The Swedish scientist Svante Pääbo, recognized with the Nobel Prize in Medicine, was awarded the 2018 Prince of Asturias Award at the proposal of the University of Burgos (UBU), with which he has maintained a stable collaboration for years as director of the Max-Planck Institute for Science of Human History. The Swedish biologist and geneticist Svante Pääbo is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medina by decision of the jury of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which recognizes with this award Pääbo’s work to publicize the DNA of Neanderthals and their hybridization with our Homo sapiens ancestors.
The work of Pääbo, 65, has been closely linked for years to the University of Burgos and, in a special way, to its Laboratory of Human Evolution and the management team of the Atapuerca sites. In fact, the University of Burgos presented Pääbo as a candidate for the Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research, which the Swedish researcher achieved in 2018.
Pääbo, who obtained the first genome of an extinct species and caused a scientific revolution by showing that our species interbred with Neanderthals, maintains a stable collaboration with the University of Burgos and with the scientific managers of the Atapuerca sites.
He works, in a special way, with doctors Juan Luis Arsuaga, one of the co-directors of Atapuerca, and José Miguel Carretero, who is in charge of the Human Evolution and Quaternary Paleoecology group at the University of Burgos.
Dr. Pääbo currently directs the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, an entity with which the University of Burgos established an agreement a year ago by which both academic institutions share skills and resources. The objective of this collaboration is to strengthen doctoral training in the field of Prehistory and Human Evolution, both at the UBU Doctoral School and at its German counterpart, the Max Planck International Research School.
José Miguel Carretero and Dr. Pääbo are also closely linked to the Atapuerca project. In fact, the team that directs scientific research at the sites, declared a World Heritage Site, feels “participant” in the Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded to the Swedish scientist, with whom they have also collaborated for years through his work as director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. This has been explained by one of the co-directors of Atapuerca, Juan Luis Arsuaga. After recalling that the recently recognized Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded the 2018 Prince of Asturias Award at the proposal of the University of Burgos (UBU) and the Atapuerca team, Arsuaga, who is also the scientific director of the Museum of Human Evolution (Burgos ), claims to be “excited” by this recognition of the Swedish scientist.
find this year
These collaborations between Burgos and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig have made it possible this year to obtain nuclear DNA from the sediment at the Cueva de las Estatuas site in Atapuerca, something that “will change the course of research on evolution, because it is the first time that DNA is obtained without using fossil bones”, in this case between 80,000 and 100,000 years old.
It was, precisely, another collaboration with Max Planck that made it possible a few years ago to sequence the oldest nuclear DNA of a hominid, specifically from a fossil from the Sima de los Huesos, also from Atapuerca, from about 400,000 years ago.
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Svante Pääbo: a Swedish Nobel with a Burgos connection