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The discovery of “true” cellular respiration
The long history of mitochondria began in 1857 and is the result of work carried out by dozens of scientists. The first person to discover mitochondria was Swiss anatomist and physiologist Albert von Kolliker, who described the granule-like structures in muscle cells.
The discovery of surfactant
Up until the end of the 1960s, 10,000 newborns died inexplicably in the first two-three days after birth in the United States alone, including Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, the son of JFK. Around that time, John A. Clements from the University of California and Mary Ellen Avery from Johns Hopkins University discovered that surfactant, a substance consisting of lipids and, to a lesser extent, proteins, helped prevent the pulmonary alveoli from collapsing due to its ability to reduce the surface tension of water.
Cellular Respiration
Respiration is the mechanism by which oxygen is supplied to the cells of our body and carbon dioxide is expelled.  
A gas exchange takes place in the alveoli when oxygen passes into the blood and carbon dioxide passes out of the blood. This exchange occurs because the gases in the air and blood have different concentrations and are separated by very thin capillary walls that surround the alveoli.
Invention of intubation
The first evidence of endo-tracheal intubation and subsequent artificial respiration on animals can be traced back to 1543. Andreas Vesalius noted that the practice could save lives in some cases, but his observation passed by unheard.
Invention of plethysmography

Animal plethysmography was invented in 1868 by Paul Bert (1833-1886), and later perfected as documented in an article published in 1915. DuBois and...

The respiratory system
Air enters our body via our nose and to a lesser extent, via our mouth. The air that enters via the nostrils passes into two nasal cavities appropriately equipped with capillary vessels and covered with hairs and mucus: upon contact with the capillaries, the air warms and is provided with humidity, while the mucus, which is dense and viscous, and the respiratory cilia filter it, keeping out the germs and dust particles. Air which enters the mouth is not warmed or filtered, hence breathing through the nose is recommended.