Source: The post is based on the article “Exhuming new light – Pääbo’s Nobel win should inspire biologists to shun academic straitjacket ” published in The Hindu on 6th October 2022.
What is the News?
Swedish scientist Svante Paabo has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology for the year 2022 “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution”.
What are the major findings of Svante Paabo?
|Must read: Svante Paabo awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine: Mapping Neanderthal genome|
Brought Neanderthals as a centre of evolution: Neanderthals are believed to be among the many human-like species and losers of the evolutionary race. But the work of Pääbo brought Neanderthals to the centre of the question of human evolution. It is now known that Europeans and Asians carry anywhere between 1%-4% of Neanderthal DNA.
The first complete sequence of the human genome was only completed in 2003. Remarkably, Paabo and his colleagues published the first Neanderthal genome sequence in 2010. Comparative analyses of the human genome demonstrated that the most recent common ancestor of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens lived around 8,00,000 years ago.
Denisova: In 2008, a 40,000-year-old fragment from a finger bone yielded DNA that turned out to be from an entirely new species of hominin called Denisova. This was the first time that a new species had been discovered based on DNA analysis.
He later found that Denisova too had interbred with humans and 6% of human genomes in parts of South East Asia are of Denisovan ancestry.