Autophagy and the Future

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4 Oct 2016 - General

After the Nobel assembly has decided to award the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to  the japanese Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi yesterday for his discoveries to have a better understanding of autophagy, there have been many questions on the implications of this announcement on the future of science and medicine. He has successfully explained mechanisms and  identified the genes that are important in the complex cellular pathways for autophagy.

Autophagy means “self-eating”, where the cell degrades some parts of its own structure to primarily repair itself and restore its optimum function. One of the potential applications of Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi’s discoveries will be indeed helping us understanding more the pathophysiology of cancer and how to interfere to fight it back. In fact, the role of autophagy in cancer development is found to be crucial. On the one hand, autophagy normally suppresses tumorigenesis by getting rid of malfunctioned organelles and allowing regaining of the healthy cellular environment. On the other hand, cancer takes control on these autophagy mechanisms to make it work in its favour allowing the cancer to resist and spread effectively. In your opinion, What are the changes we are going to witness in the light of this discovery?



The anti-ageing research will also benefit greatly from this revelation. As there is already ongoing research project to enable scientists reverse or delay ageing by targeting telomers, It is expected that there might find the effective way to intervene the shortening process occurring to the telomers over the years. Every time cells divide, their telomeres shorten, which eventually prompts them to stop dividing and die. Telomerase enzyme prevents this decline in some kinds of cells, includin...
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