Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. They received the award for discovering the temperature and touch receptors.
Ardem Patapoutian is a molecular biologist and neurobiologist of Armenian descent at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California.
In the justification of this year’s award, it was stated; “How are nerve impulses initiated so that we can feel the temperature and pressure. This question has been solved by this year’s Nobel laureates.”
David Julius used capsaicin, a pungent compound derived from chilli peppers that induces a burning sensation to identify a heat-responsive sensor in the skin’s nerve endings.
Ardem Patapoutian used pressure-sensitive cells to discover a new class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs.
“Our ability to feel warm, cold and touch is indispensable to our existence and is the basis of our interaction with the world around us. In our daily lives these sensations are obvious to us, but how are nerve impulses initiated so that we can feel temperature and pressure? ”
This question has been solved by this year’s Nobel laureates – it was stated in the explanatory memorandum to this year’s award.
“Laureates identified critical missing links in our understanding of the complex interaction between our senses and the environment”. The Swedish Academy added in the justification to the award.
Fot.:HUFFAKER/AP, ©; Illustrated by: Nikolas Elmehed
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