2020 Kavli Prize Winners – NEUROSCIENCE: Harald Rose and Ondrej Krivanek | Summary and Q&A

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September 3, 2020
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World Science Festival
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2020 Kavli Prize Winners – NEUROSCIENCE: Harald Rose and Ondrej Krivanek

TL;DR

Scientists David Julius and Artem Parapurian have made groundbreaking discoveries in neuroscience, uncovering how physical forces are communicated and exploring natural products that activate pain sensation.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the sense of touch translate physical forces into chemical signals?

David Julius and Artem Parapurian have identified biological sensors that convert physical forces, such as pressure and temperature, into chemical signals, allowing cells to communicate with each other.

Q: Can these insights be used to enhance our interaction with the world?

Artem Parapurian believes that one day, these insights could lead to advancements in engineering tactile science, ultimately allowing us to have more control over our sensations and experiences.

Q: What natural products are involved in the research?

David Julius focuses on natural products like capsaicin, menthol, isothiocyanates, and thiosulfates, which activate neurons and molecules associated with pain sensation.

Q: What are the goals of the research on pain sensation?

The researchers aim to develop new analgesic medicines that can treat chronic pain without the addictive side effects of current pain drugs.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • David Julius and Artem Parapurian's work focuses on understanding the sense of touch and how physical forces are translated into chemical signals in cells.

  • Their research aims to manipulate sensations and improve our ability to engage with the world.

  • David Julius' work delves into the sensations of heat, cold, and pain, using natural products to reveal physiological processes within our bodies.

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