Swedish scientist Svante Paabo won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on human evolution by discovering the genetic code of humanins’ extinct relatives like “Neanderthals” and “Denisovans”.
“By revealing genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins, his discoveries provide the basis for exploring what makes us uniquely human”, the Nobel committee said on Monday, 3 October 2022.
In Paabo’s studies, the most fundamental questions like “where do we come from and what allowed Homo sapiens to succeed while our relatives went extinct” were explored.
It leads us to the knowledge of the connection between Neanderthals and modern humans as well as achievements of sequencing DNA of a human species called the Denisovans from a 40,000-year-old fragment of a finger bone discovered in Siberia.
The prize is awarded by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($900,357).
Thomas Perlmann, secretary for the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine shared that the scientist was in delight after learning about his accomplishment.
“He was overwhelmed, he was speechless. Very happy,” said Perlmann.
Following his father’s legacy, Sune Bergström was awarded the same Nobel Prize in 1982.