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Two US scientists win Nobel Prize for discovery of temperature and touch receptors

David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were awarded the prize in the field of physiology or medicine.

Two US scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering receptors for temperature and touch.

David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were awarded the prize in the field of physiology or medicine.

Professor Julius, 65, used capsaicin, the active component in chilli peppers, to identify the nerve sensors that allow the skin to respond to heat, according to Patrik Ernfors of the Nobel Committee.

Professor Patapoutian found separate pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation, he added.

The winners were announced on Monday by Thomas Perlmann, secretary-general of the Nobel Committee, who said: “This really unlocks one of the secrets of nature.

“It’s actually something that is crucial for our survival, so it’s a very important and profound discovery.”

The Nobel award comes with a gold medal and a prize of more than $1m.

The other prizes for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be awarded later this week.

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