The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Swedish bisexual scientist Svante Pääbo. He is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.Pääbo won the award for his studies into the genetic makeup of extinct humans, including that of the Neanderthal.
His research, which included finding genetic material from 40,0000-year-old bones, produced a complete Neanderthal genome and introduced the world to ancient DNA studies.The research helped scientists understand the differences between modern human DNA and those human species that came before us.
Beyond that, it also has helped to understand how those differences could impact modern human health.In its announcement the Nobel Prize committee said, “Through his groundbreaking discoveries, Pääbo opened a new window to our evolutionary past, revealing an unexpected complexity in the evolution and ad-mixture of ancient hominins, as well as providing the basis for an improved understanding of genetic features that make us uniquely human.” Two years ago, Pääbo and a colleague discovered that people with Neanderthal DNA had worse symptoms of the novel coronavirus than those who didn’t, the New York Times reports.Neanderthals are our closest ancient relatives.
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