Fascinating new theory about how nerves talk with each other. New idea was "stimulated" by the fact we don't understand how anesthetics work, and that current theories of an anesthetic mechanism do not seem compatible with popular "electricity" theories of how nerves work.

But substitute sound for electricity, and things start to make sense. Fascinating idea. Below are some notes and quotes:

Notes and Quotes

Years ago, "Hans Meyer and Charles Overton demonstrated that the strength of an anesthetic could be predicted by its solubility in olive oil rather than its chemical structure. The more soluble the anesthetic, the stronger it was."

"Since olive oil is similar to the lipid molecules that make up nerve cells, Jackson and Heimburg started questioning the generally accepted belief that anesthetics block electrical pulses by fitting themselves into pain receptors on cells."

"That seems next to impossible...because anesthetic molecules come in many shapes and sizes, and it's difficult to imagine that they all happen to physically fit into all receptors."

Their alternative theory: "Nerves are made of lipids that are liquid at body temperature. A yet-to-be-defined mechanism creates high-pressure, semisolid waves that move through the cells, delivering messages."

"Anesthetics, they suggest, lower the temperature at which lipids become solid, making it difficult for the waves to form, thereby preventing nerves from sending pain signals."

"They also suggest that as the waves travel, they change the shape of the cell membrane, producing the electrical pulse that scientists currently mistake for the primary function of nerve cells."

A Shocking Idea: Nerves Might Run on Sound, Not Electricity

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