The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian. He was cited for discovering receptors for temperature and touch. The winners were announced on Monday by the Secretary-General of the Nobel Committee, Thomas Perlman.
Patrick Ernfors of the Nobel Committee said that Julius used capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers, to identify the nerve sensor that allows the skin to respond to heat.
He said Patapoutian found distinct pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation.
2021 #nobel prize David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian in Physiology or Medicine are awarded jointly “for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch”. pic.twitter.com/gB2eL37IV7
— Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) 4 October 2021
“It really opens up one of nature’s mysteries,” Perlman said. “It’s really something that’s important to our existence, so it’s a very important and profound discovery.”
last year’s award The three went to scientists who discovered the liver-damaging hepatitis C virus, a breakthrough that led to a cure for the deadly disease and tests to stop the disease from spreading through blood banks.
The coveted prize comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The prize money comes from a will left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.
This award is the first to be given this year. Other awards are for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics.