“Press release: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021” https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2021/press-release/

今年のノーベル生理学・医学賞はデヴィッド・ジュリアス*1カルフォルニア大学桑港校)とアーデム・パタプティアン*2(スクリップス研究所*3)。「彼らの温と触の受容体の発見に対して(for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch)」。熱などの物理的刺戟が神経システムにおいて如何なる機制で電気信号に翻訳され感覚として表現されるのか?

Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and underpins our interaction with the world around us. In our daily lives we take these sensations for granted, but how are nerve impulses initiated so that temperature and pressure can be perceived? This question has been solved by this year’s Nobel Prize laureates.

David Julius utilized capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that induces a burning sensation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that responds to heat. Ardem Patapoutian used pressure-sensitive cells to discover a novel class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs. These breakthrough discoveries launched intense research activities leading to a rapid increase in our understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold, and mechanical stimuli. The laureates identified critical missing links in our understanding of the complex interplay between our senses and the environment.

See also

James Gallagher*4 “Sense of touch and heat research wins Nobel Prize” https://www.bbc.com/news/health-58787438
The Associated Press “The medicine Nobel Prize honors the discovery of temperature and touch receptors” https://www.npr.org/2021/10/04/1042993164/nobel-prize-honors-discovery-of-temperature-touch-receptors
Kristen Bole “David Julius Wins Nobel Prize for Work on Pain Sensation” https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2021/09/421481/david-julius-wins-nobel-prize-work-pain-sensation
Anne Trafton “David Julius ’77 shares the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine” https://news.mit.edu/2021/david-julius-77-shares-nobel-prize-physiology-medicine-1004
UCLA Newsroom “UCLA alumnus Ardem Patapoutian shares 2021 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine” https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ardem-patapoutian-ucla-alumnus-nobel-prize-physiology-medicine