This year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been announced in Sweden. The award goes to two scientists based in the US for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.
Nobel Committee Secretary-General Thomas Perlmann said, "The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute has today decided to award the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch."
The Nobel Assembly says the scientists identified a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that responds to heat. They say they utilized what's called 'capsaicin', a compound from chili peppers that induces a burning sensation.
They also used pressure-sensitive cells to discover a novel class of sensors in the skin and internal organs.
They say the discoveries launched intense research leading to a rapid increase in understanding how our nervous system senses heat, cold, and touch.