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Comfortably Numb

Anesthetics are slowly giving up the secrets of how they work

9:27am, June 28, 2004

Take a stroll through the Boston Public Garden, the nation's oldest botanical garden, and you'll find an array of plaques, monuments, and memorials honoring famous people of history. Not far from a statue of George Washington on horseback, there's a tall monument that honors not a person, but a chemical. This tribute to ether is probably the world's only monument to a drug. A statue representing the Good Samaritan tops the structure, which displays the inscription, "There shall be no more pain."

Erected in the 19th century, the tribute commemorates ether's first use as a surgical general anesthetic, which took place in 1846 at t

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