Ohsumi says the “human body is always repeating the auto-decomposition process, or cannibalism.”
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Japanese biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for discoveries on how cells break down and recycle content, a garbage disposal system that scientists hope to harness in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases. The Karolinska Institute honored Ohsumi for "brilliant experiments" in the 1990s on autophagy, a phenomenon that literally means "self-eating" and describes how cells gobble up damaged content and provide building blocks for renewal.Nobel committee secretary Thomas Perlmann said Ohsumi seemed surprised when he was informed he had won the Nobel Prize.David Rubinsztein, deputy director of the Institute for Medical Research at the University of Cambridge, said Ohsumi's discoveries have provided critical tools to study the role of autophagy in infectious diseases, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases such as from Huntington's and Parkinson's.
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