Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Human gills?
Name: Carl W Gamauf
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
If we surgically removed gills from a fish, could we put them on our body? Could a human breath under water?



Replies:
No. They would have to be connected correctly with the circulatory system, for one thing. For another, the diffusion of oxygen in water is very slow compared to air, so we wouldn't get enough oxygen to satisfy our needs as humans.

--ProfBill


Dear Dr. Frankenstein:
Technically, if you were able to supply those transplanted gills with a good blood supply, and assuming you could prevent your body from rejecting such a foreign object, and assuming those gills were large enough to provide your body with sufficient oxygenated blood, and that our very different type of blood would even function to carry oxygen from the gill, then....sure, no problem! A human could "breathe" (or "respire") under water!!

Tom F Ihde



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory