2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Swedish Svante Pääbo, who sequenced the genome of Neanderthals

The Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology was awarded on Monday 3 October to 67-year-old Swedish Svante Pääbo for sequencing the genome of Neanderthals and his role in the emergence of paleogenomics.

“By revealing the genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominids, his findings have provided the basis for exploring what makes us humans so unique.”greeted the jury.

Read the meeting, held in 2016: Article reserved for our members Svante Paabo, hunter of lost genomes

“The genetic differences between Homo sapiens and our now extinct closest relatives were unknown until they were identified through Pääbo’s work.”added the Nobel Committee in its decision.

Physiological impact

Svante Pääbo, whose father, Sune Bergström, had also received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1982, discovered that a gene transfer had taken place between these now extinct hominids and Homo sapiens. This ancient gene flow in modern humans has a physiological impact, for example by affecting the way our immune system responds to infections.

Read also Article reserved for our members Work on sensory receptors awarded by the Nobel Prize for Medicine

The harvest continues on Tuesday in Stockholm with physics, then chemistry on Wednesday, before the highly anticipated literature prize on Thursday and peace on Friday, the only prize awarded in Oslo. The latest economic price will close the year on Monday.

With this 113And Nobel Prize in Medicine, 226 people have now received the Physiology or Medicine award since its creation. Among them, twelve women. No organization has ever been awarded, which the rules of the Karolinska Institute, which awards the prize, prohibit.

few women

The Nobel Prize in Medicine, which comes with a reward of 10 million crowns (about 920,000 euros), was awarded last year to Americans Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius for their discovery of how the nervous system transmits temperature and touch.

Male researchers hailing from the United States or domiciled in the United States have still largely dominated scientific Nobel laureates in recent decades, despite jury efforts to crown more women. The 2021 Nobel vintage was no exception to the rule, with twelve winners and only one winner. All the scientific awards had been awarded to men.

Read also Quiz: what do you know about the history of the Nobel laureates and their winners?

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