The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to David Julius and Ardim Patapotin for their research into how humans can experience feelings of heat and pressure.
Below are five facts about the two scientists as well as their award-winning work.
Julius’s research included chili peppers.
A major breakthrough in Julius’ work was the discovery of the gene responsible for the sensation of capsaicin – the chemical in peppers that gives them heat.
Scientists already knew that capsaicin activates nerve cells – we can tell for sure when we cut into peppers. Which they did not know how.
Julius and his team built a library of millions of bits of DNA, assuming that one of those bits would be responsible for the reaction to capsaicin. After a long search, they found it, and named it TRPV1.
Furthermore, Julius found that TRPV1 also reacted to heat, and that it was “activated” whenever the temperature was considered to be harmful – somewhere around 43 C or 109 F.
Pipotin Pokڈd Cells, Key to Pressure Sensing Revealed
While Julius was discovering how we feel the heat, Pottpoutin was busy figuring out how our nerves feel the pressure. In other words, how do we know if someone is pushing us back?
Patapautin and his team detected a cell line that produced an electrical signal when they called it a microparticle from a small device. The next step was to determine which gene was responsible for generating this signal.
They fielded 72 potential candidates and closed them one by one. Eventually, they found that by inactivating a particular gene, the cells became insensitive to microparticles.
The team discovered Piezo 1, the first unknown electrical channel that was sensitive to pressure. Further research identified piezo2. Together, these channels are essential to how we experience touch.
Both researchers are based in California.
پٹاپاؤٹیئن۔ Scripps Research is a professor and investigator in the Department of Neuroscience at the nonprofit Medical Facility in San Diego, California. He was born in Lebanon in 1967 and immigrated to the United States in 1986 before studying at UCLA.
This is not the first time the two scientists have shared an award.
Today, Julius and Pataputin were awarded the most prestigious science award. But they are no strangers to praise.
Awarded the Patapoutian: Alden W. Spencer Award from Columbia University in 2017, the Young Research Award from the Society of Neuroscience in 2006, and the Demon Renew Scholar Award from 2003 to 2005.
Meanwhile, Julius has been awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2019, the Shaw Prize in 2010 and the Pasano Award the same year.
The two were jointly awarded the Cavalier Award for Neuroscience in 2020, as well as the Rosen Steele Award in 2019 for outstanding work in basic medical research. This latter award. Was given for research on pain.
Twitter removes Patapoutin’s mustache!
In August of this year, Patapotin faced a tough personal choice – to keep his mustache, or to shave?
He settled down. Twitter Decide, and post on August 14 to a Twitter user to vote on three options: shave it now, give it two more weeks, or keep it.
160 votes later, with half the vote, the result was decisive: shave it now!