Sunday, October 17, 2021

Two Americans Win Medicine Nobel for Discovering Receptors for Heat and Touch

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine has been awarded to two US scientists for their discovery of the receptors for temperature and touch, the prize-giving body announced on Monday.

The findings from California-based scientists, David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, focused on the area of ​​somatosensation, more commonly known as the tactile sense, or the ability to sense the body.

“Unprecedented discoveries … have allowed us to understand how heat, cold and mechanical forces can initiate nerve impulses that allow us to understand and adapt to the world around us,” assembly explained in a statement that announced the winners.

A deeper exploration of both may have paved the way for new ways to treat pain or heart disease.

“This knowledge is being used to develop treatments for a wide range of pathological conditions, including chronic pain,” aAssembly said.

Julius, who works at the University of California at San Francisco, used capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers that causes irritation, to identify the nerve sensor that allows the skin to respond to heat, the committee said. explained.

Patapoutian, working at a research institute in La Jolla, used pressure-sensitive sensor cells that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs to discover a novel class of sensors.

The findings rapidly increase scientists’ understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold and mechanical stimuli, identifying important links that play a role in the perception of the complex interactions between our senses and the environment around us. were missing.

“I mean, pain, which is very closely linked to the sense of temperature and touch. And we know that these systems are definitely involved in pain transit,” said Thomas Perlman, secretary general of the Nobel Committee. There is also activity, in some places and quite intense activity in some companies to develop new drugs that may play a role in pain, chronic pain, for example.”

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Last year, US-based scientist Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice jointly with British-born scientist Michael Houghton won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus, a major source of liver disease affecting millions of people worldwide. .

The coveted Nobel Prize comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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