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

The Logical Indian

October 4th, 2016

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.

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

“We Should Focus On Education & Technology, Not Meat”: Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

BSNL Tower

Supreme Court Orders The Removal Of Cell Tower After Man Claims Its Radiations Gave Him Cancer

Tokyo Lost & Found

Last Year, Tokyo Residents Returned Rs 209 Crore To Lost & Found; 3/4 Of This Was Returned To The Owners

Indian Nobel Prize Winners

These Are The Indians Who Have Won Nobel Prizes; Know About Them

Sir Frederick Grant Banting

The Man Who Gifted Insulin To Mankind Instead Of Selling It To Pharmaceutical Companies

Singer And Songwriter Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize In Literature

Legendary Singer And Songwriter Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize In Literature

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

In One Of The Poorest Regions Of Jharkhand, Thousands Denied Ration In The Name Of Aadhaar

Fact Check

Mysterious Death Of 21-Yr-Old Given Communal Colour By BJP Karnataka, Sparks Violence

Others

Finance Minister Defends FRDI Bill Again, Says Will Protect Depositors Interest

News

Arunachal Civil Services Examination Had 50% Questions Lifted From Pakistani Website

Awareness

New SC Ruling: Hotels, Restaurants Can Sell Bottled Water Above MRP

News

Karnataka BJP Leader Caught In Camera Asking Workers To Bluff & Lie To Voters