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楼主:中华指南 时间:2020年02月17日 06:32:53 点击:0 回复:0
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So it begins. Nobody thought it would happen this fast, and now we are preparing to take a leap into the unknown. Not Brexit but Crispr gene-editing, a DNA-changing technology that can supposedly cure mice of liver disease and muscular dystrophy, render human cells resistant to HIV and create fungus-resistant wheat.就这么开始了。没人想到这件事来得这么快,现在我们正准备跃入未知之中。这里说的不是英国退欧,而是“成簇规律间隔短回文重复序列”(Crispr)基因编辑,一种据信能够治愈小鼠的肝病和肌营养不良,让人类细胞对艾滋病毒(HIV)产生抗性,培育出抗真菌小麦的DNA改造技术。It has also been touted as a means of remaking humanity — and now it is about to progress from Petri dishes into people. An influential advisory panel at the US National Institutes of Health has unanimously approved the first clinical trial to use Crispr genome-editing (also known as gene-editing) on humans, to reboot immune cells in cancer patients. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania will target patients with multiple myeloma, melanoma or sarcoma. The team will remove a class of immune cells called T-cells from patients, edit the genes of those T-cells so they are better able to “lock on” to tumour cells, and then restore the altered T-cells back into the bloodstream.该技术也被吹捧为一种再造人类的手段,现在这种技术即将从培养皿走向人类。美国国家卫生研究院(NIH)一个有影响力的顾问组已一致批准第一项对人类使用Crispr基因组编辑(也称基因编辑)技术,以“重启”癌症病人免疫细胞的临床试验。宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)的研究人员将以多发性骨髓瘤、黑色素瘤或肉瘤患者为对象。该团队将从患者体内取出被称为T细胞的一类免疫细胞,对这些T细胞的基因进行编辑,使它们能更好地“锁定”癌细胞,然后将这些修改过的T细胞重新导入患者的血液循环系统。With luck, the genetic edits should boost the patient’s immune system. The study, now expected to receive the blessing of federal regulators, will be funded by a cancer institute founded by Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame.幸运的话,基因编辑应该能促进患者的免疫系统。预计将获得联邦监管机构的批准的这项研究,将由曾经创立Napster、并担任Facebook首任总裁的肖恩#8226;帕克(Sean Parker)创办的一个癌症研究所资助。The aim of this first in-human trial of Crispr is not to enhance therapeutic outcomes but to prove its safety. Other genetic technologies of great pro-mise cast long shadows. Gene therapy, which involves inserting copies of missing or defective genes into a patient, usually using a virus as a carrier, was nearly derailed at the turn of the millennium , when a child with a severe immune disorder developed leukaemia as a direct result of the treatment.这个对人体进行的第一项Crispr实验的目的,不是为了改善治疗结果,而是为了明其安全性。其他曾经大有希望的基因技术投下了长长的阴影。向患者体内注入缺失或者缺陷基因的副本(通常使用病毒作为载体)的基因疗法,在世纪之交的时候几乎遭到毁灭性打击,当时这种疗法直接导致一名患有严重的免疫紊乱症的儿童罹患白血病。The viruses chosen as carriers in some early trials wrought unforeseen damage. As a result the first European treatment using gene therapy, which has been around since 1990, was licensed only in 2012.在一些早期的试验中,被选为载体的病毒造成了无法预见的伤害。其结果是,基因疗法虽然从1990年起就存在了,但欧洲第一例使用这种疗法的治疗在2012年才获得许可。With gene-editing, the unintended consequence that most terrifies genetic researchers is “off-target effects”, in which untargeted genes are inadvertently snipped, deleted or altered. The technology uses enzymes to search for particular sequences of DNA — but, just as it is possible for a search facility in word-processing software to pick out a string of letters in an unexpected place, the enzymes might similarly latch on to the wrong stretch of DNA.就基因编辑而言,最让基因研究人员感到惊恐的意外后果是“脱靶效应”,也就是非靶向基因被不慎剪断、移除或者修改。