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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

US scientists win Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for heat receptors

October 4 (WNN) — US-based scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were on Monday named winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work in the discovery of human receptors for temperature and touch.

By detailing how heat, cold and touch can initiate signals in the human nervous system, their discovery has proved important for many physiological processes and pathological conditions.

The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet, which awards the prize for Physiology or Medicine, said in a statement, “Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and our interactions with the world around us. lowers it.”

“David Julius used capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that causes irritation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that respond to heat. Ardem Patapoutian discovered a novel class of sensors used for pressure-sensitive cells that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs.”

The Nobel Prize said that the successful research by Julius and Patapoutian has led to intensive research activities and a rapid increase in the understanding of science about how the nervous system senses heat, cold and mechanical stimuli.

A New York native, Julius is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a former postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. He earned his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Patapoutian moved to Los Angeles as a child with his parents from Beirut, Lebanon. He is a scientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif., and has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 2014. He earned his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. .

“These successful discoveries triggered intense research activities, leading to a rapid increase in our understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold and mechanical stimuli,” said the Karolinska Institutet. “Laureates identify key missing link in our understanding of the complex interplay between our senses and the environment.”

The Nobel Prizes in additional categories will be awarded for the rest of this week and on October 11. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will present the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday.

The prize for chemistry will be announced on Wednesday, for literature on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The prize for economic science will be announced on October 11.

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