Two scientists from the USA won the Nobel Prize in Medicine on Monday for his research on how the human body perceives temperature and touch, which can help treat chronic and acute pain. The Associated Press reported.
In their award-winning research, scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian identified how receptors in the skin respond to heat and pressure.
The Nobel committee said Julius, who works at the University of California, San Francisco, used capsaicin, a component of chili peppers, to identify how nerve sensors allow human skin to respond to heat.
Patapoutian, who works for the Scripps Research Institute, also found separate pressure sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation.
Julius and Patapoutian’s work focused on the field of somatosensitivity, which explores the ability of specialized organs to see, hear and feel, according to the AP.
“This really reveals one of nature’s secrets,” said Nobel Committee Secretary General Thomas Perlmann, announcing the winners. “It is actually something that is crucial to our survival, so it is a very important and profound discovery.”
It was the first Nobel Prize awarded this year, earning Julius and Patapoutian a gold medal and more than $ 1.14 million in prizes, AP reported.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three scientists who discovered the hepatitis C virus, which later led to the development of cures for the deadly disease and tests to prevent it from spreading.