Ethiopians reveal high-altitude twist | Science News

Love Science? Welcome Home.

Support Amazing Science Journalism.

Create the New Science Generation.


News

Ethiopians reveal high-altitude twist

By
5:56pm, December 16, 2002

There's more than one way for people living at extremely high altitudes to adapt to so-called thin air. Biologically, there must be at least three ways, according to a report in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A team led by Cynthia M. Beall of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland obtained blood samples and medical data from 236 Ethiopian villagers living more than 2 miles above sea level. The villagers displayed an average blood concentration of oxygen-rich hemoglobin comparable to that already reported for sea-level populations. Oxygen saturation of hemoglobin among the Ethiopians also roughly equaled measurements made in lowland groups. The researchers now plan to look for a biological mechanism to explain how these people survive at their high altitude.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News