking work in the field of paleogeneticsan area of ​​which he is considered one of the founders and which uses genetic knowledge to study early humans and other ancient populations.

The 67-year-old scientist and geneticist received the award for “his discoveries on the genomes of extinct hominids and human evolution”.

The Nobel Assembly, quoted in the report published on the Standard website, explained its decision by saying: “Through his pioneering research, Svante Pääbo achieved something seemingly impossible: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of modern humans”.

It is important to note that Pääbo also found that gene transfer from these now-extinct hominids to homo sapiens has occurred following the migration out of Africa about 70,000 years ago. Also made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova”.

The Assembly added:This ancient gene flow for modern humans has physiological relevance today, for example by affecting how our immune systems react to infections.”.

Who is Svante Pääbo?

Svante Pääbo was born in Sweden, the son of a chemist mother and a biochemist father, and comes from a family that knows what it means to win this Nobel Prize. His father Sune Bergström, together with a group of colleagues, won it in 1982.

Over the years, the Swedish scientist has worked on a number of research projects, including the discovery of a “language gene”.

Svante Pääbo

In 2006, Pääbo announced that he had decided to reconstruct the complete genome of Neanderthals, a genome that had never been sequenced before.and a year later he was named one of the 100 most influential people of the year by Time magazine.

While working on the Neanderthal genome, The scientist and his colleagues also studied a finger bone found in Siberia’s Denisova Cave.which led to the discovery of Denisova hominid, an extinct species of archaic humanspreviously unknown.

It was also important during the COVID-19 pandemic by studying the relationships between genetic variants and the symptoms of the deadly virus.

For winning the Nobel, he will receive 800 thousand pounds sterling and, most likely, he will use a good part of that money to continue revolutionizing the field of paleogenetics.

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