Hypoxia pp 7-11 | Cite as

Genetic lessons from high altitude

  • Charles S. Houston
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 502)


What lessons can we learn from mountain sickness or wellness that may apply to our patients? Does hypoxia affect us similarly regardless of its cause? Millions of individuals are as hypoxic from congenital or acquired heart or lung disease as healthy individuals may be at altitude. Certain adjustments enable many of such patients to lead nearly normal lives. I will compare their adjustments to those seen in the acclimatization of healthy persons to altitude. Some living organisms use strategies which enable them to tolerate a degree of hypoxia lethal to man. Are there lessons we can learn from them? In my short talk I will raise a few provocative questions, and these will lead me to discuss the relevance of basic research to the resolution of vexing human ailments. When does commercialization of research become a form of intellectual prostitution?

Key words

genes lung disease commercialization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles S. Houston
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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