STOCKHOLM, (Xinhua) -- Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries "concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution," the Nobel committee announced here on Monday.
"Through his pioneering research, Svante Paabo accomplished something seemingly impossible: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans," the committee said in a statement. "He also made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova."
The scientist found that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa around 70,000 years ago.
"This ancient flow of genes to present-day humans has physiological relevance today, for example affecting how our immune system reacts to infections," the statement added.
Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, announced the winner at the Karolinska Institute. He said he called the laureate with the news, and Paabo "sounded overwhelmed, speechless, and very happy."