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Pain experts speculate on purpose of Dark Knight villain’s mask

In some households, including mine, the excitement over the upcoming release of The Dark Knight Rises has clearly eclipsed Olympics mania. That's why a Huffington Post conversation with Michael Leong, MD, clinic chief at the Stanford Pain Medicine Center, and his colleagues speculating on the purpose of Bane's mask caught my attention.

Colin Liotta writes:

They believe the mask may have two components to it.

The first has to do with the type of painkilling drug Bane could use, and how he could store it in his vest. They said that Bane's mask could allow him to breathe in lyophylized drug (freeze-dried), which he stores in pouches on his vest (like the ones in the pictures above). Dr. Leong said the drug could be "sublimated via an apparatus at the back of the head piece and turned into gas which is directed above the head to the mask, covering his nose and mouth. The kinds of pain alleviating medications could be an opioid (morphine-like substance), steroid, Nitrous Oxide, ketamine or combination of any of these analgesics."

The team also had an interesting theory about the tube on the back of Bane's neck. They said that looking at the tube in relation to Bane's surgical scars, the tube could have a chemical Venom "infused in the intraspinal fluid which would account for his extreme tolerance of pain and possibly increased neurological function with the side-effects of behavioral changes - extreme aggression, maybe even delusions and paranoia."

The rest of the article is similarly fun to read.

Previously: "Contagion" spreads across the nation on Friday. Will Hollywood get the science right?
Photo by Bruce Fingerhood

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