Discoveries Could Transform Pain Treatment

David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian won the 2021 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine today, honored for their work on temperature and touch receptors—discoveries that could lead to novel pain treatments.
 
Their breakthroughs “have allowed us to understand how heat, cold and mechanical force can initiate the nerve impulses that allow us to perceive and adapt to the world around us,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said.
 
Patapoutian, a professor at Scripps Research in California, uncovered the cellular mechanism that translates stimuli on our skin into an electric nerve signal.
 
Julius, a University of California, San Francisco professor, connected the skin’s sense of temperature to the reactions of certain cells to capsaicin—the molecule that simulates a false sensation of heat in chili peppers.
 
Reuters

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