- Title: Japan's Yoshinori Ohsumi awarded Nobel Prize for medicine
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (OCTOBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) MEDIA AFTER NEWS CONFERENCE CHRISTER HOOG, PROFESSOR AT KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE, BEING INTERVIEWED HOOG'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AT KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE, CHRISTER HOOG, SAYING: "In the very early stages (of a human's development) your organs and your whole body is constantly being made over again because you are growing. So you need to get rid of the old stuff and you need to generate new structures. But in order to get the new structures in place you have to get rid of the old stuff. This is very important in physiology - without it you can't grow up. So for adults, the same thing happens. When you undergo ageing, you have structures that have to be taken away and this - autophagy - is the principle to get rid of it." JOURNALISTS AFTER MEDIA CONFERENCE MAN TYPING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AT KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE, CHRISTER HOOG, SAYING: "In disease, if you affect this system - the genes involved, or the proteins involved in autophagy - what happens of course is that you can no longer take care about the waste, and once it accumulates you get some type of disease, for example a neurological disease because you accumulate old proteins or old structures in the brain which blocks functions." VARIOUS OF INTERVIEWS TAKING PLACE (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AT KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE, CHRISTER HOOG, SAYING: "Well I think that when it comes to for example neurological diseases it has been argued that one problem is that there is a lot of waste, toxic proteins, that are accumulating. So if you can fine-tune autophagy in order to more effectively get rid of these toxic proteins, then presumably you would have less of a medical complication in that sense. When it comes to cancer, early or late stages of cancer, if you can fine-tune it, it can help you either to block cancer or it can help you to minimise problems of the metastasis (spreading) in cancer." MEDIA AFTER NEWS CONFERENCE / INTERVIEWS TAKING PLACE
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 12:54
- Keywords: Nobel Prize medicine physiology Japan Yoshinori Ohsumi
- Location: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
- City: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
- Country: Sweden
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA00452GAS07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS NOTE: THIS IS FULL EDIT IN ADDITION TO EDIT 1148-NOBEL-PRIZE/MEDICINE
Japan's Yoshinori Ohsumi on Monday (October 3) won the 2016 Nobel prize for medicine for ground-breaking experiments with yeast which exposed a key mechanism in the body's defences 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.
The Physiology or Medicine prize, the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year, is worth 8 million Swedish crowns (933,000 U.S. dollars).
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 honoured" to get the prize.
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.
Christer Hoog, a professor at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, told Reuters the work helped explain crucial processes in human development, from growing up, to ageing and succumbing to disease.
Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.
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