"Inert" Gas Xe
Franks, et. al., Nature, 396, 324 (1998).
The "inert" gas xenon can be used as an anesthetic
without undesirable side effects observed with other
anesthetics. Franks and coworkers have found that Xe
works by inhibiting NMDA channels, important in feeling
pain, etc., rather than enhancing activity of GABA
receptors as most other anesthetics do. Apparently, Xe is
just the right size to do this.
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