Sunday, October 17

Nobel Prize in Medicine discovers new sensory cells | Digital Trends Spanish

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to two scientists who independently made important discoveries about the sensitivity of the skin to temperature, which could be used to develop future analgesics and pain medications.

The scientists in question are Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius, both of American nationality. And according to the official publication of the organization, the achievements of his research “identify critical links not known until now” regarding the understanding of how the human being adapts to the environment through the sense of touch.

Patapoutian discovered new sensory cells that are present in the skin and in the tissue of internal organs and that have receptors that respond to movement stimuli and that translate to an electrical impulse that reaches the brain through the nervous system. Meanwhile, Julius managed to identify -through the use of a hot pepper extract- a type of sensory cell present in the nerves of the skin and that responds specifically to changes in temperature.


“These discoveries are revolutionary and allow us to understand how heat, cold and mechanical forces can initiate nerve impulses that allow us to perceive the environment and adapt to the world around us,” according to the official statement.

In statements given to Reuters, Ardem Patapoutian indicated that in the world of science there are “many things that we take for granted that are of great interest” and that his discovery of new sensory cells was a kind of elephant in the room: “we knew that they existed and that they did something different ”, but which until now had not been identified.

However, what follows as a result of these investigations will also be important, since they would allow the development of treatments against pain caused by different types of conditions and diseases.

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