Copenhagen, Oct 4 (EFE).- David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of receptors that allow the human body to feel temperature and touch, the Nobel jury announced Monday.
The US scientists’ pioneering work has “allowed us to understand how heat, cold and mechanical force can initiate the nerve impulses that allow us to perceive and adapt to the world around us,” the jury explained.
The award-giving body said that Julius used capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that induces a burning sensation, to discover a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that responds to heat, while Lebanon-born Patapoutian used pressure-sensitive cells to identify a new class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli.
“This knowledge is being used to develop treatments for a wide range of disease conditions, including chronic pain.”
Nobel winners in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, and peace will be announced this week, before the economics prize on Monday.EFE