Home » Scientists win Nobel in medicine for how we sense temperature and touch

Scientists win Nobel in medicine for how we sense temperature and touch

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Two California-based scientists received the 2021 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology on Monday for his or her discoveries of receptors for warmth, chilly, and contact.

David Julius of the College of California, San Francisco, and Ardem Patapoutian of the Scripps Analysis Institute in La Jolla, Calif., found out how stimuli are transformed into nerve impulses in order that temperature and strain may be perceived — important to people’ survival. Julius’ work concerned experiments with capsaicin, the substance that makes sizzling peppers sizzling, to establish a sensor within the nerve endings of the pores and skin that responds to warmth. Patapoutian unlocked the molecular foundation for sensing temperature or mechanical power working with chilly and used pressure-sensitive cells to find a novel class of sensors that reply to mechanical stimuli within the pores and skin and inner organs.

Collectively their work explains how we interpret warmth, ache, contact, and placement and motion of our our bodies in house, referred to as proprioception, the Nobel Prize committee stated.


“The laureates recognized essential lacking hyperlinks in our understanding of the advanced interaction between our senses and the atmosphere,” the committee stated in a press release. “The groundbreaking discoveries … by this 12 months’s Nobel Prize laureates have allowed us to know how warmth, chilly, and mechanical power can provoke the nerve impulses that permit us to understand and adapt to the world round us.” 

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee and professor of molecular growth biology on the Karolinska Institute, introduced the award at a ceremony in Stockholm.


The 2 laureates will share 10 million Swedish kronor, or about $1.35 million. Their names are added to a list of medication Nobel winners that features 224 males and 12 girls.

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