a nobel prize for the noblest of sensory systems - somatosensation - has been awarded to david julius and ardem patapoutian. the citation states: "for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch"
this story was in episode 18 #touch #pain #temperature #pressure #nobel
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many, if not all news outlets reported the winners of the Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine. this year, it's for the molecular & biophysical mechanisms of our sensitivity to touch & pain.
the Nobel website points out that the last Nobel for bodily senses was in 1944 - to Erlanger & Gasser's work on the functions of the different kinds of sensory nerve fibres.
this new prize is first, for Julius' work to find & then understand the mechanisms that allow the sensory nerves in the skin to respond to chilli peppers - in particular to capsaicin, the chilli chemical that causes heat & pain.
second, for Patapoutian's work to find & then understand the mechanisms that cause nerve cells to respond electrically when prodded. these mechanically-sensitive structures in nerve cells allow us to feel touches & sense the position & movement of our bodies.
the original work was published between 1997 & 2015, in the journals Nature, Neuron, Cell & Science.