• Swedish scientist Svante Paabo won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for his discoveries on human evolution that provided key insights into our immune system and what makes us unique compared with our extinct cousins.
  • Paabo has spearheaded the development of new techniques that allowed researchers to compare the genome of modern humans and that of other hominins — the Neanderthals and Denisovans.
  • While Neanderthal bones were first discovered in the mid-19th century, only by unlocking their DNA — often referred to as the code of life — have scientists been able to fully understand the links between species.


  • The Nobel Prize was set up when businessman Alfred Nobel died and left the majority of his fortune to the establishment of prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.
  • His will stated that the prizes should be awarded to those who shall have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.
  • Since the 1st Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901, they have been awarded annually. It was not awarded, mostly during World War I and II.

A Nobel Prize cannot be awarded posthumously.

Nobel Prize Selection
Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute
Nobel Prize in Literature The Swedish Academy
Nobel Peace Prize Norwegian Nobel Committee
  • [Norwegian Nobel Committee is a 5-member committee of the Norwegian Parliament (Storting).]
  • Fund – When Alfred Nobel died leaving the majority of his fortune to the establishment of the Nobel Prize he stated that the money should be converted into a fund and invested in “safe securities.”
  • Today the interest earned on that money is used to fund the Nobel Prizes.

Nobel Prize Laureate

  • The word “laureate” refers to being signified by the laurel wreath.
  • In ancient Greece, laurel wreaths were awarded to victors as a sign of honour.



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