Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi scratches his head as he reacts photographers' request to smile following a news that he won this year's Nobel Prize in medicine at the Tokyo Institute of Technology campus in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. Junko Ozaki/Kyodo News via AP
Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi scratches his head as he reacts photographers' request to smile following a news that he won this year's Nobel Prize in medicine at the Tokyo Institute of Technology campus in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. Junko Ozaki/Kyodo News via AP
STOCKHOLM: Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi says that he's "extremely honoured" to have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries related to the auto-decomposition and recycling of cellular components.
Ohsumi, who was speaking in a live phone interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK, was honored for experiments in the 1990s on autophagy, the "self-eating" process with which cells break down and recycle some of their content. When asked why autophagy became his project, Ohsumi said that "I wanted to do something different from other people. I thought auto-decomposition was going to be an interesting topic." Ohsumi, speaking in Japanese, also said that the "human body is always repeating the auto-decomposition process, or cannibalism, and there is a fine balance between formation and decomposition. That's what life is about." READ ALSO: 

Japan’s Ohsumi wins Nobel medicine prize