Scientist duo awarded the Nobel Prize 2021 for work on sense of touch

The Nobel Prize 2021 winner Julius is a New York native who works at UC San Francisco while Patapoutian grew raised in Los Angeles but was born in Lebanon.

Two US-based scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize 2021 in Medicine on Monday for their discoveries of temperature and touch sensors.

Thomas Perlmann, the Nobel Committee’s secretary-general, named David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian as the winners on Monday.

Julius, 65, utilised capsaicin, the primary ingredient in chilli peppers, to discover the nerve receptors that allow the skin to respond to heat, according to the official statement of the Nobel Committee.

Separate pressure-sensitive sensors were discovered in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation, according to Patapoutian.

Julius is a UC San Francisco employee who was born in New York. Patapoutian was born in Lebanon but grew up in Los Angeles. He presently works at La Jolla at the Scripps Research Institute.

Last year, the two also shared the renowned Kavli Award for Neuroscience.

Groundbreaking discoveries by the scientist duo

This year’s Nobel Laureates’ revolutionary discoveries of the TRPV1, TRPM8, and Piezo channels, according to Nobel Committee, have helped us to better grasp how heat, cold, and mechanical force may trigger nerve impulses that allow us to sense and adapt to the environment around us.

Our capacity to feel temperature is largely dependent on TRP channels. The Piezo2 channel gives us the capacity to feel touch as well as the location and movement of our body parts.

TRP and Piezo channels also play a role in a variety of other physiological activities that rely on temperature or mechanical inputs for detection.

Nobel Prize winner entitled to approx 84 million rupees cash prize

Last year’s prize went to three scientists who identified the liver-wreaking hepatitis C virus, paving the way for treatments and diagnostics to prevent the disease from spreading through blood banks.

Basic research is frequently praised by the Nobel Assembly, but practical applications are occasionally acknowledged as well.

The renowned honour includes a gold medal and a cash prize of 10 million Swedish kronor (approximately 84 million Indian rupees). The award money originates from a legacy left by Alfred Nobel, the prize’s founder, who died in 1895.

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