Discovery of ancient DNA. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2022 awarded

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 Discovery of ancient DNA. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2022 awarded

Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo received the award for sequencing the Neanderthal genome.

more than 120 years – the first award was founded in 1901. To receive this award in the world of science is equivalent to receiving an Oscar. Today it became known the name of the scientist who became the winner of the prize in physiology or medicine in 2022, writes The Guardian.

The Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo was announced on October 3 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Together with the award, the scientist will also receive a cash prize of 1 million SEK.

According to the official statement, Paabo received the award for a number of discoveries in the field of genetics. First, the scientist was able to identify and restore the genome sequences of the Neanderthal, a long-extinct relative of modern humans. The Nobel Prize Committee also recognized Paabo's work in the field of human evolution.

Paabo's team has discovered a previously unknown type of hominin. Subsequent studies have shown that gene flow occurred from Denisova hominin to modern humans about 70,000 years ago.

The Nobel Committee believes that the discovery of the scientist is a breakthrough in the field of genetics – the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has allowed us to take a fresh look at our evolutionary history. The award committee also notes that thanks to the discovery of Paabo, an essentially new and rapidly growing science of “paleogenomics” was “born”, which is based on the study of the genetic material of ancient pathogens, writes The New York Times.

According to Niels- Göran Larsson, professor of medical biochemistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, until this day it was believed that it was impossible to restore the DNA of bones about 40 thousand years old, but Dr. Paabo succeeded. To do this, he used a number of existing modern technologies, and also used his own innovative techniques.

The scientist also noted that the new discovery has great weight in the world of science. This will allow scientists to compare changes between ancient hominins and modern humans – as a result, scientists will learn more about human physiology.

According to Anna Wedell, professor of medical genetics at the Karolinska Institute in Solna, Paabo's discovery will allow scientists to answer the main question – what makes people unique.

Note that this is not the first Nobel Prize in the Paabo family. His father, biochemist Sune Bergström, received an award in medicine in 1982.