基因编辑技术利用酶来搜寻特定的DNA序列,但就像文字处理软件的搜索功能可能在意想不到的地方挑出一串字符那样,酶也可能以类似的方式附着于错误的DNA片段。The risk, at least in this trial, is minimised by the gene-editing being done outside the body, allowing researchers to check the T-cells have been appropriately amended before being put back into the patient. Still, once the cutting enzyme is unleashed, there is a possibility it could continue operating inside the body to uncertain end.至少在这次实验中,这种风险被最小化——通过从人体外进行基因编辑,研究者能在检查T细胞已被适当地修改之后,再将其导入患者体内。话虽如此,一旦剪切酶被释放出来,其依然有可能在人体内发挥不确定的作用。By next year we should have a hint of whether gene-editing really can fix deficient DNA in people. And that is when things get serious: why stop at correcting the human genome? Why not beautify it? That thought is preoccupying those in the field, who raised concerns at a Washington summit in December, organised by scientists from the UK, China and the US. Among those attending was Yale University’s Daniel Kevles, a historian of the eugenics movement.到了明年,我们应该就能对基因编辑是否真的能修复人的缺陷DNA有所了解。这就是事情开始变严重的地方:为何要止步于修正人类基因组呢?何不对其进行美化?这种想法让该领域的人士忧心忡忡,在去年12月由英国、中国和美国科学家组织、在华盛顿举行的一次峰会上,他们提出了这种担忧。与会者包括来自耶鲁大学(Yale University)的优生运动历史学家丹尼尔#8226;凯夫利斯(Daniel Kevles)。The thing about Crispr genome-editing is this: it is fast, cheap and easy to do. Many countries, especially those that see themselves as future torchbearers for technology, such as China, are forging ahead; China holds the first claim to creating a (non-viable) gene-edited embryo. Regulation is patchy.Crispr基因组编辑有这样一个特点:这种技术快速、廉价和易行。许多国家,尤其是那些视自身为这些技术未来旗手的国家,比如中国,正在大力推进;中国是第一个声称对(无法存活的)人类胚胎进行过基因编辑的的国家。相关法规还不健全。No country endorses a genome-edited human embryo being implanted and being brought to term. Even so, gene-editing technology makes the prospect of a homo perfectus just slightly more probable — and, as a species, we have yet to fully grasp the implications of this brave and perfectly edited new world.目前没有哪个国家批准将经过基因组编辑的人类胚胎植入母体直至足月分娩。即使如此,基因编辑技术略微提高了实现“完美的人”(homo perfectus)的可能性——作为一个物种,我们还没有完全想好这个经过完美编辑的大胆新世界会有什么影响。 /201607/455306Many of us may have lists of contacts and followers on social media networks that extend into the thousands, but new research has found we may actually only have five real friends.我们中的许多人通讯录里的联系人和社交媒体网络上的好友可以增加到数千人,但是新研究指出,事实上我们拥有的真正意义上的朋友可能只有5个。A team of scientists have found that while humans have the capacity to form complex layered societies, we face an upper limit to how many friends we can have in our inner circle.一个科学家团队发现,人们可以构建纷繁复杂、层次分明的社会群体,而在自己的社交圈里,我们拥有的朋友数量是有上限的。They say this upper limit of five has likely gone unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years and probably governed social relationships when humans lived as groups of hunters.他们表示,几十万年来,5个朋友的上限可能从未改变,或许从人类集体狩猎开始,这种模式一直掌控着人际关系。Whenever we add someone new to our social network, they argue, each new friend is actually slightly more distant than those of the inner circle.他们认为,无论我们在什么时候从社交网络上添加新朋友,每位新朋友还是比我们圈子里的朋友要稍微有距离些。It suggests that while we may have just a few friends, we can still surround ourselves with acquaintances.这表明了我们可能只有几个朋友,但周围却围绕着一群熟人。Michael Harré and Mikhail Prokopenko, both with the University of Sydney in Australia, said while we may only have five close friends, our social network from them can extend to 132 people.来自悉尼大学的迈克尔#8226;哈雷和米哈伊尔#8226;普罗科彭科表示,虽然我们只拥有5个亲密朋友,但是我们可以通过他们把自己的社交网络扩展至132人。