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.
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
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.