Nobel Prize honors discovery of temperature, touch receptors

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FILE – A Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 file photo of a Nobel Prize medal. The Nobel Prize in Medicine is due to be awarded on Monday Oct. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

STOCKHOLM (AP) – The Nobel Prize in the field of physiology or medicine has been awarded to U.S.-based scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian. They were cited for their discovery of receptors for temperature and touch.

The winners were announced Monday by Thomas Perlmann. He is the secretary-general of the Nobel Committee. The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of over $1.14 million. Patrik Ernfors of the Nobel Committee said Julius used capsaicin, the active component in chili peppers, to identify the nerve sensors that allow the skin to respond to heat. He said Patapoutian found separate pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation.

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