Science Renders Breathing Obsolete

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Science Renders Breathing Obsolete

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Oxygen can now safely be delivered via syringe or IV.

At the risk of sounding obvious, breathing is kind of important for humans and other animals. Oxygen in the blood powers pretty much every bit of our body, including that oh-so-critical brain. Ergo, not being able to breathe because of a blocked trachea or damaged lungs is a bit of a problem; medical personnel only have so much time to remove the blockage or get the lungs going before a lack of oxygen leads to brain damage and death.

That is, until now. A team led by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have developed a method to directly inject oxygen into a blood vein, restoring normal blood-oxygen levels "within seconds" while the test animal fails to take so much as a single breath. Introducing pure oxygen to the bloodstream is horrifically painful and even fatal, which is why this oxygen is instead delivered in a liquid solution of million and millions of oxygen/lipid microparticles.

In testing, even when the animal's trachea was completely blocked, the solution was able to keep it alive for 15 minutes without breathing, and reduced the onset of brain damage and cardiac arrest. However, this is not a permanent setup - the fluid that carries the microparticles would eventually overload the blood if used for over half an hour, said project lead Dr. John Kheir.

Still, even if it doesn't mean you can swear off breathing for the rest of your life, it doesn't invalidate the potential lifesaving breakthrough. "This is a short-term oxygen substitute -- a way to safely inject oxygen gas to support patients during a critical few minutes," says Dr. Kheir.

"Eventually, this could be stored in syringes on every code cart in a hospital, ambulance or transport helicopter to help stabilize patients who are having difficulty breathing."

Kheir was motivated to research the idea of injectable oxygen following a 2006 incident, where a little girl in his team's care died before they were able to place her in a heart-lung machine.

"Some of the most convincing experiments were the early ones," he says. "We drew each other's blood, mixed it in a test tube with the microparticles, and watched blue blood turn immediately red, right before our eyes."

Source: Science Daily

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Wow, this does sound like an epic breakthrough!
But don't get your hopes up until they've done many years of extremely expensive research though :\

FOR THE LITTLE GIRL! FOR PATIENTS EVERYWHERE! FOR SCIENCE!!!

Fascinating and, assuming they get it through to common use, it will save a lot of lives. Great stuff science guys!

They've invented LCL. We're one step closer to Evangelion's nightmare future.

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Seriously though. Good job

stop breathing, FOR SCIENCE!

As an Asthmatic I'm quite pleased with this development...

While I did initially thought this as in going underwater or outerspace without fear of losing oxygen but this sound far more useful and pratical than that!

I must say, this could be extremely handy for underwater exploration, or even swimming lessons for poor non-swimmers like me.

breathing will be obsolete when it can be done without introducing billions of tiny lipid particulates into the blood stream as it stands, it's a nifty trick to stave off oxygen starvation due to mechanical failures and allergic reactions

i approve, neat trick!

although i was hoping for an awesome party trick where i could dare anyone to beat me at holding their breath and win some cash, oh well.

Sounds so smart, usefull and plausible that I wonder why it was just until now that this oxygen rich blood injection was invented. Way to go researchers!

In 20 years, the breathing goop from The Abyss really going to happen?

Maybe someone can explain this to me. I've never really been good with how the pigmentation of blood works. There isn't any actual "blue" blood, right? Or is it possible to make blood appear blue in an oxygen-free environment?

John Funk:
"Some of the most convincing experiments were the early ones," he says. "We drew each other's blood, mixed it in a test tube with the microparticles, and watched blue blood turn immediately red, right before our eyes."

Farther than stars:
Maybe someone can explain this to me. I've never really been good with how the pigmentation of blood works. There isn't any actual "blue" blood, right? Or is it possible to make blood appear blue in an oxygen-free environment?

Yeah... now I'm confused. I learned in school that vein blood was blue, then in college that it wasn't really and people were just mistaken. I've also given blood to the Red Cross, and they pull that from your veins into a vacuum (so no oxygen addition), and it's definitely not blue.

So I looked it up. If by "blue" you mean "darker red", then it sounds like blood can be blue. But if by "blue" you mean, you know, "blue", then no, that's just the vein color.

I don't know what Kheir is talking about. He's either assuming people think de-oxygenated blood is blue and speaking appropriately, totally unclear about the meaning of color, or he dyed the blood.

Or I've been lied to by the internet.

This is a pretty awesome breakthrough. It just always pains me a team of clearly intelligent lab-workers and PHD holders invent something that can save thousands of lives in emergency situations, but the world stays focused on things like hilariously overpaid athletes whose main contribution to society is "can kick a ball really, really well".

Infants everywhere shall no longer live in fear of the cat sleeping on their face.
I just wish David Carradine could be here to see this.

Dick Cheney will be happy. His heart stopped beating years ago and now he doesn't even have to draw breath.

Reminds me of that episode of Star Trek where the Doctor had to manually administer oxygen to the body of a guy who's lungs had been removed.

Science: Bringing us closer to Star Trek

Rect Pola:
In 20 years, the breathing goop from The Abyss really going to happen?

I think that stuff already exists this works different
considering I won't be needing them anymore how much can a pair of lungs fetch on the black market?

Azuaron:

John Funk:
"Some of the most convincing experiments were the early ones," he says. "We drew each other's blood, mixed it in a test tube with the microparticles, and watched blue blood turn immediately red, right before our eyes."

Farther than stars:
Maybe someone can explain this to me. I've never really been good with how the pigmentation of blood works. There isn't any actual "blue" blood, right? Or is it possible to make blood appear blue in an oxygen-free environment?

Yeah... now I'm confused. I learned in school that vein blood was blue, then in college that it wasn't really and people were just mistaken. I've also given blood to the Red Cross, and they pull that from your veins into a vacuum (so no oxygen addition), and it's definitely not blue.

So I looked it up. If by "blue" you mean "darker red", then it sounds like blood can be blue. But if by "blue" you mean, you know, "blue", then no, that's just the vein color.

I don't know what Kheir is talking about. He's either assuming people think de-oxygenated blood is blue and speaking appropriately, totally unclear about the meaning of color, or he dyed the blood.

Or I've been lied to by the internet.

I am sure that "blue blood" looks like dark red blood too every one but it is the scientific 'slang' that has stuck. It comes out of the "blue" veins (I know they are not actually blue under the skin but again 'slang') so therefor it is blue blood.

OT: this is excellent news. To think what the possibilities are for this in 20, 30, or 40 years. They might actually make it possible too live nearly indefinitely without breathing. Lung cancer patients can have their lungs removed and transplant new lungs (cloned lungs even). That is only one possibility among dozens.

This will be fascinating too see develop.

cool i can't wait to see what comes of this and how many lives will be saved.

Rect Pola:
In 20 years, the breathing goop from The Abyss really going to happen?

The goop from the abyss already exits and did so when they made the film. Its designed to deal the with the problems of gasses compressing at high pressure in the bloodstream. When the driver comes back towards the surface, to quickly, the bubbles expand cause extreme agony, organ damage and eventually death. By breathing a liquid that contains the oxygen which you avoid the problems of compression. After saying all that, it is still experimental and after 20 odd years with no real advancement I suspect it will remain so.

This.. is actually of a lot of interest to me, having asthma and all that, I haven't had a major attack in years, but having say an epipen of this stuff in case I start to get it really badly would be really comforting if nothing else.

So that sounds neat but so far it seems like this is only an experiment. Either that or they hid the animal study details really well. And anyway this is going to take years of clinical trial in a human-based meta-study to actually be approved for regular use.

albino boo:

Rect Pola:
In 20 years, the breathing goop from The Abyss really going to happen?

The goop from the abyss already exists and did so when they made the film.

Addition: The scene with the mouse in the solution? Yeah, that's no trick, that's the actual stuff at work. Pretty impressive for a 1989 film, right?

This sounds absolutely fantastic.

I wonder what potential use this might have for divers.

Air expanding as one rises is dangerous for the lungs... so if you don't need to breath anymore...

Though I suppose filling a tank full of air is much cheaper than making this breath-for-you liquid.

Very nice. My first reaction wasn't really "breath underwater etc" though, I can see it being used on patients with respiratory problems or any sort of throat issue that restricts breathing while doctors try and fix the issue.
I can't imagine not having to breath though, seems like that would be a creepy feeling if I was awake.

Huzzah! Practical uses appear to be the best place for it at the moment, but we're one step closer to removing an obsolete evolutionary quirk that does nothing but hold the human race back. Next: pill form! Take one pill, no need to breath for an hour!

DVS BSTrD:
I just wish David Carradine could be here to see this.

Oh.... oh dude.....

this actually sounds like potentially massive breakthrough when you think of the possibilities of treating something like an immediately life threatening respiratory damage/failure/blockage with a mere injection.

Orange Lazarus:
They've invented LCL. We're one step closer to Evangelion's nightmare future.

LCL must have had some type of special agent which would have been able to directly interface with the lungs. The human body can't withstand water in the lungs, because it can't extract the oxygen.

Though I imagine he was speaking figuratively, I call bullshit on that last line. Despite all the diagrams and the common assumptions, deoxygenated blood is not blue in colour. Unless they have a funky dye for the purpose?

And no one cares about the animals they 'used' to find this out?

vxicepickxv:

Orange Lazarus:
They've invented LCL. We're one step closer to Evangelion's nightmare future.

LCL must have had some type of special agent which would have been able to directly interface with the lungs. The human body can't withstand water in the lungs, because it can't extract the oxygen.

... you breath liquid for the first nine months or so of your life.

Yes I know your lungs aren't actually THERE for a good chunk of it, just... shut up.

Myeth:
And no one cares about the animals they 'used' to find this out?

In a word? No.

In more words? Yes, but would you rather test it on humans and then find out it does horrible things to your veins and makes you explode?

Azuaron:

John Funk:
"Some of the most convincing experiments were the early ones," he says. "We drew each other's blood, mixed it in a test tube with the microparticles, and watched blue blood turn immediately red, right before our eyes."

Farther than stars:
Maybe someone can explain this to me. I've never really been good with how the pigmentation of blood works. There isn't any actual "blue" blood, right? Or is it possible to make blood appear blue in an oxygen-free environment?

Yeah... now I'm confused. I learned in school that vein blood was blue, then in college that it wasn't really and people were just mistaken. I've also given blood to the Red Cross, and they pull that from your veins into a vacuum (so no oxygen addition), and it's definitely not blue.

So I looked it up. If by "blue" you mean "darker red", then it sounds like blood can be blue. But if by "blue" you mean, you know, "blue", then no, that's just the vein color.

I don't know what Kheir is talking about. He's either assuming people think de-oxygenated blood is blue and speaking appropriately, totally unclear about the meaning of color, or he dyed the blood.

Or I've been lied to by the internet.

Well, unless you hold your breath, blood in your veins is going to be oxygen-rich because you've been breathing. It'll be red because it has oxygen in it.

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