Basics: Architecture and Design

The lungs are an amazing mechanism. For a moment, try to imagine yourself as a Creator. Imagine that you are sitting at your Desk in your design office and the deadline for submitting drawings of the lungs expires at the end of the week. And so you think about how to fix this organ inside the chest. The task is complex, and comparison with other bodies does not help much. The brain, for example. It lies motionless in the skull, like an oyster in a shell, and a kind of root in the form of a spinal cord is detached from it. What about the liver and intestines? They are quite haphazardly located in the abdominal cavity and at the bottom of the pelvis. From above, they are limited by the diaphragm, and in front — the wall of the abdominal cavity. Kidneys? They are located to the right and left on the back wall of the abdominal cavity, and from below them the ureter departs — and that’s it. Muscles? They are attached to the bones with both ends, and their stable position between the attachment points is provided again by the bones.

But what about the lungs? From the outside, they look like an ugly relative of the liver: three lobes on the right, two lobes on the left — did they forget to divide them at birth? What’s inside? Solid cartilage (eating it is like drinking denaturation). What else is there in the middle of them? Some kind of flexible cartilage tube 15 centimeters long, like a goose’s neck or a shower hose. And how do you place this spongy and boneless asymmetric organ, so that it is stable enough, does not fall down and does not shrink, but at the same time retains mobility and can perform its functions inside the chest with each breath made 15, 20, 30 and even 60 times a minute?

You are working on several options. You can open the chest from the top, put the lungs inside, and just put them on the diaphragm. Bad idea: the organ will settle down in a shapeless mass, its upper lobes will squeeze the lower ones, and thus not get enough blood or air. And if you hang the lungs to the larynx, because almost everything looks like this, otherwise why this hose? So, we attach the trachea to the larynx so that the lungs hang on it like paintings in the national gallery. The only bad thing is that with each breath, the tongue will fall into the throat, because the diaphragm will pull the lungs down. It is like the old mechanism of the bell at the front door, which rings when you pull the string: Ding-Dong, who is home? Or maybe, somehow, glue the lungs from the inside to the walls of the chest cavity? In this case, the pressure is removed from the diaphragm and the laryngeal organs are also not affected. But with each expansion of the chest, the outer surface of the lungs will tear and air will begin to pass through the cracks. In short, all three options are unsuitable.

But mother nature has found a solution, there are no hopeless situations for her! The natural plan is a combination of various mechanisms for evenly distributing pressure and traction forces inside the chest. This solution made it possible to create a unique “suction device” due to the strong and at the same time mobile, sliding connection of the lung surface with the internal walls of the chest cavity. Thus, the lungs received a strong internal Foundation, which is protected from the outside by the chest, which is able to resist great physical effort. This unique design is a noteworthy “house for the lungs”: it provides conditions for work and rest, excitement is instantly replaced by relaxation, there is a constant cleaning, garbage removal, repair and reconstruction… Here there are processes of decay, against which any repair is powerless. Here struggle, death, and rebirth succeed each other. There is hope, but often despair. Here, as in any family, there is a community of interests, but there are also manifestations of guile, jealousy, envy, competition and discontent — in a family not without a freak. This house is always draughty because the door is always open. Let’s go in, look around, and be surprised. You can stay here longer if you want.

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