The researchers built computer models to analyse human social networks and then compared them to hunter-gatherer societies.研究者创建了电脑模型来分析人类社交网络,接着将分析出来的数据同采集狩猎社群进行对比。They explain that from an evolutionary perspective, it was important to have small groups of close-knit social connections when humans were on hunting expeditions and other dangerous stations.他们从进化的角度解释道,处在狩猎探险或其他危险情况下,拥有紧密社会联系的小团体对人类而言是至关重要的。This would mean that we did not have to be as close with the rest of the wider group - as long as we had a strong bond with around 5 others.这意味着只要我们和5个朋友关系亲密,就无需与更多的人保持紧密联系。Even now, as we add or follow others on social media, most new connections are made through meeting friends of others.即使现在我们会在社交媒体上添加或关注其他人,但大部分人还是通过与其他人的朋友见面形成新的联系。Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the researchers said: conclude that humans were probably egalitarian in hunter–gatherer-like societies, maintaining an average maximum of four or five social links connecting all members in a largest social network of around 132 people.#39;研究者在《英国皇家学会界面杂志》上写到:我们得到的结论是处在狩猎采集者之类的社会团体中,人类可能会主张平等主义,他们会保持人均4到5个的社会联系人,把这些联系人整合起来,我们最多能将社交网络关系扩展至132人左右。As we form new connections and relationships, they become increasingly distant from our #39;core#39; starting group当我们构建新型连接与关系时,这些人离我们最初的核心团体越来越远。The researchers added that the #39;social brain hypothesis#39; describes #39;neurologically constrained capacity for maintaining long-term stable relationships#39;.研究者补充道,“社会化大脑假说”描述的是维持长期稳定关系的神经控制能力。The #39;hunter-gatherer#39; example shows how social hierarchies can form - you only need to directly know a few people in a large group in order to become a leader figure.“狩猎者采集者”的例子明了社会阶层是如何形成的,要成为领导者,你只需直接了解大团体中的几个人便可。The researchers say that while social media is changing the number of people we can be connected to - in 2014, the mean average number of Facebook friends was 338 - it is unlikely to change the number of friends we actually have.2014年,脸书用户的平均朋友数是338人。研究者表示,虽然社交媒体正在改变我们联系人的数量,但这不太可能会对我们实际拥有的朋友数造成影响。 /201605/446111

Time travel is a familiar subject of science fiction and fantasy stories, from H.G. Wells to Rod Serling to Hot Tub Time Machine. But could time travel ever be possible in real life? And, if so, how would humans even handle a technology with such great capacity for destruction?从科幻作家赫伯特·乔治·威尔斯到编剧罗德·瑟林再到科幻喜剧《热浴盆时光机》,时空旅行一直是科幻小说和奇幻故事中熟悉的主题。但时空旅行究竟能否在现实生活中真正实现?如果真的可以实现,那么人类将如何处理一项拥有如此巨大破坏力的技术呢?Some scientists say time travel is theoretically possible, at least if you want to jump ahead to the future, but don#39;t start saving up for a time machine just yet. As physicist Paul Davies explained for CNN in 2013, ;Over a century ago, Albert Einstein showed that time is intrinsically elastic, capable of being stretched or shrunk by motion.;一些科学家认为,时空旅行从理论上是可以实现的,起码如果你想去往将来还是可以的。但是也不要从现在开始就攒钱买一台时光机。正如物理学家保罗·戴维斯于2013年在CNN中所解释的那样:“一百年以前,埃尔伯特·爱因斯坦明:时间从本质上来讲是具有弹性的,能够受运动影响而扩展或收缩。”Essentially the closer you#39;re going to the speed of light, the slower time moves. ;Fly to the star Vega, 25 light years away, and back again at 99% of the speed of light, and when you return to Earth in 2062, you will have experienced only seven years#39; travel time in the spacecraft. In effect, you will have leaped 42 years into Earth#39;s future,; Davies wrote.从本质上来讲,你的速度越是接近光速,时间移动地相对也就越慢。戴维斯写道:“假如你想要飞到二十五光年之外的织女星,然后再以99%光速的速度回到地球。