How Cells Sense Oxygen Levels: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Science Talk


The Nobel Assembly Caroline Skins that has today decided to ward the two thousand Nineteen Nobel Prize in physiology discoveries of how south sounds and adapt to oxygen availability. Thomas Perlman Secretary of the Nobel Assembly shortly after five thirty am eastern time Greg Samantha was born in Nineteen fifty six in New York he performed his prize winning studies at Johns skains university in Baltimore where is still active Sir Peter Ratcliffe was born in Nineteen fifty four in Lancashire you're in the UK he performed his prize winning studies at Oxford University and he's continuing to do his research soared university and he's also at Francis Crick Institute in London and William Calin born in Nineteen fifty seven in work he performed his price winning studies at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston we're still active in his own lab yeah I will not turn to professor Roundell Johnson a member of the Nobel Assembly who will describe some detail and background binder works so please ramble this year's Nobel prize is awarded for determining how oxygen levels are sensed by cells oxygen is essential for life and is used by virtually all animal cells in order to convert food to usable energy however the amount of engine available to cells tissues animals themselves can vary greatly this prize is for three physician scientists who found them switch that regulates how our cells adapt when oxygen levels drop the most fundamental use of oxygen by the cell is to convert food to usable energy just as a candle needs the right amount of oxygen to burn cleanly cells need to adjust their metabolic rates based on how much oxygen they have available to them this allows each cell and indeed our bodies to efficiently and safely burn fuel so as to create heat do work and build new tissues cells and tissues are constantly experiencing changes in oxygen availability as an embryo grows develops as muscles work the oxygen available changes as the tissues themselves change cells need a way to adjust to the amount of oxygen they have while still doing their important jobs sometimes oxygen levels change across the entire body such as when we high altitudes and sometimes they change and very small parts of our bodies such as when we get a wound that interrupts the local blood supply this triggers adaptive process called the hypoxia response which in turn can induce processes in the body as diverse as new blood vessel formation or genesis new red blood cell formation or rith rope and metabolic adaptations of cells including by Colossus before things get too complicated I want to jump to an interview Randall. Johnson did after the Nobel announcements Johnson's research on the effects of low oxygen so he really knows is this stuff he spoke to an unidentified interviewer but based on the programs in past years I believe she was Swedish journalist Joanna rose this use your water in the discovery of cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. What does this mean well it's basically a price that says in your cell if you're an animal cell you have to always have some level of oxygen almost all cells use it to do there pollick processes and basically it is just like a candle burning or any other kind of furnace or engine you are burning things in order to make heats in order to make Gede and that's really what we do of course we need oxygen or do those things the problem is cells inside three-dimensional structure like the body are just getting different amounts of oxygen can depend on different levels and blood flow can depend on the fact that the the tissue itself might be using a lot of oxygen at any given time my brain is probably using fair amount right now my heart because it's eating a bit faster and so that's maybe got sort of its using oxygen and if I'm lying down and sleeping and so the because the cell has very tightly regulated little furnace in it it has to adjust to these different levels of oxygen fine-tuned way and if it does badly it can even be fatal for the cell so this is really the prizes for this sort of almost like a reestablish or a thermostat for the oxygen levels a damper that you'd have on your furnace to let in more or less oxygen at any given time so it's just right the flame

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