Svante Pääbo an outsider for the Chemistry Nobel today

I leave it to real Chemists – such as here – to make predictions. And one can always fall-back on Thomson Reuters who correctly predicted the Physics prize yesterday:


A. Paul Alivisatos  and Chad A. Mirkin and Nadrian C. Seeman
For contributions to DNA nanotechnology

Bruce N. Ames
For the invention of the Ames test of mutagenicity

M.G. Finn and Valery V. Fokin and K. Barry Sharpless
For the development of modular click chemistry

But based on a throw-away comment by somebody on Swedish Radio this morning and based on my interest in paleo-anthropology, Svante Pääbo may be an outside bet. He is a participant in Nobel Week in December and this bio is from there:

Svante Pääbo

A Swedish biologist specializing in evolutionary genetics, Dr Svante Pääbo investigates ways that the archaic genome can be explored to understand our own history better.

Svante Pääbo has developed technical approaches that allow DNA sequences from extinct creatures such as mammoths, ground sloths and Neandertals to be determined. He also works on the comparative genomics of humans, extinct hominins and apes, particularly the evolution of gene activity and genetic changes that may underlie aspects of traits specific to humans such as speech and language.

In 2010, his group determined the first Neandertal genome sequence and described Denisovans, a sister group of Neandertals, based on a genome sequence determined from a small bone found inSiberia.

Pääbo has received four honorary doctorates and several scientific prizes and is a member of numerous academies. He is currently a Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a Guest Professor at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

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