Summary #1150

Anesthesia's effect on consciousness solved, settling century-old scientific debate

medicalxpress.com
  • After 5 years of experiments, scientists may have found a pathway that is used for brain functions that are beyond consciousness.
  • It’s the result of studying how, exactly, anesthesia makes us unconscious, which scientists haven’t been able to explain for 175 years.
  • But, thanks to advancements in cell biology and microscope technology, a team of scientists was finally able to answer the longstanding riddle.
  • They were able to find that anesthesia works in a two-step process that starts with cell membrane lipids, and then moves further through cell membrane “gates”.
  • Verified in fruit flies, the finding is only a foundation - it will take a lot more work to fully understand this previously unknown mechanism.

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