Announcing Nobel Prize in Medicine 2021 –

The prestigious award will be announced at 11:30.

We are constantly updating the text.

Normally you don’t realize it. But your ability to feel cold, warmth and touch is critical to survival.

This year, the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine will be awarded to two scientists for the discovery of receptors for heat and contact and for the development of important nerve impulses.

The prize is shared by David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian. Their discovery is of great importance for medicine, because it helps to discover, among other things, how it would be possible to alleviate chronic pain.

The first Nobel Prize winners this year were announced by the commission of the Karolinska Institute on Monday at 11.30 am. They award the award based on the last will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel.

Chili and menthol

You perceive your surroundings with your senses every second of your life. You can see with your eyes whether the sun is shining outside, what color your coat is. You hear a song in the café and as you walk along the beach you feel soft sand under your bare feet.

You perceive all these stimuli thanks to special nerve cells. They help you recognize whether you are touching a soft plush or rough plaster with your hand. Whether you are holding a pleasant warm or painfully boiling cup in your hand.

However, until the now-discovered discovery, scientists did not know exactly how the body could convert temperature or mechanical pressure into electrical impulses in the nervous system.

As early as the 1990s, the American physiologist David Julius became interested in how capsaicin – a component or pepper – caused a typical burning sensation.

He first discovered a gene that makes some cells sensitive to capsaicin. And thanks to the gene, he then discovered a special receptor. It turned out that it does not respond only to chili peppers. It is activated at any heat that is already painful for the body. Julius’ research led to the discovery of other temperature-sensitive receptors.

Independently of each other, for example, Julius and the second Nobelist American-Armenian molecular biologist Ardem Patapoutian used the chemical menthol to find a receptor that responds to cold.

In addition to temperatures, Patapoutian was also interested in how people perceive touch or pressure. He initially started with a micropipette and studied how different cells responded to its pressure. After a strenuous search with his colleagues, he discovered specific genes and mechanisms of pressure perception. They are activated, for example, when someone hugs you.

In addition to the medical contribution, Julius and Patapoutian’s research also has a seemingly banal significance. The discovery of temperature and touch receptors reveals how we perceive and adapt to the world around us.

In January of this year, both scientists also won the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biology and Biomedicine in January.

Only 12 women

The winners will receive the award at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10.

Each laureate will receive a medal with a portrait of Alfred Nobel and a diploma. The holders will also share the financial price of ten million Swedish crowns, which is approximately 986 thousand euros.

Since 1901, 224 scientists, including twelve women, have won the Nobel Prize for their contributions to medicine and physiology. The last time this Nobel Woman traveled was in 2015. She was a Chinese scientist, Tchu Jou-jou, who was involved in the discovery of a new treatment for malaria.

Scientists are nominated for the Nobel Prize thanks to their scientific colleagues who have been invited to be nominated.

Each September of the previous year, the Nobel Commission sends nomination documents to the relevant institutions, academics, professors and scientists, including past award winners.

They can nominate other scientists in the field, no one can nominate themselves. The Nobel Committee does not decide on the winner or winners until the day of the announcement of the laureates.

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