Who is Svante Paabo?
Today Svante Paabo is awarded by Nobel Prize for discovering the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution. He sequenced the first Neanderthal genome and discovered that Homo sapiens interbred with Neanderthals. Paabo was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1955 and completed her award-winning education at the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Svante Paabo is the son of Sune Bergstrom, who won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1982. He is currently the director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. The medicine prize kicked off a week of Nobel Prize announcements. He also discovered the Denisovans, which is a completely new kind of human.
Paabo’s basic research gave birth to a whole new science; paleogenomics. By revealing the genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins, his findings provide the basis for discovering what makes us unique humans, the commission said. The Nobel committee said in its announcement.
Paabo found that most present-day humans share 1% to 4% of their DNA with Neanderthals, meaning Neanderthals and Homo sapiens must have encountered one another and had children before Neanderthals went extinct around 40,000 years ago.
The Nobel Prize
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish crowns (over 1.14 million USD). The prize money comes from the will of the award’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895. Other awards recognize outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, and physics. Studies, literature, peace, and economics.
Last year’s medicine prize went to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for the discovery of receptors in the human skin that sense temperature and touch, converting the physical impact into nerve impulses.