The winners of the Nobel Prizes, the most prestigious awards in the world of science, have started to be announced as of today. Scientists, who have achieved great success with their studies in their own fields, manage to engrave their achievements and discoveries into history with the Nobel Prizes.
The first field whose winner was announced in the Nobel Prizes was Physiology or Medicine. The winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was Swedish geneticist Svante Pääbo. It was the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome for the work that won Pääbo the Nobel Prize.
The Nobel Committee’s statement on Pääbo and his work:
“This year’s Nobel Prize laureate in physiology or medicine, Svante Pääbo, has accomplished the seemingly impossible thanks to his pioneering research: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of modern-day humans.
Pääbo’s discoveries have created a new understanding of our evolutionary history.”
According to many scientists, it was very difficult or even impossible to obtain DNA from the bones of Neanderthals, who existed tens of thousands of years ago. But Pääbo was able to extract DNA from bones and analyze this DNA using current technology and his own methods.
Who is Svante Paabo?
Born in Stockholm on April 20, 1955, Svante Pääbo was the son of chemist Karin Pääbo and biochemist Sune Bergström. Father Sune Bergström, who died in 2004, was awarded the same Nobel prize that his son won in 1982.
Svante Pääbo earned his PhD at Uppsala University in 1986. Pääbo announced the work that brought him a Nobel in 2006, and was included in the “100 Most Influential Names of the Year” list by Time in 2007.