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Monday, 3 October 2022

Sweden’s Svante Pääbo lands Nobel Prize for Neanderthal genome sequencing + Africa’s internet speeds are lagging behind the rest of the world

Swedish scientist Svante Pääbo was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for his seemingly impossible “discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution,” according to a press release. Pääbo’s research managed to sequence Neanderthals’ genomes, despite them being extinct, and “made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova.” The discovery and genome sequencing breakthrough help us better understand genetic evolution and have implications for present-day humans’ physiology, the Nobel Assembly notes. The award is worth SEK 10 mn.

Egypt dropped three spots in Ookla’s monthly Speedtest Global Index to rank 83 out of 182 countries in fixed broadband speed, while our ranking in mobile data speed remained flat m-o-m at 81 out of 140 countries. Egypt’s average fixed broadband download speed is now 45.46 Mbps. Topping the global ranking: Singapore has the fastest fixed broadband speed, edging out Chile and Thailand, while Norway takes the top spot for mobile data speed, followed by the UAE and Qatar.

Broadly speaking, internet speeds across Africa are lagging far behind the global average, Quartz notes. South Africa — which has the continent’s highest mobile data speed — ranks 47th, with an average mobile internet download speed of 38.11 Mbps. That’s “way below the global average mobile download speed of 77.7 mbps,” Quartz notes. Our lagging internet speeds is largely because 5G networks have yet to really land in Africa. Egypt is among 13 countries across the continent where testing is currently underway for 5G spectrums, but the broad majority (more than 40 countries) have yet to lay the groundwork for the network. “This could keep them locked out of the emerging global digital economy, which demands reliable and fast internet,” Quartz says.

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