Making Hypoxia Happen

Photo: Courtesy of Patti Oprysko  HYPOXIA IN ACTION: The ductus arteriosus of a newborn baboon showing EF5 binding (red), tissue perfused by blood flow (blue) and blood vessels (green). The ductus arteriosus is an artery, which bypasses the lungs before birth and must close to allow proper oxygenation of blood by the lungs after birth. Mount Everest climber Frank Smythe stood at 27,000 feet, near the top of the world, in 1933. Later, Smythe recounted an exceptionally odd experience. He s

Susan Jenkins
Aug 18, 2002
Photo: Courtesy of Patti Oprysko
 HYPOXIA IN ACTION: The ductus arteriosus of a newborn baboon showing EF5 binding (red), tissue perfused by blood flow (blue) and blood vessels (green). The ductus arteriosus is an artery, which bypasses the lungs before birth and must close to allow proper oxygenation of blood by the lungs after birth.

Mount Everest climber Frank Smythe stood at 27,000 feet, near the top of the world, in 1933. Later, Smythe recounted an exceptionally odd experience. He saw "two curious looking objects floating in the sky. [One] possessed what appeared to be squat underdeveloped wings, and the other a protuberance suggestive of a beak. They hovered motionless but seemed slowly to pulsate."1 But in reality, he saw nothing; he just lacked oxygen. Into Thin Air's author Jon Krakauer's own Everest hypoxic delusion involved a green cardigan, wingtips, and an eerie bodily detachment.1...

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