Two Americans awarded with Medicine Nobel Prize for new discovery

18:48, 04 October 2021
Two Americans awarded with Medicine Nobel Prize for new discovery Photo: C.K. Koay/CC BY-NC 2.0/

David Julius alongside Ardem Patapoutian who are American scientists were awarded the 2021 Medicine Nobel Prize as they discovered the skin receptors that allow living beings to feel temperatures. 

Their discovery helped humanity understand more precisely how the human skin transmits the feeling of heat to nerve impulses which allow “perceive and adapt to the world around us," Sweden's Karolinska Institute Nobel Assembly said in a statement.

"This knowledge is being used to develop treatments for a wide range of disease conditions, including chronic pain," it added.

The 54-year-old Patapoutian didn’t even know about him winning the prize first-hand as he was not acceptable by the phone and learned about the news only after his father told him.

"In science many times it is the things we take for granted that are of high interest. [For] us being in the field of sense, touch and pain, this was the big elephant in room where we knew they existed, we knew they did something very different," he said, commenting on his win.

The 65-year-old second winner Julius is a notable professor at the University of California and California Institute of Technology.

According to the committee, both of the winners did not expect themselves to win. 

"They were incredibly happy and as far as I could tell very surprised and a little bit shocked," said Professor Thomas Perlmann, Secretary-General for the Nobel Assembly.

The Nobel Prize has been awarded since 1901 and its current worth is $1.15 million.