BGI Team Successfully Reaches the Summit of Mount Everest

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

SHENZHEN, China, May 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — BGI Group Chairman and Co-Founder, Wang Jian, and a scientific team from BGI today reached the summit of Mount Everest (Qomolangma) at 8,848.86 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.

The ascent of Mount Everest was driven by scientific exploration aimed at providing deep insights into the adaptive physiology of the human body at extremely high altitudes as well as exploring the composition of microorganisms and changes in the ecological environment.

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 summiting also marks the first time that the resting-state EEG data of climbers has been recorded at the top of the world.

“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.”

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.

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