As Chinese troops falter in Tibet’s Himalayas, China launches genetic study of altitude adaptation

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Credit: Hindustan Times
Credit: Hindustan Times

China has reportedly opened the world’s largest “plateau human genetic resources biological sample bank” in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for medical researchers to study “plateau diseases” and improve the country’s health support capabilities in the region.

According to a report in the state-owned Global Times, expert teams from Xinqiao Hospital in Southwest China completed a large-scale field study on the plateau population of more than 100,000 people in 15 years. 

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India and China have been locked in a military stand-off at several friction points in eastern Ladakh since May last year. While the Indian Army has specialised in high altitude warfare, media reports earlier this year suggested that PLA soldiers were facing multiple challenges at the high-altitude terrain of Ladakh.

On reports of China setting up a gene resources sample bank, Colonel Jaibans Singh (retired) told Sputnik News, “Long presence at such high altitude is not something that the Chinese troops can sustain, hence the need to build upon their physical capacity. All such biological experiments are directed toward that desired end state.”

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