Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Way to Dive

For those of you interested in new scientific innovations or who like to SCUBA dive, this post is for you.  There is a coming development that will change the way diving safety is managed by offering a new way of calculating the risk divers face from Decompression Sickness while SCUBA diving.

I should let you know from the start that I do have a personal interest in this project.  The man behind these innovations is Dr. Saul Goldman, PhD, my father.  And I have also been working with him in constructing a website to publicize his findings.  This is in fact the major project I am undertaking until I start my graduate program in the fall.

Very briefly, Decompression Sickness (DCS) involves a set of physical and/or neurological symptoms that sometimes arise when diving underwater and breathing compressed air, then resurfacing without giving the body adequate time to safely eliminate the gas dissolved in blood and tissues.  For over 100 years, there have been protocols used to avoid DCS using various techniques such as slow ascents, and stops at shallow depths.  Originally this took the form of mathematical tables that divers had to understand and use when receiving their SCUBA certification, and is still part of the certification process.  Now this is all computerized, but the algorithms used are based on the same assumptions from decades ago.  I am not even going to go near all the details of how the current models are deficient, as I will probably get things wrong, and my dad would insist on complete (and VERY thorough) accuracy, which would involve a whole lot of stuff some people may have difficulty understanding.  But Dr. Goldman, being not only an avid and experienced SCUBA diver, but also having very strong backgrounds in chemistry and physics, was able to create an algorithm that not only better reflects the rates at which the body actually eliminates these gasses, but also conforms better than current models to actual data gathered regarding cases of DCS.  This new development, the Safe Advanced Underwater aLgorithm (or S.A.U.L. - clever, huh?) is fast becoming the talk of the scientific community, as he has presented his developments at conferences around the world and has published both in scientific, peer-reviewed journals and in diving magazines.  The next step will be to incorporate this into a dive computer and take this to market.  This is what the world will use to dive.  A better, safer way to dive.  Again there are many more details on the website,, you can click either on the link here or on my sidebar.  The website features publications containing all the scientific details, as well as plenty of readable and understandable information about what the SAUL model is and why it is so important.

While it is not my intention that this blog becomes a forum for promotions and advertising, I am keenly aware of the importance of using what means I have at my disposal.  The field I will be studying and eventually working in is Marketing Research, so the project of designing a website and generating traffic is some interesting practice for me before I start my studies.  The experience I got in learning how to build a website was very useful as well.  Putting up a blog here on blogger (or a similar free platform) is a very different experience that is little like the real thing.  While having this blog was useful in that I already was familiar with using CMS programs to post information online, building a site from the ground up and having full administrator controls is something else.  First, though I decided to run the site using WordPress software, it is not primarily a blog so I had to figure out how (and whether) I would be able to customize the setup sufficiently to deliver what was needed.  I have also begun to learn just a smattering of HTML and CSS coding, because I know there will be things that I want to customize further than the templates make possible.  And I am even delving into SEO tactics, though that appears to be quite a bit harder, though so important.  A website is not of much use unless people are able to find it, especially those who don’t already know it is there.

Also, if any other bloggers out there have an interest in this area, feel free to either link to this post or even repost it on your own site, with appropriate attribution of course.

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