Svante Pääbo received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his research on human evolution

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Svante Pääbo, a Swedish geneticist whose research on ancient DNA helped transform our view of human beginnings, received the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday.

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The genome of the long-extinct Neanderthals was sequenced in a ground-breaking study by evolutionary geneticist Pääbo  

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At the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, proving that they interbred with primitive humans. 

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A member of the Nobel committee named Anna Wedell described it as an “insurmountable assignment."

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The research of Pääbo challenged the accepted theory of human origins by demonstrating that early human ancestors interbred.

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He oversaw a group that demonstrated how Neanderthals, who have been extinct for 30,000 years, nevertheless exist in our DNA.

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The genomes of people who are not African now makeup between 1 and 2 percent of modern humans who moved outside of Africa and interbred with Neanderthals.

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He identified a brand-new species of early hominidS known as the Denisovans from a finger bone recovered in a cave in the Russian Altai Mountains.

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Harvard Medical School geneticist David Reich said the award was exciting an acknowledgement for a researcher.

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He considers a personal friend as well as a developing field of study that has altered how science perceives the human species.

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Before Pääbo's discoveries, researchers could only comprehend the forebears of modern humans by examining old bones and artifacts.