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.E3 '99 Mission Introduction

E3 represents a new era in health and science. The high altitude conditions of Mount Everest present a unique laboratory setting where humans take themselves to the extreme of physiologic functioning. While people have ventured to the Earth's extremes before, we've lacked the ability to readily collect information, that could not be obtained in the past. We now have the technology and the equipment to gather that information and the opportunity to develop new insights on the human body and its implications for other environments or disease states.

The Success of E3 1998

In 1998, E3 established a new benchmark for success. An expedition fielded by a consortium of the Yale|NASA Commercial Space Center, MIT Media Labs, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and The Explorers Club, supported by major corporate sponsorship, achieved success in:

  • Demonstrating the implementation and operation of advanced medical and communication technologies in an extreme environment

  • Making new discoveries regarding the human body's adaptation to high altitudes and low oxygen while gathering important scientific data

  • Establishing the first-ever Telemedicine clinic that linked the remote, harsh environment of Mount Everest with leading medical and research institutions

Interesting new discoveries about adaptation to high altitudes are being revealed by in-depth analysis of data from E3 1998. Historically, there has been significant study about the respiratory response to hypoxia (how the lungs and body change to low oxygen in the air), now new data suggests there is also a circulatory response to hypoxia (how the heart responds to low oxygen).

Preliminary analysis of data from ultrasound of the carotid artery (the main artery to the brain) demonstrates that at high altitudes the body adapts to conserve adequate oxygen flow to the brain by increasing the blood flow to the brain.

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