Paul BertBorn 17 Oct 1833; died 11 Nov 1886 at age 53.French physiologist, politician, and diplomat, founder of modern aerospace medicine, whose research into the effects of air pressure on the body helped make possible the exploration of space and the ocean depths. While professor of physiology at the Sorbonne (1869-86), he found that an illness of animals at high altitudes is caused mainly by the low oxygen content of the sparse atmosphere. Bert also made a study of "the bends", suffered by deep-sea divers coming up too quickly to the surface from the great pressures of the depths. Bert demonstrated that high external pressures force large quantities of atmospheric nitrogen to dissolve in the blood, then during rapid decompression the nitrogen forms gas bubbles that obstruct capillaries. In 1878, he published the first results of hyperbaric experiments, considered the cornerstone publication for diving medicine, hyperbaric medicine, and aerospace medicine.