HARVARD, COPENHAGEN, CAMBRIDGE GROUP TO MAKE TESTS IN INDIA
ANCEL KEYS OF FASTIGUE LAB WILL LEAD PARTY
Cats, dogs, and horses, as well as wild animals, birds, and human beings, will play a part in the tests to be conducted next spring in the high Himalayas of British India by the Fatigue Laboratory of Harvard University, in co-operation with Cambridge University, England, and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Field work will be carried on for five months from abase camp at 17,500 feet near Leh, the ancient capitol of Little Tibet.
Detailed observations will be made on men and animals at an altitude of more than 20,000 feet, as well as at lower heights, to determine the mechanism and effects of adaptation and acclimatization of men and animals to life at high altitudes. No scientific ground expedition has over gone to such high altitudes.
Preparations Under Way
Members of the party have been preparing themselves here this fall for the arduous climb by exercise on a stationary bicycle and tread mill in the Fatigue Laboratory at Harvard. The bicycle will be taken to the mountains. There the pulse rate, respiration, and blood of the men will be studied at various altitudes after and during workouts on the bicycle, and the findings compared with those made here this fall.
Members of Party
The complete personnel of the expedition was announced today for the first time, as follows: Ancel Keys, instructor in Biochemical Science of the Fatigue Laboratory, head of the party; E. Hohwu Christensen, Laboratory of Zoophysiology, Copenhagen University; Gordon Bowles, assistant in Anthropological, Harvard University; Harold T. Edwards and William Hathaway Forbed, assistants in the Fatigue Laboratory; Bryan H.C. Matthews, Kings College, Cambridge University; John H. Talbott, instructor in Medicine, Harvard University; Dr. F. G. Hall, Professor of Zoology, Duke University; and William Osgood Field, Jr., of New York, and R. A. Kissack, Jr., Assistant Director of the Department of Visual Education, University of Minnesota, both of whom will take motion pictures and make studies in metrology and glacierology.
The members of the group who have been working on the stationery bicycle in the Fatigue Laboratory this fall and who will take part in bicycle tests in the high mountains are Keys, Christensen, Edwards, Forbes, and Talbott. Dr. Christensen, who has charge of the laboratory for testing the aviators in Denmark, came from Denmark this fall to assist in preparations for the expedition.
To Study Mineral Balance
Living for twenty-day periods on a rigid diet of canned food and corn sugar (dextrose), Dr. Talbott will make a study of the mineral balance of the body at various high attitudes. During these twenty-day periods, Dr. Talbott's menu will be exactly the same every day and the quantity will remain the same every day. If he gets hungry after eating the allotted canned gods he will eat more dextrose. The canned foods will include a wide assortment of meats, fruits, vegetables, cereals, and soups, as well as sea biscuits, powered milk, coffee, tea, sugar and chocolate. The Precise quantity of minerals consumed daily will be known, and the test will reveal whether or not a man climbing a mountain loses minerals while becoming acclimatized.
To Study Animals
Professor Hall will make a study of goats, yaks, sheep, and dogs which live in the higher regions of the Himalayas to see whether they differ physiologically from similar animals living in the lowlands. Dogs, cats and horses from the lowlands of India will be taken into the mountains to determine if they can be come accustomed to changes in attitude and to see how their bodies react from day to day.
An attempt will be made to capture alive for study purposes some of the wild asses, or Kiang, which live at attitudes of 10,000 to 15,000 feet. These animals are the kind mentioned in the Bible. They roam in vast herds, are very fast and agile, and edible, and have not been domesticated.
Birds which live above 20,000 feet in the mountains will be caught and examined.
Live on Canned Food
The expedition will live on canned goods, supplemented by native mutton, wild rhubarb, yak, and goat milk, and whatever wild fowl, antelope, and wild asses may be shot down.
To Start in April
Dr. Keys will leave for India Dec.20 to make arrangements for the expedition. The entire group will assemble at Srinagar, in the vale of Cashmir, April 15 and begin the 330-mile caravan journey on the famous Turkestan-Cashmir route, the highest road in the world. Twenty-five native drivers will accompany the 100 horses and 20 yaks which will carry six tons of food and equipment to the base camp site.
Scientific apparatus will be taken which will permit a detailed study of the respiration, circulation, metabolism, acid-base balance, water balance, heat regulation, cardiac performance, exertion, blood gas transport, and subjective responses in rest and in work of varying intensity. Continuous observations will be made, but especially detailed programmes will be carried out at sea level, 5,000 feet, 11.000 feet, 14,500 feet, 17,600 feet, 19600 feet and the same stations coming down. As much as possible will be done at attitude greater 20,000 feet.
Study of Alkalosis
Special attention will be paid to problems of alkalosis, the dissociation curve of haemoglobin, the fuel for musclar work at great attitudes, special characteristics of mountain dwellers, dehydration, the efficiency of sugars as food, and the behavior of the special senses.
In addition to the more obvious theoretical and practical questions involved, the results should be of a significance to the questions of prolonged auoxaemia, depletion of the alkali reserve, the effects of training, the production of red cells, and the varieties of hemoglobin.
Road at 18,000
The base came will be a short distance of the famous Turkestan-Cashmir caravan route, the highest road in the world regularly traversed by man. This road has three passes at about 18,000 feet and three other passes at more than 18,000 feet, and for a hundred and fifty miles is marked by the skeletons of man and animals who have attempted to cross the lofty heights.
The expedition will study the natives who live in such attitudes. The snow time is at about 18,000 feet here. Grazing is carried on to 17,000 feet and the natives drive their flocks as high as 18,000 feet. There are a few settlements at 16,000. One monastery is at 16,000 feet, a nunnery at 17,000 and a hermit lives at 18,000 feet.
To Study Natives
Anthropological studies of the natives will be made by Mr. Bowles in the Ladak country, ju which the base camp will be located. The people are known as Ladaki, and are almost entirely of Tibetan stock. They are Lama Buddhists in religion. The famed Cashmir wool comes from Ladak.