The 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded exclusively to 67-year-old Swede Svante Papu, for his discoveries about the human genome.. Born on April 20, 1955 in Stockholm, Babu . can be considered Kind of a DNA archaeologist. It has, in fact, opened up a new field of research, paleobiology.
Pääbo is credited with simultaneously taking on one of the greatest scientific challenges with new weapons. He was in fact the first to introduce genetics into a field such as paleontology, which until then had been based on the study of very ancient fossils or artifacts. Thanks to new genetic technologies, Pääbo was among the pioneers in extracting and analyzing DNA from fossils. The research he orchestrated has shed new light on human evolution, to the point of completely revolutionizing its study.
For example, we owe him the analysis of Neanderthal DNAwhich revealed that Homo sapiens interbred with Neanderthals and that some of its cousins’ genes are still present in the genomes of nearly all modern populations.
To his research, too, we owe the discovery of an ancient human group, the Denisovans, that also crossed with Homo sapiens around 70,000 years ago.: The starting point for reconstructing its history was a piece of bone found in a cave in the Altai Mountains.
After studying at Uppsala University in Papau, he transferred first to the University of Zurich, then to the American University at Berkeley, and then to the German University in Munich. In 1999 he founded the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, where he currently works. He is also a lecturer in Japan, at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and is part of the prestigious academies, such as the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. the states. French Academy of Sciences. Leopoldina one and Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
Several international awards, including the Max Delbrück Medal, Theodor Bucher Medal (February), the Louis Gantt Prize (Geneva), and the Japan Prize (Tokyo).
Photo of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Svante Pääbo, by Niklas Elmed © Nobel Prize for Communication
The Nobel Prize is 40 years after his father Bergstrom’s
The new Nobel Prize winner for medicine, Svante Pääbo, is in turn the son of another Nobel Prize for medicine: his father, biochemist Sune Karl Bergstrom, actually received the same prize exactly 40 years ago, in 1982, for his studies on prostaglandins (with Bengt i Samuelson and John R. Fine). Svante Paabo bears not his father’s surname, but his mother’s surname (Estonian chemist Karin Paabo), since it is the result of an extramarital affair.
Biochemist Sune Karl Bergstrom, 1082 Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine, father of Svante Paabo
Lincei, award “well-deserved”
Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to founder of paleobiology, Swedish Svante Pääbo: This is the comment of Accademia dei Lincei President, Roberto Antonelli, and Vice President Giorgio Baresi on the recognition, which ran for two consecutive years. Awarded to an academy member. Last year, in fact, Parisi received a physics prize.
“A well-deserved Nobel Prize for a great scientist we have the honor to have as a foreign member of the Accademia dei Lincei,” Antonelli and Parisi say. They add: “Reconstructing the ancient genome was – they add – a fascinating adventure, which allowed us to reconstruct human history and relationships with our extinct brothers, Neanderthals and Denisovans.”
Manzi, from Pääbo studies light on extinct species
They shed light on extinct species, while at the same time allowing us to understand how vulnerable modern humans are or not to diseases, such as Covid-19: these are two great advantages of Svante Pääbo’s research awarded today with the Nobel Prize. The Medicine Prize, according to the paleoanthropologist Giorgio Manzi, of the Sapienza University of Rome and Academician Linsey.
Manzi told ANSA that the Nobel Prize “was a nice surprise for those involved in the biology of human evolution: it’s a relatively small scientific community, but it really is of interest to everyone because it relates to our biological nature.” Paleobiology is a relatively recent field: “The first discovery dates back 25 years, and since then it has made extraordinary progress and we will continue to do so.”
In 1997, Papo’s research provided us with Neanderthal DNA in 1997 and almost 10 years later the complete genome of this extinct species; later, they led us to discover crosses and crosses that mean that in our genome still small portions of human DNA are preserved. primitive”. Manzi, in 2010, added one step further, with the discovery of a Denisovian man starting with a small piece of bone discovered in the Altai Mountains: “A new world opened when it was discovered that in those parts there were only Neanderthals and Sapiens, but that there was a third community that did not It is absolutely recognized in fossils,” Denisovan. The discovery is so recent that “this extinct species does not yet have a name in Latin”.
For Manzi, “the most remarkable of these discoveries is also one of the most recent, when a hybrid between Neanderthals and Denisovans was discovered in Papo’s lab.” According to the expert, “Beyond the specialized sector of evolutionary biology and human evolution, the discoveries are extending to the field of biology and medicine: we know better who we are and through advanced technologies we can better look at our own genomes and understand the potential health consequences, as happened in the middle of an epidemic.” COVID-19. It has been discovered that Neanderthal DNA in our genome can have both positive and negative effects on whether or not we get sick.” That’s why, according to Manzi, the Babu Prize “is an award in biomedicine.” He concludes that it is a story just beginning, and in the future could lead to “more and more learning about human evolution, and possibly the discovery of other extinct species,” and to new consequences for biology and medicine.
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