Japanese Scientist Awarded Nobel Prize For Medicine: Know Why His Work Is Important For Everyone Of Us

The Logical Indian

October 4th, 2016 / 5:13 PM

Japanese Cell Biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi Awarded Nobel Prize

Source: CNN| Image Courtesy: mainichi

Japanese Cell Biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi Awarded Nobel Prize

Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a process involving the recycling of cell contents. He is currently a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. “The Nobel Committee announced the prize in Stockholm and said in a statement that the cell biologist “discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components.” The concept of Autophagy emerged during 1960s, but scientists were little aware of it. It was Oshumi, who pioneered the experiments with baker’s yeast in the 1990s. Autophagy has the power to eliminate invading intracellular bacteria, and disrupted autophagy has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and other disorders that particularly affect the elderly.


What is autophagy?

The term “autophagy” means “self eating”, which was first coined by scientists studying cell behaviour in the 1960s. It is very significant process in human body. During starvation, cells break down proteins and nonessential components and reuse them for energy. Dr. Oshumi discovered autophagy genes and metabloic pathways in yeast, which are used by higher organisms, including humans. His work led to a new field and inspired hundreds of researchers around the world to study the process and opened a new area of inquiry.

The statement of the Nobel Committee read, “Autophagy can rapidly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for renewal of cellular components, and is therefore essential for the cellular response to starvation and other types of stress. After infection, autophagy can eliminate invading intracellular bacteria and viruses.”

Dr. Oshumi completed his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1974. Though he started out in chemistry, he later switched to molecular biology. He switched to studying the duplication of DNA in yeast. That work led him to a junior professor position at the University of Tokyo where he picked up a microscope and started peering at sacks in yeast where cell components are degraded — work that eventually brought him, at age 43, to the discoveries that the Nobel Assembly recognized on Monday.


Contributors

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Nobel Peace Prize

2018 Nobel Peace Prize Honours Victims’ Struggle Against Sexual Violence

Samay Godika

Bengaluru: Class XI Boy Wins International Science Prize, Gets Awarded 2.9 Cr Worth Cash Prize

Seoul Peace Prize

PM Modi Awarded Seoul Peace Prize 2018 For ‘Modinomics’ & Furthering Democracy In India

SC Awarded 50 Lakhs As Compensation To Former ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan For False Charges Against Him

Meet Smt Lekshmikutty Who Was Awarded Padma Shri For Her Knowledge And Service In Traditional Medicine

Indian astronomer Shrinivas Kulkarni

Indian Scientist Wins Prestigious Dan David Prize For His Contributions To Astronomy

Latest on The Logical Indian

Exclusive

First Of Its Kind: After Unique Surgery, Uterine Cancer Survivor Becomes Mother

Exclusive

‘For Caste To Be Banished, Intercaste Marriage Is The Way’: Policeman & Advocates Open Shelter Home For Intercaste Couples

News

Himachal Pradesh: Over 250 Army Personnel Launch Search Mission To Rescue 5 Jawans Stuck In Avalanche

News

Andhra Police Allegedly Beat Farmer To Death For Refusing To Give Land For Chandrababu Naidu’s Event

News

SC Orders Forced Eviction Of Over 10 Lakh Tribal & Forest Dwellers

News

Bogus Candidates Including Sunny Leone’s Name Appear On Junior Engineer Merit List; Dept To Take Action

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.