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New Metal Lungs Boosted Mammals' Respiratory Efficiency by 300%

Using algae, of all things.

New Metal Lungs Boosted Mammals' Respiratory Efficiency by 300%
A man holding Super Lung. BKID

These days when we are struggling with the pandemic, even breathing with peace of mind has become challenging. Especially the form of the mammalian respiratory system, requiring inhalation and exhalation, leaves us more vulnerable to the propagation of viral diseases. 

But now, a group of South Korean artists, Bongkyu Song of BKID and Moon&Jeon, has devised a metal lung concept that uses algae to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. This device named Super Lung is inspired by the respiratory system of birds. Moreover, its designers assert that this concept increases mammalian respiratory efficiency by 300%. But how? 

Super Lung uses algae to create a one-way flow through a respiratory organ called anterior air sacs that are found in the avian respiratory system. The one-way airflow created by the algae differentiates the inhalation and exhalation organs so that carbon dioxide is replaced with oxygen much more efficiently. At the same time, it reduces the risks of infection by cutting down the need for exhalation.

Super Lung was designed for Moon&Jeon's exhibition News from Nowhere: Freedom Village which is inspired by William Morris' novel News from Nowhere. The purpose of the exhibition is to question the future of humankind and the world by using art as a medium. Moon and Jeon say: "Our collaboration is not to put forward interesting, definitive pictures of our future society. Neither does it try to paint a utopia or a dystopia. Rather, the answers to these questions are a series of discourses, arguments, and reflections designed to stay in our lives."

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