Scientists allow patients to breathe without breathing.

Total beers: 1


Presumably in response to god creating us with a dependence on oxygen, and also with the potential for children’s hearts to stop working, mortal scientists have crafted a microparticle that can oxygenate the blood for up to thirty minutes even if the patient cannot breath!

There’s a lot of potential uses for this.

Medical: There is the obvious medical uses where the microparticles can be used to save off death from a restriction in breathing due to inflammation of the lungs, collapsed lungs, and the like. It would be good to have these injections ready in hospitals and ambulances for when the time is needed.

Military: Can you imagine a navy seals capability when they wouldn’t need to surface for air and could stay underwater for over 20 minutes? If a boat was to begin to sink, you could shoot yourself as the boat is going down to ensure you aren’t drowned in the under current of the sinking vessel. How about for toxic gases when a facemask is unavailable. The military could have a number of uses for such a medical advancement.

Private Sector: Really this can be used as a precaution for anything nautical where the potential to drown is a real danger. Deep sea rescue crews could inject themselves prior to making a rescue, underwater welders can use it in case they become stuck or air is lost to their suits. The potential use for anything water related seems extremely worthwhile.

Because who the fuck has time to die?

Humanity is pretty grand.  For every time we embrace gullibility in exchange for easy, ineffectual comfort there is someone putting in the effort to answer prayers in the only way they’ve ever been answered: through hard work and a keen mortal mind.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    I love the idea, but I dislike that immediately after the amazing life-saving practical use, there’s the military use right there.

  • Loqi

    Athletic: New method of blood doping. Allows people to lift heavier metal objects and put them back down, run in place longer, or kick an inflated piece of leather harder.

    • Park James

      I was thinking the same thing, specifically for combat sports. If this stuff is legit, dopers will be all over it before just about anyone else in the other categories.

  • Park James

    I wonder how it would affect your body’s desire to breathe. Even though the oxygen from breathing wouldn’t be required, the involuntary action associated with breathing would be hard to shut off, methinks. But I’m no doctor, so I could be completely off base.

    • Nate Frein

      I know from…reasons that I won’t get into here…that the pressure to breath from holding your breath is almost identical to the feeling you get when you’re sucking in old air over and over again and the oxygen is gone.

      If it’s caused by a chemical signal in response to low blood oxygen, then you should be able to hold your breath indefinitely until your oxygen levels start to drop.

      • Dorfl

        I don’t think it is. Afaik, what the body responds to isn’t a lack of oxygen but an excess of carbon dioxide.

        (also, who is downvoting everything?)

        • Glodson

          (also, who is downvoting everything?)

          Who knows. It is funny has these comments are…. well, innocuous. I don’t know why anyone would have an issue with questions on how our respiratory response could vary based on this advance.

          • Loqi

            I’m imagining Uncle Bobolink going through every post downvoting every comment. That’ll show us!

  • Ted Murray

    out it may not be all that cool. A step forward certainly. But it has it’s
    problems. Toxins, mainly CO2 start accumulating immediately after
    respiration has stopped. The story appeared in June 2012 when the study was released.

  • Feminerd

    I thought this was going to be about the artificial tracheas we’re learning how to build. I mean, people still breathe, but that’s still really cool.

  • Carlos Cabanita

    I’m not sure about the military applications, they probably are there to goad the military into paying for the research. But the medical applications are immediate. I discussed the matter with my brother, who is an anesthesiologist, and he agrees. One of the most crucial times during an anesthesia is when the breathing mask is taken away and the breathing tube is inserted in the throat. By then the patient’s breathing has been inhibited by a curare-like drug. So the doctor has less than three minutes to insert the tube. Usually it is easy, but the throat may be injured, or swollen. With this injectable oxygen carrier, most operations could be done in that half hour, without the breathing tube. My brother tells me the kids are especially tricky patients, they turn blue very fast and unexpectedly.