Questions tagged [breathing]

The physiological process of inhaling and exhaling air for the purpose of gas exchange in the lungs.

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Why can't we kill ourselves by holding our breath?

Is it possible to kill yourself by holding your breath? This question is obviously copied from Quora, but I had heard it as a fact that we cannot kill ourselves by holding our breath and I'm looking ...
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How do burrowing animals get enough oxygen?

Tree borers make a small hole in a tree. At the end of it, they chew on wood to elongate the tunnel. They digest food and grow. All this takes oxygen. The entrance to the tunnel is generally small. ...
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4answers
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How can we differentiate between respiration and breathing?

I am a student of 10th grade, and I eagerly want to learn biology. What is the difference between respiration and breathing?
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4answers
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Can any other animal choke on food?

I read somewhere (I think it was Bill Bryson's book on the origins of the English language) that of all animals, we are the only ones that can choke on food (having something to do with how our larynx ...
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2answers
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Is death by cyanide the same as suffocation?

I started the night off by reading about "what does drinking the Kool-aid mean" this lead to a wikipedia article which described the horrors of the Jonestown cult mass suicide/murder in the 1970s. ...
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2answers
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How long can the brain survive during ongoing cardiac arrest?

There was this interesting discussion on CPR and defib in response to the question "Why can't we defibrillate the heart within 1 minute after ventricular fibrillation by electroshock?". Now I was ...
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1answer
117 views

What are the sources of molecular hydrogen in human breath?

In the BBC News article CES 2019: Tech preview of the expo's hottest new gadgets there is a new product that one can use to measure the hydrogen in ones breath, and this is supposed to have some ...
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3answers
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Why have whales and dolphins not evolved to have gills? [duplicate]

It seems at first glance that it would be an evolutionary disadvantage for a sea creature to have to come up to the surface on a regular basis in order to breathe, so why are there animals (e.g. ...
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1answer
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Can breathing in helium (from balloons for example) cause damage to the throat in the long term?

Often an activity to do at a party, breath in helium and speak like one of the chipmunks. But, I am wondering, would infrequent inhalation of helium cause long term harm to the throat? in particular, ...
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1answer
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Why does menthol clear a stuffy nose?

I've looked all around online for an answer to this. Some sites say menthol causes blood vessels in the nose to constrict, some sites say it causes blood vessels to expand. Many sites simply say it's ...
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1answer
144 views

Why is it that I can only detect smells if I breathe, and not when I hold my breath?

At school we're told that the receptors for smell (olfactory receptors) are present in the Schneiderian membrane. But I've noticed that I'm only able to detect smells only while I breathe and not when ...
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1answer
143 views

Does the human body metabolize what it smells, even in trace amounts?

I conjectured to a friend that some small amount of anything we smell is likely metabolized by the body. He disagreed. My thinking is that, if you are smelling something, some portion of molecules are ...
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What is the biological principle of this “holotropic breathwork” technique?

Holotropic breathwork is a non-drug technique developed by Stanislav Grof used in psychotherapy. The therapy as a whole is usually called holotropic breathwork (at least by Grof himself) and will most ...
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1answer
468 views

If we change our breathing rate so easily, then what is the point of measuring it?

When we are self-conscious of our own breathing, its rate changes very easily. Therefore, if it changes so easily, what is the point in measuring it? Thank you for your time and effort
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2answers
651 views

Exhalation while holding breath

If you inhale to your maximum capacity and hold your breath for an extended period of time, it begins to feel uncomfortable; slowly releasing your breath at this point seems to provide relief from ...
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3answers
491 views

Do dogs have something different about their physiology that allows them to pant without hyperventilating?

I was wondering this as I considered how effective panting would be for humans as a means of cooling.
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2answers
250 views

How do fishes “breathe” while eating?

First of all, a fish opens its mouth and water enters which passes through its gills. This helps in oxygenating its blood. So, if any food particle is in its mouth, how can it "breathe" i.e. how does ...
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2answers
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Why can't people talk while inhaling?

Why do we have to exhale in order to talk? From looking on Wikipedia, it seems like it has something to do with the glottis, but I'm not clear on the mechanism that makes speech sound so different ...
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2answers
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What is the inlet/outlet speed of air going in/out of our mouth during inhalation/exhalation

During inhalation, your alveoli expand, creating a pressure difference between the atmosphereic pressure and our lung sacks and therefore air will flow into the repspiratory airways. I am trying to ...
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1answer
101 views

Staying underwater: would mutual rebreathing help?

If two people want to stay underwater for as long as possible, could they last longer if they exchange breaths in turns (ie: through a simple tube or mouth-to-mouth) than if they simply hold their ...
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2answers
627 views

What causes inhalation during breathing?

I have read here that the two major inhalation muscles are the (1) diaphragm and the (2) external intercostals. Additionally, inhalation can also be caused by (1) expansion of the abdominal cavity, ...
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2answers
374 views

Why does breathing increase in higher temperatures?

In my experiment, my group increased the temperature of a fish's water. We noticed the fish took more breaths than the prior normal temperature. Is this because the fish is trying to breathe in the ...
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3answers
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Breathing faster to lose (more) weight?

I understand that when the human body loses weight, the vast majority of that weight is lost as $CO_2$ (and a small bit is lost as water). I expect the predominant way $CO_2$ exits the body is through ...
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1answer
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For emphysema, which of the respiratory volumes is affected?

It could be the tidal volume because it affects how a person inhales and exhales normally. It could be the residual volume and functional residual volume, because it increases its amount. Because it ...
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1answer
90 views

How does CO2 gets diffused into the red blood cells?

Carbon dioxide diffuses out of the tissues and into the blood, where it is dissolved in the plasma. While some of the carbon dioxide remains dissolved in the plasma, most carbon dioxide diffuses into ...
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1answer
493 views

How does the embryo inside a shelled egg get oxygen?

If I'm not mistaken a typical animal in the womb will get oxygen via the umbilical cord from the mother. Thus allowing it to "breathe" in a liquid environment. I thought maybe shells are permeable and ...
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1answer
186 views

Involuntary twitches and apnoea during early phases of sleep

I assume most people either experienced or have seen people with the following phenomenon: in the early phases of sleep sometimes involuntary twitches occur that usually accompany the pause of ...
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1answer
4k views

Why does air from the nasal cavity not go into the oesophagus?

When we ingest food, the epiglottis covers the trachea and the uvula covers the nasal passage. But what happens when we breathe? Why does the air go into our trachea and not the oesophagus?
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1answer
341 views

In scuba diving, are nitrogen narcosis and high pressure nervous syndrome the same thing?

In training for scuba diving, they tell you that when you're bellow 100 ft or so you have to watch out for changes in mental state that resemble drunkenness. The cause of these mental disturbances is ...
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2answers
2k views

Sitting in a closed room filled with regular air - for how long will the air last?

The question has implicitely a lot of variables attached to it: volume of the room activity how closed the room is size of the person (I'm 168cm long and 64 kg heavy) That could probably be turned ...
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1answer
18 views

Formula for Oxygen Consumption for Atlantic Salmon (Mathematical) - insecurities regarding variable

The oxygen is calculated in mg per kg per something, so what does $h^{-1}$ stand for? hours maybe? The formula given below is an estimation of oxygen consumption for Atlantic salmon \begin{...
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2answers
98 views

How is breathing involuntary if the muscles that control it are skeletal?

How is breathing involuntary if the muscles that control it are skeletal? Breathing is involuntary. However, the muscles that control it are skeletal: intercostal muscles and the diaphragm. Are there ...
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1answer
108 views

Nose breathing and swimming

If you're standing and holding your nose closed, it becomes quickly uncomfortable; although you can breath fully through your mouth, it still feels like your lacking air since you're naturally trying ...
3
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1answer
301 views

Does the Valsalva maneuver require a completely closed airway? How do the effects compare to exhalation against partial resistance?

