Anesthetics transformed surgical medicine, but even a century and a half after their introduction, much of the science behind them is still not well understood, especially by the public. In this episode, the noted physician-scientist Emery Brown of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology talks with host Steven Strogatz about how anesthesia differs from sleep, what anesthesiologists should tell patients before surgery, and why recordings of brain waves should be collected from patients much more routinely. Read more at

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