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Plants Can Be Anesthetized, May Have Electronic Consciousness Like Humans

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    This is perhaps one of the most impactful studies I have come across since I started following Peat and his work. It not only suggests how anesthetics likely work, but also provides evidence in favor of the argument I have repeatedly made on this forum - i.e. that having consciousness does NOT require a nervous system. In other words, consciousness is likely a property of any mass capable of maintaining directed electron flow in a way that builds complexity/structure. Users @Drareg and @Such_Saturation mentioned in other threads that substances that have anesthetic / sedative effect likely work by insulating or channeling the electron flow somehow, and that fats are commonly used in various religious and shamanic proceedings likely due to their consciousness-altering effects. Furthermore, the fact that PUFA are stimulating while SFA are calming/sedative is probably related to the effects these fats have on the cell membrane, just as the anesthetics in the study below.
    Finally, one of the effects of anesthetics discovered in this study is the increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) synthesis, which suggests that anesthetics stimulate mitochondrial activity/metabolism (in plants and in possibly in humans as well).

    Anaesthetics stop diverse plant organ movements, affect endocytic vesicle recycling and ROS homeostasis, and block action potentials in Venus flytraps | Annals of Botany | Oxford Academic
    "...We used the NBT histochemical staining procedure to detect superoxide production in Arabidopsis root apex. The treatment of roots with diethyl ether for 1 h promoted exaggerated generation of superoxide in the meristem and the root apex transition zones (Fig. 2B). Similarly high ROS production was observed in maize root apices under the lidocaine and xenon 1 h exposure. The purple–blue colour represents the area of superoxide generation (Fig. 2C)."

    We can make plants pass out—with the same drugs that mysteriously knock us out
    "...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."

    "...The researchers exposed the plants to a few different general anesthetics, in a few different ways. They enclosed some in chambers where they were surrounded by diethyl ether vapor or xenon gas. For some, the researchers washed their roots and exposed them to lidocaine. In all cases, the anesthetics temporarily caused the plants to go still and unresponsive."

    "...After finding that the drugs also caused immobility in plants, the researchers looked deeper to try to understand what was going on. After anesthetizing a Venus fly trap, the researchers looked at the action potentials—electrical pulses—on the traps’ surfaces using an electrode. Without an anesthetic, the scientists could measure pulses, but the pulses were lost following diethyl ether exposure. It took about 900 seconds for the action potential to recover. This suggests that the drugs knocked out the plants’ bioelectrical system, just like in humans."

    "...Next, the researchers wanted to see if the drugs would interfere with the lipid membranes in plant cells. They turned to Arabidopsis, a weed in the mustard family that’s easy to work with in laboratories. (It’s basically the mouse of the plant science world.) The researchers looked at how Arabidopsis root cells were handling membrane-bound cargo inside the cell, which requires an elaborately maintained cell membrane to pull off properly. The researchers found that under anesthesia, the plant cells lost the ability to process and recycle that membrane-bound cargo. This, the researchers argue, hints that the drugs are altering lipid membranes to cause their stunning outcomes. That said, plants do have and use similar receptor proteins to control ion channels in cells as humans do. Researchers will have to do much more work to fully knock out the mechanism."
     
  2. raysputin

    raysputin Member

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    Sorry if this is a dumb question but if plants have action potentials does that mean they have something similar to neurons too?
     
  3. michael94

    michael94 Member

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    I like this post
     
  4. Sepulchrave

    Sepulchrave Member

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    Check out Jagadis Chandra Bose's work on plants. Peat has spoken of him.
     
  5. FredSonoma

    FredSonoma Member

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  6. Regina

    Regina Member

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    Yea, I'm not sure what it means. But it very cool. :wtf
     
  7. saene

    saene Member

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    I am a bit confused. I was under the impression that ROS such as superoxide were bad in excess and contributed to inflammation. But things like lidocaine increase ROS but decrease inflammation? Any clarification or thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  8. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    No, that's the whole point. The article talks about this thorny issues as up until now it was assumed that consciousness required nervous system and only such organisms could be anesthetised. So, the fact that organisms without nervous system also respond to anesthetics suggests that consciousness can exist in much "lower" organisms than mammals or even insects. Peat spoke about bacteria having intelligence, and I posted a study on "inanimate" matter capable of learning. So, it seems pretty much any piece of matter is capable of feats thought to be unique to organisms with a nervous system.
    A Piece Of Dough Can Learn Just Like Animals And Humans
     
  9. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Did he work on plants as well? I thought most of his work was on showing "inanimate" matter can react like humans to external conditions.
     
  10. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    ROS is a sign of active mitochondria. Cancer cells have very low ROS levels due to both reduced mitochondrial activity and the high levels of antioxidants like NAC which cancer cells accumulate preferentially. Too high ROS is not good either but I don't think the level measured in this study was excessive. Peat has written about this in his articles so you can look it up. I think he mentioned it in reference to quinones producing ROS, especially in higher doses.
     
  11. Makrosky

    Makrosky Member

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    @haidut I'm missing the whole "consciousness" part. Why do you infere that if a plant has a bioelectrical system as humans do, they have consciousness? I'm not sayin they don't but from your post I don't see anything that can be considered as "consciousness". They are live beings, that's for sure. It's normal they have something, even if small, common with other live beings like humans. Or we must define what consciousness is maybe. Is it just the ability to recieve stimulus and act accordingly? Then of course they are conscious. But isn't this a fundamental piece of what we call " life"?
     
