Sweden’s Svante Paabo wins 2022 Nobel Prize in medicine

Current Affairs

  • Swedish paleogeneticist Svante Paabo was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine on Monday “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution,” kicking off a week of winner announcements held under the shadow of the bloody war in Ukraine.
  • Paabo’s work demonstrated practical implications during the COVID-19 pandemic when he found that people infected with the virus who carry a gene variant inherited from Neanderthals are more at risk of severe illness than whose who do not.
  • The jury highlighted that Paabo, the director of the department of genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, had also discovered that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa some 70,000 years ago.

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