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We back research into the impact of lack of oxygen

A pioneering study to identify the genetic basis that determines adaptations to altitude and develop therapeutic solutions to lung diseases.

Sherpa-Everest 2017 Project

The Sherpa-Everest 2017 Project, backed by the ”la Caixa” Foundation, aims to identify the genetic basis that determines adaptations to altitude and the mechanisms associated with lack of oxygen or hypoxia and develop therapeutic solutions for illnesses like asthma or respiratory insufficiencies.

The aim of the research is to analyse the genetic, physiological and biomedical impact on European and Sherpa trekkers and mountaineers during an ascent of Everest (8,848 m). For this study biological samples were analysed from fifteen mountaineers, led by Ferran Latorre, fifteen trekkers and fifteen Sherpas (used to living at these altitudes all the time) to see how the body acclimatises to altitude and so identify the genetic mechanisms of adaptation to hypoxia.

These samples were then compared with those from fifty patients with respiratory insufficiencies, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic lack of oxygen, monitored by the Pneumology Service at the Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona.