Kathmandu: A team of American scientists and researchers flew to the Mount Everest region on Friday to set up a laboratory at the base of the world`s highest mountain to study the effects of high altitude on humans.The team from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota says it plans to monitor nine climbers attempting to scale Everest to learn more about the physiology of humans at high altitudes in order to help patients with heart conditions and other ailments."We are interested in some of the parallels between high altitude physiology and heart failure physiology," Dr. Bruce Johnson, who is heading the team, told The Associated Press before leaving Nepal`s capital, Katmandu, for the mountain. "What we are doing here will help us with our work that we have been doing in the (Mayo Clinic) laboratory."Johnson and the eight other team members flew to the airstrip at Lukla, near Everest, on Friday.It will take them about a week to trek to the Everest base camp, with several porters and yaks helping to carry their 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of medical equipment. They will set up their lab at the base camp, which is located at 5,300 meters (17,380 feet), and expect to be at the camp until at least mid-May.The team says Everest`s extreme altitude puts climbers under the same conditions experienced by patients suffering from heart disease.The team members plan to study the effects of high altitude on the heart, the lungs, muscle loss and sleep during their stay at Everest, which peaks at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet).
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