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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1936
Sir Henry Dale, Otto Loewi

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Otto Loewi - Facts

Otto Loewi

Otto Loewi

Born: 3 June 1873, Frankfurt-on-the-Main, Germany

Died: 25 December 1961, New York, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Graz University, Graz, Austria

Prize motivation: "for their discoveries relating to chemical transmission of nerve impulses"

Field: neurophysiology

Prize share: 1/2

Work

At the beginning of the 20th century, it was known that the nervous system's signals are conveyed with the help of electrical impulses. However, it was unclear whether the signals were also conveyed by chemical substances. In 1921 Otto Loewi stimulated the heart of a frog with electrical impulses and had it pump a small amount of nutrient solution. When the fluid was transferred to another heart, it operated in a similar way. This provided proof that chemical substances convey nerve signals to organs. Otto Loewi verified the role of other substances, including acetylcholine, in this context.

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