Do you ever actually pay attention to your own breathing? Do you realize how important it is to your continued survival? The oxygenation of blood is what keeps you alive every day. Without oxygen or breathing for that matter, your cells and brain begin to die. Thanks to a revolutionary scientific breakthrough, that may no longer be the case.
Researchers at the Boston Children's Hospital have designed an oxygen microparticle that can be injected directly into the bloodstream. From there, it oxygenates the blood without the need for breathing. Obviously, the breakthrough has immense importance in the medical field.
The creator of the microparticle, Dr. John Kheir, had to watch a young girl die as her brain was damaged beyond repair due to lack of oxygen. He started the research in hopes of finding a way to keep the blood oxygenated during situations in which the lungs might not be working. The injection can keep oxygen levels at normal for about 20 minutes. That's enough time to save thousands of lives.
Of course, there are other awesome applications beyond saving lives. The new microparticle will enable people to breathe underwater. They wouldn't literally be breathing underwater, but it would allow people to hold their breath for 20 minutes at a time. It doesn't even have to apply to being underwater. Any scenario that requires a person to hold their breath would be instantly relieved with an injection of oxygen.
In all honesty, this is probably the biggest advancement in medical technology in years. As it improves, doctors may even be able to get rid of expensive respirators altogether. Saving lives will be much easier when you can just inject the oxygen.[h/t: TechWench]