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Svante Paabo Awarded Nobel Prize for Cracking Genetic Code of Neanderthals

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

After committing himself to work and research on human evolution, Svante Paabo received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. 

The Swedish scientist won the 2022 Nobel Prize after he made some essential discoveries "concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution." 

According to the Nobel Prize committee, the Swedish had made an impossible discovery that showed the sequence of the genome of Neanderthals. 

"Through his pioneering research, Svante Paabo accomplished something seemingly impossible; sequencing the genome of the Neanderthals, an extinct relative of present-day humans. He also made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova," the Nobel Prize committee said on Monday. 

The Swedish scientist won the 10 million Swedish kronor (£802,000) prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. 

Surprisingly, the father of Paabo also won the Nobel Prize in the same category in 1982.

Many scientists and experts worldwide have congratulated the Nobel Prize winner stating that his contributions to human evolution are well appreciated. 

Impact of Svante Paabo Discoveries 

The work done by Svante Paabo has a lot of positive impacts on the perception of humans regarding evolution. 

According to the Nobel Prize committee's statements, Swedish research and work will help humans explore how humans spread across the planet. 

His discoveries will also have a massive impact on modern medical practice. His work taught scientists how chunks of Neanderthals and Denisovan DNA are peppered throughout the human genome. 

The Nobel Prize committee also said that Paabo's work detailed analysis of what makes human physiology unique and similar to homo Sapien relatives. 

Nobel Prize committee member Anna Wedell explained how Paabo's discoveries would help humans understand how their ancestors were related to us. 

"Svante Paabo's groundbreaking discoveries allow us to address one of the most fundamental questions of all: what makes us unique?" Anna Wedell said. 

She further mentioned that Paabo's work helped scientists know that Neanderthals had big brains like humans. Also, they lived in groups, used simple tools, and behaved similarly to Homo sapiens.

Svante Paabo Reaction to His Win 

The Nobel Prize committee was the first to announce how the Nobel Prize winner felt after winning the prestigious prize. 

According to a post made by the official Twitter page of the Nobel Prize, Svante Paabo had received the news of his win while sipping a cup of coffee. 


The Post on Twitter also said that the first thing Paabo asked was if he could share the news of his win with his wife. 

Prof Paabo received the news when the secretary for the Nobel Prize committee called him to announce the news to him. 

"He was overwhelmed. He was speechless. Very happy," the secretary of the Nobel Prize committee said.