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Swedish scientist wins Nobel Prize for medicine over DNA work

10:15 PM | 3 Oct, 2022
Swedish scientist wins Nobel Prize for medicine over DNA work
Source: The Nobel Prize

Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo, director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution’’.

Paabo transformed the study of human origins after developing ways to allow for the examination of DNA sequences from archaeological and paleontological remains reaching back to the dawn of human history.

Not only did he help uncover the existence of a previously unknown human species called the Denisovans, from a 40,000-year-old fragment of a finger bone discovered in Siberia, his crowning achievement is considered to be the methods developed to allow for the sequencing of an entire Neanderthal genome.

The Prize committee said he achieved the seemingly impossible task of cracking the genetic code of one of our extinct relatives - Neanderthals. Those results showed that Neanderthals - who mostly lived in Europe and Western Asia - were distinct from both modern day humans and chimpanzees. His work focused on hominins - the group of modern humans that includes us, Homo sapiens, but also the extinct relatives of modern day humans.

The prize, among the most prestigious in the scientific world, is awarded by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($900,357). It is the first of this year's batch of prizes. 

Born in Stockholm, Paabo studied medicine and biochemistry at Uppsala University before creating a scientific discipline called "paleogenomics", which helped shed light on the genetic differences that distinguish living humans from extinct hominins. Prof Paabo is seen as one of the founders of the scientific discipline of paleogenomics. He won the 10 million Swedish kronor (£800,000) prize.

Paabo followed in the footsteps of his father, Sune Bergstrom, who won the same Nobel Prize in 1982. His work shows there were already two distinct groups of hominins (Neanderthals and Denisovans) living in Eurasia when Homo sapiens spread from Africa.

The Nobel Prize jury highlighted that Paabo also discovered that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa some 70,000 years ago.

Past winners in the field include Alexander Fleming who shared the 1945 prize for the discovery of penicillin, and Robert Koch, who won in 1905 for his investigations of tuberculosis.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 300 for buying and 303 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.5 for buying, and 354 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.15 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.6 282.4
Euro EUR 300 303
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 354
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.15 76.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.32 751.32
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.74 36.09
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.41 911.41
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 725.96 733.96
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 316.9 319.4
Thai Bhat THB 7.93 8.08

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