New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 has been awarded jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian “for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.”

The announcement was made by a panel at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

"Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and underpins our interaction with the world around us. In our daily lives we take these sensations for granted, but how are nerve impulses initiated so that temperature and pressure can be perceived? This question has been solved by this year’s Nobel Prize laureates," the Nobel Assembly said in a press release.

According to the presser, David Julius utilized capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that induces a burning sensation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that responds to heat.

While Ardem Patapoutian used pressure-sensitive cells to discover a novel class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs.

These breakthrough discoveries launched intense research activities leading to a rapid increase in our understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold, and mechanical stimuli.

The laureates identified critical missing links in our understanding of the complex interplay between our senses and the environment.

Last year the prize went to three scientists who discovered the Hepatitis C virus, which led to cures for the deadly disease and tests to keep the scourge from spreading through blood banks.

For the unversed, Nobel Prize comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

Other fields in which the prize will be given in the coming days over a span of a week include the fields of physics, chemistry, literature and peace and economics.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha