A University of South Florida professor wants to live in an underwater station for 100 days. According to him, the high pressure is supposed to trigger health improvements in his body.
Tampa (USA). It is known that cells divide faster after a long stay under high air pressure. Joseph Dituri, Professor at the University of South Florida (USF), would like to study this effect and analyze which other effects occur in the human body. The scientist will live 100 days at higher pressure in an underwater station. The current record for staying underwater is 73 days.
“The human body has never been under water for so long, so I’m being watched closely. This study will examine any effects of this trip on my body, but my null hypothesis is that my health will improve due to the increased pressure. So I guess I’ll come out as a super human.”
Isolated underwater life
The stay will be at Jules’ Undersea Lodge , an underwater base off the coast of Key Largo at a depth of 10 meters. The station can accommodate several people for a few days. However, Dituri will spend much of the time alone underwater so that the Neptune 100 project can also study the psychological effects of the isolated living situation.
However, the researcher is not completely cut off from the outside world. He can make video calls and has a video call capability. In addition, different people can visit him for 24 hours at a time. Interested parties must come from the fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology (MINT) and go through an application process.
Experience of staying in hyperbaric chambers
Before Dituri became a professor at USF, he was a saturation diver for the US Navy for 28 years. He completed several long stays in pressure chambers. Dituri started his work as a scientist primarily to research traumatic brain injuries. These are not uncommon for Navy divers.
“Many of my brothers and sisters in the military suffered traumatic brain injuries and I wanted to learn how to help them. I was well aware that hyperbaric pressure can increase cerebral blood flow and hypothesized that it could be used to treat traumatic brain injury. I hypothesize that application of the known mechanisms of action of hyperbaric medicine could be used to treat a wide range of diseases.”