University of South Florida (USF) Associate Professor Joseph Dituri
plans to spend 100 days submerged in
Florida waters to conduct marine science and medical research and study how the human body responds to long-term exposure to pressure extreme.
Project Neptune 100
mission , as Dituri has called it, began on March 1 and will end, if all goes according to plan,
on June 9.
Dituri, who is 55 years old and a retired US Navy commander with a doctorate in biomedical engineering, has been in the underwater shelter of MarineLab, a Marine Resources Development Foundation facility since Wednesday. .
During the 100 days below the sea surface, it will live at
in a 9.2-square-meter habitat located at the Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, the University of South Florida said in a statement.
The note explains that a medical team will document the researcher's health, periodically submerging into their habitat to perform a series of tests.
Joseph Dituri began this Wednesday, March 1, his 100 days under the sea (AP).
A psychiatrist will monitor your mental health
Before, during and after the project, Dituri will undergo a series of psychosocial, psychological and medical tests, and a psychologist and
will document the mental effects of being in an isolated and confined environment for an extended period, similar to space travel.
"The human body has never been underwater for this long, so I will be closely monitored," Dituri said in the statement.
The researcher believes that
his health will improve in the attempt
and mentions that a recent scientific study concluded that cells exposed to greater pressure doubled in five days.
This suggests that increased pressure has the potential to allow humans to
increase their longevity
and prevent diseases associated with aging, the statement explains.
"So, we suspect that I'm going to come out as a super human!" Dituri stated.
The former marine also believes that the results of his mission will be important for the future of long-duration space travel, including missions
, as well as for underwater exploration, indicates a note from the Florida Keys News Bureau. .
Classes at 9 meters depth
While underwater, the professor
will teach regular classes online
, including the hyperbaric medicine classes he already teaches at the University of South Florida and college-level biomedical engineering courses for high school students.
The 100-day mission includes testing new technologies, such as an artificial intelligence tool developed by a colleague that can detect diseases in the human body and determine whether drugs are needed.
He will also be joined underwater by other scientists to discuss ways to preserve, protect and rejuvenate the marine environment.
"Everything we need to survive is on the planet," he said.
"I suspect that the cure for many diseases can be found in undiscovered organisms in the ocean. To find out, we need more researchers," he said.
Dituri found his passion for science while serving in the US Navy where he spent 28 years as a saturation diving officer.
After retiring in 2012 as a major, Dituri enrolled at USF to earn his Ph.D. and learn more about traumatic brain injury.
Joseph Dituri, inside his capsule shows the flag of the project (AP).
"Many of my brothers and sisters in the military had traumatic brain injuries and I wanted to learn how to help them," Dituri said.
"I was well aware that hyperbaric pressure could increase cerebral blood flow and hypothesized that it could be used to treat traumatic brain injuries," he added.
The record for human experience underwater at ambient pressure is currently
and was established in 2014 by American teachers Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain.
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