Many of us know that anesthetics can knock us out easily, though I at least don't have to worry about dying, like one person I know personally. "If you torture me, you'll learn nothing, I have a low threshold of death." Now, researchers have found that anesthetics also paralyze plants, which have no nervous system. The common factor is voltage-gated ion channels. You might think this whole business was handled long ago, when anesthesia was discovered. The fact is that anesthetic action of chemicals as simple as diethyl ether has been mostly unexplained. If the same simple chemicals act the same way in highly-evolved vertebrates and plants I would say the underlying mechanism must be a highly-conserved characteristic, almost by definition, and that means it is doing things that are very important. How did we get this far without knowing?