Swedish scientist wins Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries on human evolution

Swedish scientist Svante Paabo won the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology Monday for his “discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution.”

Swedish scientist Svante Paabo holding a skull

Swedish scientist Svante Paabo, who won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday, holds a skull in Leipzig, Germany.

(Frank Vinken / Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee, announced the winner Monday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.Paabo has spearheaded research comparing the genome of modern humans and our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, showing that there was mixing between the species.

Among the other researchers considered contenders for this year’s honor were those instrumental in the development of the mRNA technology that went into COVID-19 vaccines, which have saved millions of lives across the world.

Last year’s recipients were California scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries on how the human body perceives temperature and touch.

The medicine prize kicks off a week of Nobel Prize announcements. It continues Tuesday with the physics prize, with chemistry Wednesday and literature Thursday. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Friday and the economics award Oct. 10.

The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out Dec. 10. The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *