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Svante Paabo, the scientist who sequenced the first Neanderthal genome, wins the Nobel Prize in Medicine

Svante Paabo, the scientist who sequenced the first Neanderthal genome, wins the

Svante Paabo won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discoveries about Neanderthal genomes and human evolution.

The Nobel committee said Paabo, a Swedish geneticist, accomplished something seemingly impossible when he sequenced the first Neanderthal genome and found that Homo sapiens interbred with Neanderthals.

Evidence for his discovery first emerged in 2010, after Paabo pioneered methods to extract, sequence and analyze ancient DNA from Neanderthal bones. Thanks to his work, scientists can compare Neanderthal genomes with the genetic data of people alive today.

Paabo has served as director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany since 1997, and is an honorary fellow at London's Natural History Museum.