Strange Science: Plants Under Sedation

Closed flower budWe know that plants are alive, but did you know that they can be sedated with the same drugs used to sedate humans?

Scientists have recently published a study in the Annals of Botany that details their experiments on the effects of a variety of drugs on pea plants. “Under anesthetics, the physical properties of cell membranes change, becoming more flexible. Apply pressure to the cells, this effect is reversed and the anesthetic wears off.” Because the membranes are associated with electrical signals within plants, the implications of their study suggest that much like the electrical signals in human brains that are a part of human consciousness, so too might the changes in the membranes indicate a consciousness in plants.

You can read more about this phenomenon at the New York Times, or in the original article in Annals of Botany.

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