The Valsalva maneuver is defined as "attempted exhalation against a closed airway", "The effort to breathe out forcibly while the mouth and nose are firmly closed or the vocal cords pressed together", ...
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1answer
460 views

How does a metronome help in controlling breathing rate?

I'm new to the Bio/Medical field so kindly bear with me. I am doing studies on volunteers to formulate algorithms for evaluating Respiration rate from ECG and accelerometer data. I learned about this ...
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1answer
261 views

Heart Rate being normal when under treatment for the bends

When you surface from diving too quickly; you get "bends" - these are caused by gas bubbles forming in your lungs (especially nitrogen). This causes breathing problems if not treated since the bubbles ...
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1answer
127 views

Why are particulate matter toxic to humans?

There are many studies on fine particles (PM2.5) and their fully negative effect on human health. There doesn't seem to have any positive aspect of inhaling particles, except very particular ones, but ...
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1answer
93 views

Gradual slowing breath, its effect on health

I've written a computer program which beeps, then beeps after 10 sec, then beeps after 11 sec, then beeps after 12 sec, etc. I tried the following "experiment" on myself: do only one breath between ...
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2answers
1k views

The effects of dust particles

When sun rays shoot through my house from a window, sometimes if the lighting is correct, it will reveal a huge amount of floating particles and dust. Are these particles dangerous to humans if you ...
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0answers
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Why does the upper respiratory tract not fill with water when diving?

When we swim, I know we close the some of the vestibular folds in the larynx part of the throat to hold our breath (and to avoid water from getting into the lower respiratory tract, I suppose). I ...
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0answers
283 views

Affinity for oxygen and carbon dioxide in animals

I'm currently reading Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology (A) and don't understand the following fragment: The affinity for oxygen in lower animals is many times that in higher ones, whereas ...
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0answers
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A day in Beijing is like smoking Only one sixth of a cigarette

This is the title of this blog post followed by this other good post. I'm particularly anti-tobacco-smoke, at the point of not always considering other pollution, and this article shows how this kind ...
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1answer
1k views

Will I hyperventilate if I breath twice as fast at an altitude with half as much oxygen as I am used to?

Will I hyperventilate if I breath twice as fast at an altitude with half as much oxygen as I am used to? If not twice as fast, should I breath any amount faster on average than usual when at high ...
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1answer
283 views

Why can one swim longer underwater by blowing out air?

I am a human. I take a deep breath. I swim underwater... After some time, I need to blow out some air. I blow out some air... By doing so, I can swim underwater longer. Blowing out some air gives me ...
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1answer
601 views

Why did we evolve to control our breath?

I had this question in my mind and tried to think of why we would evolve to be able to control our breath. I remembered the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis, which makes a lot of sense and would explain it, ...
2
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1answer
189 views

Does breathing air containing 3% carbon dioxide gives you a headache?

As far as I know, breathing air containing relatively high levels of CO2 may get you a headache. I also know that CO2 level in the fruit bodies of peppers can reach levels as high as 3% at certain ...
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1answer
65 views

Would short term increases in oxygen lead to beneficial effects?

After some thinking, I am wondering if having a 30% atmospheric oxygen concentration (or some other concentration) for a short time would increase the regeneration of energy in a body? It seems like ...
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0answers
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How much oxygen does a human need to breathe?

So, I know that the title isn't very precise, but so is my current knowledge of the subject. It begs the question of what unit are we talking or maybe percentage? Let me explain the situation. Earth'...
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0answers
64 views

How can diving with 100% oxygen not destroy your lungs? [closed]

It is possible this should be moved to physics, depending on the nature of the answer (i.e. if the reason is physical). But I suspect the explanation is biological, so I posted it here. Sometimes ...
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0answers
309 views

Saturation vapor pressure effect on human body [closed]

I found this calculator: http://www.decatur.de/javascript/dew/ It calculates the dew point based on temperature and humidity. In the result it is mentioned the saturation vapor pressure. I barely ...