Two US-based scientists received praise for describing the mechanics of how they sense temperature and pressure through nerve impulses.
Julius is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Patapoutian is a professor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California.
“Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential to survival and strengthens our interactions with the world around us,” the Nobel Assembly said in a statement announcing the prize.
“David Julius used capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that causes irritation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that respond to heat. Ardem Patapoutian discovered a novel class of sensors used for pressure-sensitive cells that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs,” it added.
Thomas Perlman, secretary of the Nobel Assembly and Nobel Committee, said the discovery “reveals the mysteries of nature … it explains at the molecular level how these stimuli are converted into neural signals. This is an important and profound discovery.” “
It is a developing story which is yet to follow.
Credit : www.cnn.com