那么当你回到地球时,大约已经是2062年了,这仅仅相当于你在宇宙飞船内停留7年的时间。换句话说,你将跨越了42年的时间,来到了地球的未来时空。”So if you were to, theoretically, take a trip in a super-fast spaceship, you might feel (and look) as though only a few years had passed, but when you arrived back on Earth, decades would have passed and all your friends and family would be dead and gone. Time travel!从理论上来讲,如果你乘着超快速宇宙飞船去太空旅行,你可能会感觉到时间仅仅过了几年。不过当你回到地球之后,实际上几十年已经过去了,你的家人或朋友很可能已经不在人世了。这就是所谓的时空旅行!But what about going backwards? Could it ever be possible to pop back in time and stop bad things from happening and good people from dying? Theoretically, if you were to travel faster than the speed of light, you would be moving backwards in time, according to one hypothesis LiveScience reported.那么如果想要回到过去呢?有没有可能使人类回到过去,从而阻止那些不好的事情发生,使那些善良的人们免于死亡?根据《生活科学》中曾提出的一个假说,从理论上来讲,只有当你运动的速度能够超越光速,你才有可能引起时光倒流,回到过去。But most scientists believe that nothing can actually travel faster than light, and, if you could go back in time, messing with the past would create all kinds of unsolvable paradoxes, like the Grandfather Paradox.但大多数科学家都认为,没有任何物体的运动速度可以超越光速。并且,如果人类能够回到过去,和过去纠缠不清,就可能引发一系列不易解决的问题和矛盾。比如“祖父悖论”。Although some theories have attempted to propose workarounds for these inconvenient time-travel problems, it remains a pretty widely held belief that traveling backwards in time isn#39;t possible for us humans. After all, as physicist Stephen Hawking said in his book A Brief History of Time, ;If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?;尽管一些理论已经尝试着为这些复杂的时空旅行问题提供了一些替代解决办法,但大多数意见还是认为回到过去是人类不可能实现的一个梦想。毕竟,正如著名物理学家斯蒂芬·霍金在他的《时间简史》中提到的那样:“如果时空旅行可能实现,那些从未来穿梭到现今世界的旅行者们又在哪里呢?” /201604/439891

India last Wednesday created history by successfully launching 104 satellites in a single space mission, breaking the previous record of 37 satellites launched by Russiain 2014.印度于上周三创造了一个历史,在单次太空任务中成功发射了104颗卫星,打破了俄罗斯2014年一箭37星的纪录。The satellites were launched on board Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C37 from the spaceport of Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh at 9.28 a.m. local time and were successfully placed into the polar sun synchronous orbit 28 minutes later.当地时间早上9点28分,印度南部安得拉邦斯里赫里戈达岛的发射场,“极轨卫星运载火箭”C37火箭载着104颗卫星升空,并于28分钟后成功进入极太阳同步轨道。The main passenger was India#39;s 714-kg Earth-mapping Cartosat 2 series satellite, capable of taking high-resolution images.此次发射主要搭载的是印度一颗重达714公斤的地球测绘“Cartosat 2”系列卫星,该卫星能够提供高分辨率的图像。Out of the 104 satellites, all but three were from foreign countries. A total of 96 satellites belonged to the ed States, while others were nano satellites from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UAE.在全部104颗卫星中,除了3颗其余全部来自国外。共有96颗卫星属于美国,而其他一些则是属于以色列、哈萨克斯坦、荷兰、瑞士和阿联酋的小型卫星。Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the successful launch.印度总统普拉纳布·慕克吉和总理纳伦德拉·莫迪都对印度太空研究局此次成功的发射表示了祝贺。;Nation is proud of this achievement, which has demonstrated, yet again, India#39;s increasing space capabilities. I urge ISRO to continue to strive for the progress of our space capabilities,; the Indian president said in a series of tweets.印度总统在一系列推特中表示:“国家为这一成就感到骄傲,这再次明了印度与日俱增的太空能力。我强烈要求太空研究局继续取得我们国家在太空能力方面的进步。”The prime minister tweeted: ;This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists.;总理莫迪则发推特称:“太空研究局这个非凡的成就,是我们太空科研人员和整个国家的又一骄傲。整个国家都向我们的科学家们致敬。” /201702/494202

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