Ja­pa­ne­se sci­en­tist wins No­bel me­di­ci­ne pri­ze

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

JA­PAN - Ja­pan’s Yo­s­hi­no­ri Oh­su­mi won the 2016 No­bel pri­ze for me­di­ci­ne for ground-brea­king ex­pe­ri­ments with ye­ast which ex­po­sed a key me­cha­nism in the bo­dy’s de­fen­ses whe­re cells de­gra­de and re­cy­cle their com­po­nents. Un­der­stan­ding the scien­ce be­hind the pro­cess, cal­l­ed “au­top­ha­gy” or “self-ea­ting”, has led to a bet­ter un­der­stan­ding of di­sea­ses such as can­cer, Parkin­son’s and ty­pe 2 dia­be­tes, the pri­ze com­mit­tee said in its sta­te­ment on Mon­day. “Oh­su­mi’s dis­co­ve­ries led to a new pa­ra­digm in our un­der­stan­ding of how the cell re­cy­cles its con­tent,” it said. The Phy­si­o­lo­gy or Me­di­ci­ne pri­ze, the first of the No­bel pri­zes awar­ded each year, is worth 8 mil­li­on Swe­dish crowns ($933,000). Oh­su­mi, born in 1945 in Fu­kuo­ka, Ja­pan, has been a pro­fes­sor at the Tokyo In­sti­tu­te of Tech­no­lo­gy sin­ce 2009. He told Ky­o­do News ag­en­cy he was “ex­tre­me­ly ho­no­red” to get the pri­ze. In a se­pa­ra­te in­ter­view with broad­cas­ter NHK, he said he had “al­ways wan­ted to do so­me­thing that other pe­o­p­le wouldn’t do”. “I thought the break­down (of cells) would be in­te­res­ting, and that was my start,” he said. Oh­su­mi’s work - car­ried out in the 1990s and de­scri­bed by com­men­ta­tors as “pa­ra­digm-shif­ting” and “pi­o­nee­ring” - in­clu­ded lo­ca­ting the ge­nes that re­gu­la­te au­top­ha­gy. This is im­por­tant for me­di­ci­ne be­cau­se it helps show why er­rors in the­se ge­nes can con­tri­bu­te to a ran­ge of di­sea­ses. Da­vid Ru­bins­z­tein, de­pu­ty di­rec­tor of Cam­brid­ge Uni­ver­si­ty’s In­sti­tu­te for Me­di­cal Re­search, said Oh­su­mi had pro­vi­ded sci­en­tists around the world with “cri­ti­cal tools” to help them un­der­stand how dis­rup­ted au­top­ha­gy can con­tri­bu­te to ill­nes­ses in­clu­ding in­fec­tious di­sea­ses, can­cers and neu­ro­de­ge­ne­ra­ti­ve di­sea­ses such as Hun­ting­ton’s and Parkin­son’s.

Chis­ter Hogg, a pro­fes­sor at Swe­den’s Karo­l­ins­ka In­sti­tu­te, told Reu­ters the work hel­ped ex­plain cru­ci­al pro­ces­ses in hu­man de­vel­op­ment, from gro­wing up, to aging to suc­cum­bing to di­sea­se. “In the very ear­ly sta­ges (of a hu­man’s de­vel­op­ment) your or­gans and your who­le bo­dy is con­stant­ly being ma­de over again – you are gro­wing. So you need to get rid of the old stuff and ge­ne­ra­te new struc­tu­res,” he said. “When you un­der­go aging, you ha­ve struc­tu­res that ha­ve to be ta­ken away and this – au­top­ha­gy – is the prin­ci­ple that gets rid of them. (Reu­ters.com)

Newspapers in Dutch

Newspapers from Suriname

© PressReader. All rights reserved.