Two American scientists have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work in unlocking the mysteries of the sensation of touch.

Prof David Julius, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and Prof Ardem Patapoutian, a neuroscientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, were honored for discovering receptors in the skin that detect heat, cold, and touch – making them essential for life. The research lays the path for a slew of new medical therapies for ailments including chronic pain.

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