The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2021 was awarded to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.
David Julius identified TRPV1, a receptor that registers heat in the nerve fibers of the skin. He utilized capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that induces a burning sensation, to identify the receptor that responds to heat.
This year’s Nobel Prize jewelry in Physiology/Medicine is therefore the capsaicin molecule and a small red-enameled silver chili. The capsaicin molecule in silver wire with the three oxygen atoms as silver balls.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2021 was awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C MacMillan for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.
Benjamin List showed that L-proline is an effective catalyst that can drive an asymmetric catalyst.
David W.C. MacMillan designed a simple organic molecule, MacMillan’s organocatalyst. The molecule contained a nitrogen atom that could form an iminium ion in an asymmetric catalyst.
This year’s Nobel Prize jewelry in Chemistry is the two molecules L-proline and MacMillan’s organocatalyst. Both formed in silver wire with the nitrogen atoms as silver balls and the oxygen atoms as 18K gold bolls.