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Defining Capacities of Human Adaptation

March 20, 2017

CSEM provides system to monitor vital life functions during expedition.

Christian Clot has completed the solo part of his Adaptation scientific expedition, whose aim is to study the adaptive capacities of the human brain and body. From the arid Iranian desert to the icy-cold Siberian plains, via the suffocating sticky heat of the Amazonian forest, the Swiss explorer was the first person to cross four climatic regions highly hostile to man. Due to a system developed by CSEM, he was able to monitor his vital life functions during the expedition, and to capture valuable data for this unique project.
 
How can a human being succeed in adapting to climates that are increasingly unstable and demanding? This is the question that Christian Clot and his scientific and technological colleagues are addressing in the ADAPTATION project. To bring together the elements of a response, the French-Swiss explorer went on four successive solo expeditions between 2016 and 2017, tackling extreme climatic environments: the Iranian desert of Dasht-E Lut, the sea-channels of Patagonia, the Amazon jungle and west Siberia. This physical and mental feat is a world “first.”
 
The objective of the operation was to collect in situ the maximum amount of information to enable the understanding of human cognitive and physiological functioning when subjected to harsh changes or in a situation of crisis. As a technological partner, CSEM made available to Clot its expertise and monitoring solutions to measure and gather his vital-signs parameters. This data is currently being analyzed by the scientific partners in the project.
 
CSEM’s monitoring solutions resisted well to the demanding environments faced by Clot, as they were initially developed and tested for use in space. On Earth, these technologies and their spin-offs show promising potential for medical applications. With new generations of ultra-miniaturized and wireless systems, medical monitoring can take place with a minimum of devices and cabling, and continuously if necessary. Critical data such as those from electrocardiograms, blood pressure and level of oxygen in the blood can be easily obtained from the wrist, the chest, or the fingertip.
 
Clot will go on the same expeditions, but this time accompanied by approximately 20 people. This will enable the integration in the study of the interactions between individuals and leadership mechanisms under these difficult conditions.

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