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6

The veterinarian in our group offers this: For humans, who choke much more frequently than other mammals, it is likely to be a cognitive problem. We talk and eat at the same time and so give ample opportunity to allow food passed the epiglottis and choking. Animals do choke - dogs can, cats can. Not all animals can vomit and this is particularly a problem ...


6

When we speak, our vocal cords vibrate to the air. Helium makes them vibrate a lot faster (that's what makes the funny sound of your voice after inhaling helium), because its atoms are a lot lighter than nitrogen and oxygen atoms. Obviously, lighter atoms, can travel faster. This faster vibrations are unusual to the cords and they can cause sore throat or ...


4

To learn obstructive/restrictive lung diseases, I find it easiest to think in extremes at first, with vivid descriptions of why. So in obstructive lung diseases, like COPD/emphysema: Total volume increases because so many of the walls of the alveoli have been destroyed, they are like giant floppy bags instead of nice firm bubbles. There's more empty ...


4

This article quotes a professor of respiratory physiology that says "dogs are built to pant just right. The mechanics of their lungs and chest set a precise rate for panting that minimizes the amount of work while maximizing cooling power." They also don't breathe fully when panting, so they can still cool themselves without increasing gas exchange. This is ...


3

From the Smithsonian website: Humans are the only mammal that cannot breathe and swallow at the same time, and we are the only species that can choke on its own food. The reason? The lowering of the voice box in our throats (during infancy) enables us to create the enormous range of sounds used in producing language; but this lowering of the voice box comes ...


3

Just because you have removed the Nitrogen and CO2 won't help you keep a higher vapour pressure of H2O in the air. You Could REMOVE all the other gasses and just have O2 at its normal partial pressure at 1/5 bar total pressure and breath fine, but there would be a fire risk in this environment due to no non O2 molecules to quench excited O2. The only way to ...


3

This is more about basic physics than biology. When you hold your breath, you normally take in one last long breath and keep it in as long as possible, Your lungs are therefore already full of gas (remember that the oxygen used by our lungs is only ~22% of the total volume of air you inhale). Therefore, when you release that breath and want to take in a new ...


1

You asked the single most difficult questions ever, so be proud of yourself! I've spent some time in the lab with a post doctorate trying to answer that particular question. It all is based on something called the hygiene hypothesis: the belief that as we are getting cleaner we are seeing less and less bacteria and so our immune system isn't working as it ...


1

Good question. If you inhale on top of inhaled air this is more work. There is more dead air, air which is not as useful due to the lower concentration gradient. And we breathe more to exhale carbon dioxide than we require oxygen. Low oxygen levels only push us to breathe when oxygen levels are a good deal lower, however tiny changes in carbon dioxide ...


1

You can try as much to slow down your breathing but the body will speed it up if it requires. What you've probably done is relaxed and just basically meditated. It's not the breathing but the relaxing yourself to slow your breathing and the focus which has refreshed you. I say conduct some experiments, like listen to calming music and relax and don't monitor ...


1

Swallowing food requires muscle strength to force the food down the oesophagus, which is a soft tube that collapses when empty, simply because the body is very crowded (space-efficient) and empty spaces collapse unless forced open. Only when you swallow, the oesophageal muscles force space to be made for food coming through. In contrast, the trachea and ...


1

Quick clarification firstly, the main change in thoracic volume that causes inspiration is not as a result of the alveoli expanding - they have no smooth muscle lining therefore are unable to spontaneously contract. They do have some elastic fascia however their expansion is passive. The change is mainly as a result of the diaphragm contracting to become ...



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