Who is Svante Paabo? Meet Swedish geneticist awarded with Nobel Prize

Who is Svante Paabo Meet Swedish geneticist awarded with Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to Svante Paabo for his discoveries about the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution. Let’s see Who is Svante Paabo and what has he done to get a Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.



Svante Pääbo, a Swedish geneticist and Nobel Prize winner, was born on April 20, 1955. He specializes in evolutionary genetics. He was one of the founders of paleogenetics and has spent a great deal of time studying Neanderthal DNA.

He is also a professor at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan. In 1997, he was put in charge of the Department of Genetics at the Leipzig, Germany-based Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.



Pääbo switched his research field from archaeology to medicine as a result of his father, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Sune Bergström, claiming. Pääbo says, “At that time, you went to medical school if you were in Sweden and interested in basic biological research. Pääbo began working with Wilson in California in 1987. With the method of the new PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology and they analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from a 7,000-year-old human brain.

When Pääbo came to Europe in 1990, he took a position as a professor of general biology at the University of Munich. There, he focused on the development of methods for analyzing ancient DNA and started using them to examine Neandertals, the closest extinct relative of modern humans. Pääbo says, “I wanted to know how the Neandertals are related to people today. He was capable of successfully sequencing the mtDNA from a Neandertal upper arm bone using specimens from a German museum. That milestone was published in the 1997 issue of the Journal Cell.



“He was shocked and so overwhelmed by seeing  Svante Paabo’s achievement on getting the Nobel prize, “Prof. Perlmann remarked.

The ancient DNA was collected and tested by Dr. Pääbo using both current technology and his own methods, as per Nils-Göran Larsson, a professor of medical biochemistry in Sweden.

The discovery would “allow us to examine changes between existing of Homo sapiens and ancient hominins,” Dr. Larsson said later that “it was definitely considered to be impossible to retrieve DNA from 40,000-year-old bones.” And this will provide us with a great deal of knowledge into human physiology throughout the upcoming years.“It’s a basic scientific discovery,” Dr. Larsson said.



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