The scientists who ended up studying breathing, never actually meant to start! It was only when they discovered that our capacity as human beings to breathe optimally had disintegrated over time (since the industrial age) that they recorded it created a laundry list of chronic illness.
As paraphrased from the excellent book by James Nestor
Journalist Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, says Nestor.