Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel Prize for medical research on cells

  • October 03,2016
  • Sheena McKenzie, CNN
  • Medical

Biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine prize or physiology for his discoveries in autophagy -- the process whereby a cell recycles part of its own contents.

Scientists had been aware of autophagy since around the 1960s, but knew little about how it worked -- until Ohsumi's pioneering experiments with baker's yeast in the 1990s.
It's important because autophagy can 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.

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