Two scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for discoveries about the most fundamental ways of relating to the world.
The pair’s work on temperature and touch – how we sense the sun or the warmth of another person’s skin – was recognized with the Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
As well as helping to illuminate the experiences that are most central to being in the world, it helped explain how humans lived for so long.
David Julius and Ardem Patpoutian, both living in the US, won the prize announced Monday by Thomas Perlman, the Secretary-General of the Nobel Committee.
Patrick Ernfors of the Nobel Committee said that Julius, 65, used capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, to identify the nerve sensor that allows the skin to respond to heat.
He said Patapoutian found distinct pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation.
“It really opens up one of nature’s mysteries,” Perlman said. “It’s really something that’s important to our existence, so it’s a very important and profound discovery.”
The pair also shared the prestigious Kavli Prize for Neuroscience last year.
Last year’s Nobel medicine prize went to three scientists who discovered the liver-damaging hepatitis C virus, a breakthrough that led to a cure for the deadly disease and tests to stop the disease spreading through blood banks Went.
The coveted prize comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The prize money comes from a will left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.
This award is the first to be given this year. Other awards are for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /