x

Health

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded for Research on Evolution

October 3, 2022

STOCKHOLM — Swedish scientist Svante Paabo won this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for his discoveries on human evolution that provided key insights into our immune system and what makes us unique compared with our extinct cousins, the award’s panel said.

Paabo has spearheaded the development of new techniques that allowed researchers to compare the genome of modern humans and that of other hominins — the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

While Neanderthal bones were first discovered in the mid-19th century, only by unlocking their DNA — often referred to as the code of life — have scientists been able to fully understand the links between species.

Swedish scientist Svante Paabo smiles at the award ceremony at the Hamburg Kerber Foundation’s European Science Prize, in Hamburg, Germany, Sept. 7, 2018. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

This included the time when modern humans and Neanderthals diverged as a species, determined to be around 800,000 years ago, said Anna Wedell, chair of the Nobel Committee.

“Paabo and his team also surprisingly found that gene flow had occurred from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens, demonstrating that they had children together during periods of co-existence,” she said.

This transfer of genes between hominin species affects how the immune system of modern humans reacts to infections, such as the coronavirus. About 1-2% of people outside Africa have Neanderthal genes.

Paabo, 67, performed his prizewinning studies in Germany at the University of Munich and at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Paabo is the son of Sune Bergstrom, who won the Nobel prize in medicine in 1982.

Thomas Perlmann, member of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, announces the winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Swedish scientist Svante Paabo, pictured on the screen, during a press conference at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)

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

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

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

 

RELATED

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand is launching a wide-ranging inquiry into whether it made the right decisions in battling COVID-19 and how it can better prepare for future pandemics.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mission…To Tunisia Part 2 – A TNH Documentary by Clelia Charissis (Video)

The coveted exotic beauty of Tunisia is revealed by the 2nd episode of our Mission…To Tunisia – A TNH Documentary.

ATHENS – A ‘Virtual Assistance’ service for the general public has been launched in 85 countries by the Foreign Ministry of Greece, including in all 126 Greek consular locations, according to an announcement.

BOSTON — A Massachusetts ex-town official seen on surveillance video marching through the U.

HAVACO — Mayapple plants sprout in the sunken soil where the bodies lie, their leaves sheltering the unmarked graves like tiny umbrellas.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand is launching a wide-ranging inquiry into whether it made the right decisions in battling COVID-19 and how it can better prepare for future pandemics.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.