David Cayton and Maria Cheng
Stockholm (Associated Press)-On Monday, two scientists won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. This is a discovery of how the human body perceives temperature and touch, which may lead to new treatments for pain and heart disease.
Americans David Julius and Aldem Patapoutian have identified different skin receptors that respond to heat and stress, and researchers are studying drugs against them. Some hope that these findings will eventually lead to treatment of pain and reduce dependence on highly addictive opioids. But the breakthrough that occurred decades ago has not yet created many effective new therapies.
According to the Nobel Committee, Julius of the University of California, San Francisco uses capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers, to identify heat-responsive nerve sensors. Patapoutian of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, discovered an intracellular pressure-sensitive sensor that responds to mechanical stimuli.
“This really reveals one of nature’s secrets,” said Thomas Perlman, the secretary-general of the committee, when announcing the winner. “This is a very important and profound discovery because it is very important to our survival.”
The committee stated that their findings touched on “a big mystery facing humans”, namely our feelings about the environment.
Oscar Marine, director of the MRC Neurodevelopmental Disorders Center at King’s College London, emphasized that the winner’s choice is before the problem is discovered. Few scientists know the problem and how much they need to learn. bottom.
“We understand the physiology of the senses, but what we don’t understand is how we feel the difference in temperature and pressure,” Marin said. “Understanding how our body perceives these changes is essential, because understanding these molecules allows us to target them. It’s like finding a lock. I now know the exact key needed to unlock it.”
Marin predicts that new pain treatments may appear first, but if scientists can understand how to reduce the pressure on blood vessels and other organs, how the body will detect changes in pressure. Understand the drugs that can ultimately lead to heart disease.
Richard Harris of the Center for Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research at the University of Michigan also said that the new winner’s research may help design new analgesics, but said the field has been stagnant for a long time.
He said that pain also has psychological factors, so determining how pain is caused in the body is not always sufficient to deal with it. Still, the work of Julius and Pataptian may help doctors better treat pain caused by extreme temperatures and chemical burns, he said.
“Their findings allowed us to understand for the first time how this type of pain started, but we still don’t know whether it is related to many chronic pain patients,” he said.
Despite this, Fiona Boissonnard, a pain expert at the University of Sheffield, said that the work of Nobel Prize winners is particularly relevant to one in five people in the world who suffer from chronic pain.
She said that pains such as arthritis, migraines and chronic back pain are “main medical problems and are not fully treated at all.” “Their research may lead to the identification of new compounds that are effective in treating pain without the catastrophic effects of opioids,” thereby triggering an addiction crisis in the United States.
For a long time, it has been difficult to warn Nobel Prize winners. Julius said that shortly before the award, he was awakened by a phone call that he thought was a prank.
He said from his home in San Francisco: “My cell phone is buzzing. Someone from the Nobel Committee contacted a relative to try to find my phone number.” He said.
It wasn’t until his wife heard Perlman’s voice that he realized that when he confirmed that he was the secretary of the committee, it was not a real joke. Julius said his wife worked with Perlman years ago.
Julius, 65, later stated that he hoped his work would promote the development of new painkillers and explained that the biology behind daily activities may be very important. bottom.
“We eat chili and menthol, but usually we don’t think about how it works,” he said.
The Nobel Committee tweeted a photo of Patapoutian and his son in bed, while Pataptian was watching the announcement on his computer.
“Thank you. This country has given me the opportunity to give me a good education and support in basic research, my laboratory and the collaborators who work with me.” Patapoutian was born in Lebanon and wrote on Twitter road.
Prestigious awards include a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over 1.14 million US dollars). The award is a bequest of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who was the creator of the award and died in 1895.
The award will be presented for the first time this year. Other awards are awarded for outstanding achievements in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics.
Chen reports from London. Associated Press writer Frank Jordan is from Berlin.
2 Won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for demonstrating our response to heat and touch – Press Telegram Source link 2 Won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for demonstrating our response to heat and touch – Press Telegram