Svante Paabo was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday. The prize has been given to the Swedish geneticist “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution.”

Paabo has spearheaded research comparing the genome of modern humans and our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, showing that there was mixing between the species. He is also credited with discovering a new scientific discipline called paleogenomics.

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“By revealing genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins, his discoveries provide the basis for exploring what makes us uniquely human”, a press release from Nobel Prize Committee said on Monday.

The award was announced by Thomas Perlmann at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Perlmann currently serves as the secretary of the Nobel Committee.

Paabo’s work first started to gain recognition in 2010, when he created methods to study the DNA of ancient Neanderthal bones, according to CNN reports.

The Physiology or Medicine Nobel Prize announcement on Monday was the first of many. It will be followed by the physics prize on Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The recipient of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday. The economics award will conclude the giveaway on October 10.

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David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian jointly received the 2021 Nobel Prize for Medicine. The duo discovered how the human body perceives temperature and touch, news agency Associated Press reported.

The Nobel prize comes with a monetary reward worth 10 million Swedish Kronor, which is roughly $900,000. The cash reward will be presented on December 10 this year at a separate ceremony. The prize money is taken out of a fund created by Nobel prize creator Alfred Nobel. He died in 1895.