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The Ramifications of Respirocytes

  1. Jan 4, 2005 #1
    If one had these in their bloodstream and used them to dive instead of a SCUBA tank wouldn't the user be immune to "the bends" and nitrogen narcosis because they aren't breathing in any air so the pressure can't force any nitrogen into the blood? What a boon to not have to decompress.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2005 #2


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    Very interesting tech. Yes, I'd have to say with these in your system you should be able to avoid both the Bends and narcosis. These afflictions come from the process of breathing compressed air underwater and under pressure and the nitrogen continually dissolves into the bloodstream. The nanotech should provide oxygen to the tissues just as red blood cells do, just for a longer period of time. The best comparison might be to free divers who have trained themselves to hold their breath for extended periods of time. I don't think they suffer from rapid decompression related problems.

    The only problem might be how long one can stay under. The respirocytes were said to hold about >200x the oxygen of RBCs so perhaps roughly 200x the average breath hold-time (?). The real trick would be to design them to move to the nasal epithelium and pull oxygen out of the water, of course you'd have to be cycling water through the nasal/oral cavity, not an easy or comfortable trick I imagine.
  4. Jan 4, 2005 #3


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    Yea sounds right to me. Though the amount of breathing time could also corespound to the amount respirocytes inside you. But I'm think that maybe if taken advantage of, being underwater too long and too deep under the Respirocytes influence, that if the respirocytes fail or no longer can supply all the oxygen you need, you could experience severe nitrogen narcosis and not be able to rise to the surface because of the intense pressure on your nerves and brain giving you illogical perseption. But it's a pretty interesting invention.

    It's an assumtion... :blushing:
  5. Jan 5, 2005 #4


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    I don't think the oxygen supply, whether supplied by respirocytes or compressed air, has much to do with nitrogen narcosis. The way I understand nitrogen narcosis is that the pressure at a certain depth, typically around 40-50 m, increases the solubility of nitrogen in the blood such that it reaches the brain in concentrations high enough to have a narcotic effect. Direct physical compression of the brain shouldn't happen until extreme, unsurvivable depths are achieved. Most reactions include euphoria and calm and divers have been known to shed their equipment and die, other reactions include paranoia which serves the sufferer better because they typically ascend which immediately relieves the narcosis. A little more research has turned up that freedivers can experience nitrogen narcosis although I think it's less common in this group compared to SCUBA divers.

    The other point I found interesting in that article is that the respirocytes might inhibit erythropoeisis and eventually deplete the bodies circulating RBCs. It's just another case of the machines taking over ala Matrix, Terminator, etc... :wink:
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