As a team of climbers inches toward the summit of Mount Everest, body sensors will monitor them day and night, collecting data to help researchers understand chronic illnesses like heart disease. Members of an expedition sponsored by National Geographic and The North Face are high-altitude lab rats for a Mayo Clinic initiative that’s tracking healthy bodies at their limits. Six of the climbers are preparing for an extremely well-monitored summit attempt later this week. “What we’re doing is looking at an environment that’s almost perfect to highlight human frailty,” said Bryan Taylor, a Mayo Clinic physiologist. Earlier in May, the Mayo team spent two weeks collecting data at Nepal’s Everest Base Camp, where yaks delivered a 1,300-pound physiology lab.
Wired by Sarah Keller