Mayo Clinic will be sending five scientists to monitor a team of climbers attempting to scale Mount Everest this spring. The goal is to learn more about the physiology of humans at high altitude in order to help patients with heart conditions and other ailments. Mayo's team is headed by Bruce Johnson, Ph.D., a veteran researcher who has conducted similar studies at the South Pole and at Mt. Aconcaugua in South America (as covered by this blog and in Discovery's Edge). The climb is sponsored by The North Face, the outdoor equipment company, and National Geographic. Mayo Clinic and Montana State University are collaborating, MSU to study the geology of Everest and Mayo for medical research.
Advancing the Science will become Mayo's headquarters for all information and continuing coverage of the climb and the scientific studies being conducted. Mayo will also be sending its own correspondent, Joel Streed, of the Mayo Clinic News Network, to blog and send video reports from base camp. Several of Mayo's research team will also blog here on their impressions of Nepal and conditions on the mountain. In coming days you will see this site transform as we prepare to keep you informed. We'll be posting updates on the wide range of research projects planned and profiles of Mayo's scientific team. For an overview of the expedition, check out yesterday's NPR broadcast of Science Friday and hear host Ira Flatow interview expedition participants, including Mayo researcher Bryan Taylor, Ph.D. You will also be able to follow exploits of the Mayo Everest team via Twitter at #MayoClinic #OnEverest.