Nobel Prize: A Poem

This week is Nobel Prize week!  On Monday, the prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi of the Tokyo Institute for Technology (Here’s his website.  I’s in Japanese).  More than 25 years ago, Dr. Ohsumi and his lab took the yeast cultures they were growing, starved them of nutrients, and noticed the starved yeast accumulated small spherical structures inside.  Through their experiments they determined that the starved yeast were recycling parts of themselves.  This process, never-before described in yeast or animal cells, is “autophagy”.  Or self-eating (ooooo, sounds “Halloween-y doesn’t it?).

It’s a hot topic in science, so I thought I would educate myself by reading Ohsumi’s original publication.  A couple of things:  When I first went searching for the paper, I didn’t realize that 25 years ago meant 1992.  I was expecting it to be dated 1975 or something.  I may have had a bit of a panic attack when I fully realized it’s 2016.  Almost 2017.   Second, if you want to read the paper yourself, here’s the link .  It’s free.

And last, here’s a blackout poem for you made from the abstract.  I don’t know why I did this.  I guess I’m a weirdo.  Or, maybe it’s just hard to just sit down and read an article all the way through sometimes–so think of it less as a “poem” and more like a post-doc attention span simulator.



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