Fourteen French and Italian scientists will depart in January 2019 to the district of La Rinconada, located in the Puno region, to study the population of gold miners and examine the limits of adaptation of the human body in the highest city in the world.
“Normally it is considered that human life is not possible permanently beyond the 5,000 meters, so the population of La Rinconada (at almost 5,300 meters) is a real challenge to knowledge”, explained the researchers to Andina News Agency.
More than 50,000 inhabitants live all year round in extreme conditions in this recondite city, located in the Peruvian Andes, which developed with mining activity in the last two decades.
Nevertheless, according to Andina, a significant part of the inhabitants has difficulties in tolerating the lack of oxygen and develops specific pathologies that the medical team will try to identify and cure.
For 30 days, the scientists of the “5300 Expedition” will perform for the first time a “comprehensive genetic, biological and cardiovascular phenotype” of this population, said the scientists at the headquarters of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research of France, in Paris.
It is expected that the results will allow a better understanding of the defense mechanisms of the human body against the lack of oxygen, as well as improve treatments against respiratory diseases at sea level.