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BGI Team Successfully Reaches the Summit of Mount Everest (Qomolangma)

May 21, 2024 Views:

Sends the world’s first ultrasound image and EEG data from the top of the world

May 21, 2024, Shenzhen – At 10:28, after climbing from the North side, BGI Group Chairman and Co-Founder, Wang Jian, and a scientific team from BGI today reached the summit of Mount Everest (Qomolangma) at 8848.86 meters and, using handheld ultrasound equipment, captured the world’s first ultrasound image from the top of the world. The team also captured electroencephalogram (EEG) data at the peak. This is the second time that Wang Jian has reached the top of Mount Everest, and at age 70 he is the oldest person in China to have achieved this feat.

图片7.jpgAt 10:28 AM local time, May 21, 2024, Wang Jian, BGI Group Chairman and Co-Founder (middle), and a BGI scientific team reached the summit of Mount Everest at 8848.86 meters.

This ascent of Mount Everest was driven by scientific exploration, aimed at providing deep insights into the adaptive physiological mechanisms of the human body at extreme altitudes and explored the composition of microorganisms and changes in the ecological environment, offering new breakthroughs and insights for future scientific and industrial development.

图片8.jpg The ‘BGI Qomolangma Laboratory’ was established at the Mount Everest Base Camp in Shigatse, at an altitude of 5,200 meters, to support scientific research.

To support the scientific research, the ‘BGI Qomolangma Laboratory’ was established by BGI on April 18 at the Mount Everest Base Camp at Shigatse at 5,200 meters. This enabled gene sequencing and wireless handheld ultrasound equipment to be tested at altitude, and to capture physiological and multi-omics data from the BGI team.

The wireless handheld ultrasound accompanied the climbers to the summit of Mount Everest and obtained the carotid artery ultrasound scan images of summit team members in real time. This also marks the first time that the resting-state EEG data of climbers has been recorded at the top of the world.

图片9.jpgCollection of resting-state EEG data and skin microbiome samples at the summit of Mount Everest.

When combined with other scientific achievements in the fields of brain science, ophthalmology, plateau medicine, sports medicine, and other areas, the scientific research team will be able to construct a comprehensive model of human health and life.

"In 2010, during our first climb of Mount Everest, we discovered the altitude adaptability gene EPAS1. This time, we hope to further deepen our understanding on the interactions between genetics and environment through the spatiotemporal dimensions of space and time,” said Wang Jian.

"We have organized an interdisciplinary team and moved more instruments and equipment to higher altitudes, to explore scientific questions about human physiology under extreme conditions. We hope to offer constructive insights on major issues such as the origin of life, species evolution, climate change, and extraterrestrial life, thereby contributing to future scientific development.”

图片10.jpgOn July 2, 2010, BGI scientists unveiled the secret of human adaptation to high-altitude environments - a mutation in the EPAS1 gene. This study was published as the cover article in Science.

In the past year, the BGI scientific exploration team has scaled five mountains above 5,000 meters to carry out various scientific research. Previously, in 2021, Wang Jian led a team to the 10,000 meter abyss of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, to undertake new horizons for marine scientific exploration and genetic resources.

1.jpgWang Jian, BGI Group Chairman and Co-Founder (middle) together with BGI scientific team members during training.

From the deepest depths of the ocean to the top of the highest mountain in the world, the BGI scientific team is breaking new ground in scientific development and understanding of human physiology, helping to unlock new mysteries in life science.