  12. raysputin

    raysputin Member

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    right that is what i was thinking. there are voltage potential buildups between your shirt and the table top, but that does not mean your shirt or the table is alive or conscious...even though they can give you a static electricity shock.
     
  13. Makrosky

    Makrosky Member

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    Yeah and a block of some chemical compounds can recieve stimulus (heat, cold, get hitted, etc.) and react accordingly and they are not alive.
     
  14. Ritchie

    Ritchie Member

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    I am in agreement with this, @haidut where do you see the link to consciousness here? We know that being alive, being intelligent and reacting intelligently to stimuli and environmental surroundings does not necessarily equate to conscious awareness. Take a coma patient as just one example (there are many others).. no awareness, no consciousness, however the body continues to live very intelligently (being capable of digesting food/nutrients, breathing, growing hair, etc) and continues to react intelligently to stimuli in a myriad of ways.. Plants, bacteria and so forth react predictively to stimuli, just like a computer would. This is certainly intelligence, however not what I take consciousness to equate to. Conscious, sentient animal (including human) behaviour is not predictable, they are self aware, and in other words they have a 'mind of their own' with subjective experience.. We already know plant life is extremely intelligent in the way they form, react and adapt to the environment etc. As are bacteria and fungi. Plants are life and alive, and as such hold some similar qualities to animals, humans, insects etc (protein molecular structure similarities, cell structure similarities and so forth) and thus it makes sense that they would exhibit some type of de-stimulatory reaction to anaesthetics, however consciousness and conscious awareness is another thing..
     
  15. pimpnamedraypeat

    pimpnamedraypeat Member

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    I think it's the fact that they're alive and you can put them to sleep with anaesthesia that points to them having a conciousness.

    Electron potentials are just our clumsy way of quantifying it.

    @haidut do plants have electromagnetic fields?

    The planets, the stars, the solar system, and probably the galaxy are alive and conscious.

    I'd say earth is a meta conciousness made up of a collection of different conciousnesses, sort of like how our experience of human conciousness is made up the combined interaction of our neural, bacterial, circulatory, and endocrine systems.

    I think earths conciousness is made up of the combined interaction of its magnetic, oceanic, biological, and geothermal systems. Victo schaubergers living water system goes a way into explaining what I'm talking about. The streams and deltas and lakes and rivers are all connected to the oceans which are connected to each other and I think collectively they would act as a living system. Same with the biodome and the other earthly systems.

    I'm fascinated by the earths core. Its more or less accepted that it didnt form via accretion like we were all taught. It functions like an electric dynamo, and is powered by the electromagnetic energy coming from the sun. It's spin is responsible for the electromagnetic field that protects the earth and allows life to exist.
     
  16. pimpnamedraypeat

    pimpnamedraypeat Member

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    What haidut is talking about is the unique property of anesthesia that allows it to interfere with conciousness by having an insulating effect on a living beings electrical system.

    I think you are taking conciousness to mean self aware. Possessing an 'I'. Something that could possibly pass the mirror test. A plant ia definitely aware of it's environment even if its not self aware. I think self awareness is something that arises from being a social animal. You have to be aware of yourself as an individual to function in a social system. Plants have a different sort of awareness
     
  17. raysputin

    raysputin Member

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    Interesting perspective. Reminds me of the ant and tree symbiosis in some cases. I'm sure there is much of this in nature.
    https://w3.marietta.edu/~biol/costa_rica/animals/acacia_ants.htm
     
  18. michael94

    michael94 Member

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    I wonder what would happen if you tried growing plants next to a bitcoin mining rig? Would be an interesting experiment
     
  19. pimpnamedraypeat

    pimpnamedraypeat Member

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    Ants colonies seem to work like little brains with each ant functioning as a neuron and all the ants contributing to a collective conciousness that arises out of the millions of interactions they have.

    I read a book about this once where researchers stumble upon a massive ant colony and do experiments on it and one by one they start dissapearing and they find out at the end that the ant colony is alive and each one of the millions of ants acts as a neuron or a node to give rise to a surprisingly intelligent neural network colony that's secretly picking them off to protect itself.
     
  20. Ritchie

    Ritchie Member

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    Yeah I think it's important to define consciousness in terms of this discussion. I am taking it to mean something similar to what animals (including humans) experience in terms of an 'I', a sense of self within the world and environment and freedom of action there in. Plants are predictable in terms of their behavioural reactions to stimuli and their environment, and these reactions to stimuli (even though they may be extremely intelligent, complex and highly evolved) are replica-table time and time again just like with reflexes or the way computers respond.. Sentient conscious animals' behavioural reactions are not. There must be some defining difference that differentiates sentient creatures that have freedom of action and thought within their environment compared to intelligent life like plants that have a predictable reactions that can be repeated over and over with the same outcome, don't you think? I would deem that difference consciousness, conscious awareness or sentience.. But if you are taking consciousness to mean anything that can react intelligently with its environment and be aware of its surrounding stimuli from a sensory perspective and react accordingly, then of course plant life and bacteria would be included. In the same sense, a coma patient will react to their environment and stimuli in an intelligent way, they will digest food/nutrients through a drip, have cellular reactions and reflexes to probing etc, regenerate hair and so forth, self regulate body temperature, breathe and convert oxygen and so forth.. However we wouldn't say they are conscious would we?
     
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