Fantastic shows details of the research that won the Nobel Prize in Medicine | Fantastic

Did you know that Neanderthal Man, who lived in Europe 400,000 years ago, is still alive among us? The genetic code of modern humans carries an important heritage from Neanderthals.

  • 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Svante Pääbo for discoveries about the genome of extinct human ancestors
  • Nobel Prize in Medicine: How was the ‘impossible task’ of recreating Neanderthal DNA, which won Svante Pääbo’s prize

It all started with the mummies. In 1981, Svante Pääbo, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine this week, was a young doctoral student in virology. But, in addition to official work, he ran a side project: extracting and deciphering the genetic material of Egyptian mummies.

And didn’t the mummy DNA research work? The work that Pääbo did in hiding was published in one of the most important scientific journals in the world.

But the results had problems. It was later discovered that the samples did not contain DNA from just mummies. Pääbo then perfected the methods to purify ancient DNA and radicalized: instead of studying the mummies, which lived some three thousand years ago, he turned to a much, much, farther past: 400,000 years ago. The time of Neanderthal Man!

Again, Doctor Pääbo’s mission was tough. First, because it is very difficult to extract pure DNA from Neanderthal fossils. It is that they are also full of defilements. And the techniques were all new.

A comparison Professor Pääbo always makes is this: reconstructing the DNA of Neanderthals is like putting a whole book through a paper shredder, shuffling it all up, pouring a lot of dirt over the tiny pieces and then taking it all mixed up, cleaning and try to rebuild the book. Easy is not.

In 2010, the results were published. And this time it was all right.

And so, after such careful, patient and innovative work, behold, professor svante paabo’s team managed to unravel the DNA of Neanderthal Man.

The researchers then compared this DNA with our own, the DNA of the homo sapiens. And then came the great discovery: over the millennia, a part of Neanderthal DNA had transferred to the DNA of Homo sapiens. We have 1% to 4% of Neanderthal DNA within our genetic code.

See all the details in the video report above.

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