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Oxygen Transport to Tissue XLII (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 1269)

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In his foreword to John Nunn’s book Applied Respiratory Physiology, John Severinghaus, an anesthesiologist and also my postdoctoral mentor as a Fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote the following under the title “A Flame for Hypnos.”

The lighted candle respires and we call it flame. The body respires and we call it life. Neither flame nor life are substance, but process. The flame is as different from the wick and wax as life from the body, as gravitation from the falling apple or love from a hormone. Newton taught science to have faith in processes as well as sub- stance- to compute, predict and depend upon an irrational attraction.

Such has been our study of oxygen, the substance in the whole of physiol- ogy and clinical medicine from the air we breathe to its consumption at the level of the mitochondrion for the past 47 years since 1973 when the International Society of Oxygen Transport to Tissue (ISOTT) was founded.
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