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Nobel Prize for geneticist who traced the evolution of modern day humans

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Nobel Prize for geneticist who traced the evolution of modern day humansLive Science

 

The 2022 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to a Swedish geneticist who traced the evolution of modern day humans from the DNA of our close extinct relatives.

 

Svante Pääbo, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and one of the founders of the field of paleogenomics, is set to receive the 10 million Swedish krona ($900,500) prize for his pioneering work on the evolution of hominins, relatives of humans more closely related to us than chimpanzees, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced Monday (Oct. 3).

 

By surmounting the immense technical hurdles presented by the degradation of DNA across tens of thousands of years, Pääbo sequenced the genome of one of our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis), and helped make the spectacular discovery of another previously unknown hominin, the Denisovan. Pääbo's insights revealed that both of these species had co-existed with humans — their DNA mixing with ours after modern humans migrated out of Africa roughly 70,000 years ago.

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