Can Plants "Pass Out" Like People Under Anesthesia?
Just like humans, plants can succumb to the effects of general anesthetic drugs, researchers report this week in the Annals of Botany. The finding is striking for a variety of reasons—there’s the pesky fact that plants lack a central nervous system, for one thing.
But, perhaps more noteworthy is that scientists still aren’t sure how general anesthetics work on humans—let alone plants.
Despite that, doctors have been using the drugs daily for more than a century to knock people out and avert pain during surgeries and other medical procedures. Yet the drugs’ exact effects on our body’s cells and electrical signals remain elusive.