US scientists David Julius, Ardem Patapoutian win Nobel prize in medicine for research about temperature and touch
US scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of temperature and touch receptors."
Their research reveals new ways to manage chronic and acute pain caused by a variety of illnesses, injuries, and therapies.
"Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and underpins our interaction with the world around us.David Julius utilised capsaicin, a pungent compound from chilli peppers that induces a burning sensation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that responds to heat. Ardem Patapoutian used pressure-sensitive cells to discover a novel class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs, " the Nobel Assembly said in a statement announcing the prize.
The 10 million kronor ($1.1 million) prize will be split between David Julius, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and Ardem Patapoutian, a molecular biologist and neuroscientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California.
The two produced groundbreaking findings that sparked a flurry of studies, resulting in a fast improvement in our knowledge of how our nerve systems perceive heat, cold, and mechanical stimuli.
The laureates discovered crucial gaps in our knowledge of the complicated interplay between our senses and our surroundings.
Last year's Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three scientists who identified the liver-wreaking hepatitis C virus, a finding that led to treatments and tests to prevent the illness from spreading through blood banks.
Week of the Nobel Prize:
In a week of Nobel Prizes, medicine is always first.The physics prize is typically awarded on Tuesday, while the chemistry prize is awarded on Wednesday.
The Nobel Prizes for Literature and Peace will be announced later this week, followed by the Nobel Prizes for Economic Sciences.