Decompression sickness follows a reduction in ambient pressure and is a result of bubble formation in blood or tissue. A striking feature of the syndrome is that almost any body part, organ, or fluid can be affected, including bone. This generality suggests a common basis in the physical and chemical properties of water, particularly those relating to cavitation. We report here a systematic study of some of these properties, carried out with transparent gelatin—an aqueous medium that is especially convenient for this purpose since it yields bubbles that are stationary and can be counted and measured.

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