2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Awarded to two US scientists who discovered the microscopic secret behind human tactile sensation.
David Julius of the University of California, San Francisco, said half of the award for “inducing a burning sensation using capsaicin, a stimulant compound from chili peppers, to identify sensors for heat-responsive skin nerve endings.” I received. Meanwhile, Ardem Patapoutian of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, received the other half for “discovering a new class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs using pressure-sensitive cells.” rice field. of Sciences announced on Monday (October 4th).
Their discoveries have allowed us to understand how “heat, cold, and mechanical forces can initiate neural impulses that allow us to recognize and adapt to the world around us. “The Nobel Committee said. Said in a statement.. “This knowledge is being used to develop treatments for a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic pain.”
The award comes with a prize of SEK 10 million ($ 1.15 million) shared equally between the two winners.
Since the 1990s, scientists have joined together molecular pathways that convert the heat and pressure detected in the skin into nerve impulses perceived by the skin. brain..Julius and his colleagues started by creating millions of libraries. DNA A segment containing genes found in sensory neurons. By adding one gene at a time to cells that normally do not respond to capsaicin, we finally found that one gene was responsible for the burning sensation associated with capsaicin. The genes they discovered gave cells the ability to build a protein called TRPV1. temperature Hot enough to be considered painful.
Both Julius and Patapoutian independently used menthol to discover another protein, TPRM8, which is activated by low temperatures, and many other proteins that detect different temperatures.
Based on this work, Patapoutian and his colleagues created a library of 72 genes suspected of being encoded blueprints to create receptors for mechanical pressure. By carefully deactivating these genes one by one in the cell, they found that one of the genes produced a protein, producing a small electrical signal each time the cell was stimulated. The receptors they discover are not only essential for sensing mechanical forces, but also have a proposed role in regulating the body’s blood pressure and are used in a variety of ways to maintain blood vessels. it was done.
Shortly thereafter, they discovered a second protein receptor that was essential for sensing body position and movement. This is a sensation known as proprioception. They named the two receptors Piezo1 and Piezo2, after the Greek pressure.
This discovery not only helps explain the mechanisms behind sensory experiences such as body temperature and pressure, but also enables new receptors that target receptors, from analgesics to drugs that can relieve blood pressure throughout blood vessels and organs. Opened up the world of sexuality.
“While we understand physiology senseWhat we didn’t understand was how we felt the difference in temperature and pressure, “said Oscar Marine, director of the MRC Neurodevelopmental Disorders Center at King’s College London. Associated Press.. “It’s basic to know how our body perceives these changes, because knowing those molecules allows us to target them. It’s like finding a lock. And now I know the exact key needed to unlock it. “
Joseph Erlanger and Herbert Spencer, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1944, first discovered specialized nerve cells that respond to both painful and non-painful touches.
Last year’s award was given to three scientists who discovered hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that causes chronic liver inflammation. The discovery of a deadly disease was a breakthrough that allowed doctors to identify viruses in the patient’s blood and develop treatments. Live science previously reported..
Originally published in Live Science.
US Scientist Uncovering Our Tactile Secret Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine
Source link US Scientist Uncovering Our Tactile Secret Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine