Nobel Prize in medicine lies in Japanese that gives clues to diseases of old age

Nobel Prize in medicine lies in Japanese that gives clues to diseases of old age this researcher showed how the cells are recycled and deleted the contents that are damaged to stay healthy. Sebastian Urbina for many scientists, it was inevitable that the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine would be awarded to the Japanese biologist, Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi (71).

This, because he studied and clarified how a system that is crucial to life. Thanks to this, eliminate waste and recycling for energy cells. A mechanism that helps the body eliminate toxic and reuse part of its material to follow Active. This process is known as “Autophagy”, from the Greek meaning “eat yourself”.

Among other things, Ohsumi identified the genes involved in this mechanism, working in the early 1990s with a simple bread yeast.

Autophagy is essential, for example, in the adaptation to prolonged fasting, When the cells destroy their own proteins in order to get energy to keep alive. They also use this mechanism to destroy infections, virus and bacteria to its destruction and recycling. Also, they use this process to eliminate the cell structures that are damaged.

Increase of toxic

When fault the Autophagy, You can accumulate toxic within the cell that have been linked to diseases as the parkinson, type 2 diabetes and other old-age disorders, as well as to genetic diseases and cancer.

“This is something that works on a daily basis, like the toilet of the House”, says Dr. Sergio Lavandero, Director of the Center for advanced chronic diseases, ACCDIS, It is a center of excellence Fondap of the Catholic University and the University of Chile. “From the medical point of view it is important because it allows to explain various diseases”, Adds.

Today a number of medications that can stimulate or inhibit Autophagy are studied. The challenge is to act in the specific form in the body where you want to obtain an effect.

“When this mechanism does not work well, in the case of the neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson's, accumulate toxic substances that harm certain neurons”, says Dr. María Paz Marzolo, academic in the Department of cell biology and Molecular of the Faculty of biological sciences of the Catholic University. “(For this reason) need to stimulate it Autophagy to decrease the accumulation of substances toxic in the neurons”, Adds.

For the Dr. Marzolo, This Nobel is a good example of how a research in basic science, that was not intended for a specific application, You can make a tremendously relevant knowledge for medicine.

Ohsumi will receive a diploma, a gold medal and an amount of money that this year will be 8 million Swedish kronor, about $933.000, at the ceremony on December 10 in Stockholm, similar to the rest of the award-winning.

The round of winners of the Nobel will continue today with the award of physical.

Predecessors in the middle of the century last them scientific observed some magazines cell that digerían protein, carbohydrates and lipids, called Lysosomes. This discovery earned the 1974 Nobel Prize in Medicine for Belgian Christian de Duve, who also was he that coined the term Autophagy.

A complementary cell cleaning system was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, received by the Israeli Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko and the American Irwin Rose. Both awards served of base for the investigation of the doctor Ohsumi.

Source: El Mercurio, page A 10, section life science and technology, 04/10/2016