Nobel Prize 2022 in Medicine/ Physiology
Recently, the Nobel Prize in Medical Sciences for the year 2022 has been announced for research on the genome and human evolution of the extinct hominin.
- Swedish geneticist Svante Pabo has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for genome sequencing of Neanderthals.
- Neanderthal is a species of human. It became extinct about 30,000 years ago.
- The research of Svante Pabo has resulted in the emergence of a new scientific study area called “paleogenomics”. The study and analysis of the genes of ancient or extinct organisms is called paleogenomics.
- Sequencing of such extinct organisms is difficult, as their DNA decays and chemical changes occur over time.
- To overcome this challenge, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Neanderthals was studied.
- Mitochondria are called the power house of the cell. It contains only a fraction of DNA as compared to atomic DNA (nDNA).
- Mitochondrial DNA is present in thousands of copies. This increases the chance of sequencing.
- Svante Pabo also made the important discovery of the previously unknown hominin (extinct human species) Denisova.
- They concluded that gene transfer from these extinct hominins to Homo sapiens occurred after migration from Africa about 70,000 years ago.
Difference between nDNA and mtDNA-
- nDNA is surrounded by nuclear membrane, whereas mtDNA is not surrounded by nuclear membrane.
- mtDNA is circular, whereas NDA is linear in shape.
- Furthermore, mtDNA is derived from the mother, but nDNA is derived from both the parents.
- These awards were established by the will of Alfred Nobel. The Nobel Prizes were awarded for the first time in the year
- 10 million kronor (Swedish currency) are awarded under each prize.
- Nobel Prizes are awarded in six fields (medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, economics and peace).
- The Nobel Peace Prize is given in Norway, while the rest of the other prizes are given in Sweden.
- The prize for economics was not started by Nobel, but by Sweden’s central bank in
Source – The Hindu