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Japan Scientist Wins Nobel Medicine Prize

Japan Scientist Wins Nobel Medicine PrizeJapan Scientist Wins Nobel Medicine Prize

Yoshinori Ohsumi, a Japanese cell biologist, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday.

He was selected for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a concept introduced in 1960s which examines how the body breaks down and re-uses parts of cells, various news outlets reported.

“Ohsumi’s discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content,” the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm said in announcing the prize.

“His discoveries opened the path to understanding the fundamental importance of autophagy in many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection.”

Mutations in autophagy genes can cause disease, the assembly said, and disruptions in the process have been linked to Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Last year, three scientists were given the award for their work on malaria and other tropical diseases. Each prize is worth 8 million kronor, or just under a million pounds.

Born in 1945 in Fukuoka in Japan, Ohsumi works at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

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