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Dogs Help Scientists to Develop Underwater Breathing Technique

In 1989, the hit move The Abyss starring Ed Harris featured amazing scenes of deep sea divers using liquid oxygen to breath. The movie was written and directed by James Cameron and the ideas explored in it appeared to be incredibly futuristic or even fanciful. But now scientists in Russia are exploring the possibility of using liquid oxygen to breathe under water.

Dog Submerged in Experiment

Amazing footage has emerged of a dog breathing under water. The film is difficult to watch because the dog clearly isn’t happy about his ordeal. The clip allegedly shows that Russian scientists have developed the means to enable mammals to breath under water for up to 30 minutes. During the experiment, a dachshund is submerged and in the background a hamster can also be seen undergoing the test.

The puppy does emerge from its ordeal unharmed but clearly isn’t happy. It’s a shame that the tests weren’t carried out on humans. At least they have a choice!

Liquid Breathing

Liquid breathing is a form of respiration in which a normally air-breathing organism breathes an oxygen-rich liquid instead. The lungs are filled with the liquid and the oxygen can then enter the bloodstream. Scientists believe that the process could enable humans to survive longer space flights as the technique helps to combat the exceptional pressures that space travellers experience.

Safety Systems for Submariners

The Russian researchers have reported that they began by experimenting on mice and other small animals before carrying out tests with dogs. A special suit is being developed to enable humans to use the technology. The system is being evolved primarily to help submariners reach the surface in an emergency but could also prove useful to pilots and astronauts.

Diving Capsule for Dogs

In the meantime, a capsule has been created for dogs which is then submersed in a hydraulic chamber in which the pressure can be increased to the levels found in deep water. So far, dogs have been able to breathe for half an hour at pressures you would find at depths of up to 500 meters. The dogs have not suffered any ill-effects, the scientists report.

It is always interesting to hear about radical new scientific developments. Especially when they have first appeared in the movies. But it doesn’t seem fair to force dogs to take part in the experiments required to develop new techniques to save people.


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