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2006年NPR美国国家公共电台二月-Killer Flu Reconstructed

时间:2007-07-19 06:56来源:互联网 提供网友:zhao6221133   字体: [ ]
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Michelle Norris: From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Michelle Norris.

Robert Siegel: And I'm Robert Siegel. The 1918 flu virus that killed tens of millions of people around the world is back. Scientists have reconstructed it, using pieces of genetic1 material retrieved2 from the lungs of people who died 87 years ago. Think Jurassic Park with a virus instead of dinosaurs3. In the journals SCIENCE and NATURE researchers say the tightly guarded replica4 is even more virulent5 than they are expected. And the virus copy looks ominously6 like the bird flu virus that is now circulating in Asia. NPR's Richard Knox has the story.

Richard Knox: Jeffrey Taubenberger has been obsessed7 with the 1918 flu virus for years with the sheer mystery of how it wreaked8 such havoc9 all over the planet.

Jeffrey Taubenberger: Here was an influenza10 pandemic that killed something like 15 million people. I think we'll never know exactly how many people died. In the United States something like 675 thousand people died. But no one knew anything directly about this virus.

Richard Knox: That's because the virus was long gone. But Taubenberger works at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Maryland, in its archives are tissue samples from soldiers killed in that pandemic. Ten years ago Taubenberger began putting together bits and pieces of the 1918 virus's genes11 from those tissues. The big breakthrough came 5 years ago. A 75-year-old scientist named Johann Hultin retrieved lung tissue from an Alaskan Inuit woman who perished in 1918. Her body had been preserved by her permafrost grave. That allowed researchers to piece together all the virus's genes, but it didn't solve the mystery of the virus's deadly potency12.

Jeffrey Taubenberger: There were no obviously mutations that popped out at us when it really looked like particularly ordinary influenza virus on paper.

Richard Knox: So researchers used a new technology called reverse genetics to make a replica of the virus from its genes. Doctor Terry Tumpey of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led the reconstruction13 process. It was not done in the most high security laboratory, the kind where scientists are incased in head-to-toe armor.

Terry Tumpey: They are not full body suits, or space suits which are called in the highest containment14. We have half body suits, her whole head is covered.

Richard Knox: Tumpey says he wasn't particularly nervous about working with the killer15 virus, even though the experiments showed that it's about a million times more potent16 than modern flu viruses. For one thing, most people in the world today now have some immunity17 to viruses of the 1918 variety called H1N1. 87 years ago, nobody did. Tumpey wouldn't want the replica to escape from the lab, but he doesn't think people should be unduly18 alarmed, either. Michael Stebbins of the Federation19 of American Scientists, a science advocacy group, agrees.

Michael Stebbins: People should be concerned about work on nasty viruses. But at the same time, you can learn some fundamental things about influenza by working on the actual reconstituted virus. And these are important things to know.

Richard Knox: Scientists are already learning some surprising things. Jeffrey Taubenberger thinks the 1918 virus made a great leap from birds to humans with no intermediate step. If true, this sets it apart from later pandemic flu viruses.

Jeffrey Taubenberger: This was not a human-bird mixed virus like the 1957 or '68 pandemics, but an entirely20 birdlike virus in all of its genes that then adapted to humans. So this makes the 1918 virus unique.

Richard Knox: That sounds ominously like what may be happening with the H5N1 virus now infecting birds in Asia and so far about 120 humans, killing21 half of them. Taubenberger thinks the bird virus may need a couple dozen mutations to become as deadly to humans as the 1918 virus. There are signs that the current Asian virus is on the way to acquiring these mutations.

Jeffrey Taubenberger: We think that the eerie22 paralle is that the H5 viruses might be going down this path, but they might not be just fall down that path yet.

Richard Knox: Given another year or two, he says, the Asian bird flu virus may become enough like the 1918 virus to reach a pandemic tipping point. As in 1918 nobody in the world would have immunity to it. Not everyone agrees. One skeptic23 is Peter Palese of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, a co-author of the reports.

Peter Palese: I'm one of the people who is not convinced that the avian flu is imminent24. Because there's evidence that the virus has been around for decades. And it hasn't mutated to the amounts of these we are being told it has to evolve into.

Richard Knox: But Palese was quick to quote his favorite New York philosopher Yogi Berra, who once cautioned, 'It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.'

Richard Knox: Richard Knox...

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 genetic PgIxp     
adj.遗传的,遗传学的
参考例句:
  • It's very difficult to treat genetic diseases.遗传性疾病治疗起来很困难。
  • Each daughter cell can receive a full complement of the genetic information.每个子细胞可以收到遗传信息的一个完全补偿物。
2 retrieved 1f81ff822b0877397035890c32e35843     
v.取回( retrieve的过去式和过去分词 );恢复;寻回;检索(储存的信息)
参考例句:
  • Yesterday I retrieved the bag I left in the train. 昨天我取回了遗留在火车上的包。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He reached over and retrieved his jacket from the back seat. 他伸手从后座上取回了自己的夹克。 来自辞典例句
3 dinosaurs 87f9c39b9e3f358174d58a584c2727b4     
n.恐龙( dinosaur的名词复数 );守旧落伍的人,过时落后的东西
参考例句:
  • The brontosaurus was one of the largest of all dinosaurs. 雷龙是所有恐龙中最大的一种。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years. 恐龙绝种已有几百万年了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 replica 9VoxN     
n.复制品
参考例句:
  • The original conservatory has been rebuilt in replica.温室已按原样重建。
  • The young artist made a replica of the famous painting.这位年轻的画家临摹了这幅著名的作品。
5 virulent 1HtyK     
adj.有毒的,有恶意的,充满敌意的
参考例句:
  • She is very virulent about her former employer.她对她过去的老板恨之入骨。
  • I stood up for her despite the virulent criticism.尽管她遭到恶毒的批评,我还是维护她。
6 ominously Gm6znd     
adv.恶兆地,不吉利地;预示地
参考例句:
  • The wheels scooped up stones which hammered ominously under the car. 车轮搅起的石块,在车身下发出不吉祥的锤击声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Mammy shook her head ominously. 嬷嬷不祥地摇着头。 来自飘(部分)
7 obsessed 66a4be1417f7cf074208a6d81c8f3384     
adj.心神不宁的,鬼迷心窍的,沉迷的
参考例句:
  • He's obsessed by computers. 他迷上了电脑。
  • The fear of death obsessed him throughout his old life. 他晚年一直受着死亡恐惧的困扰。
8 wreaked b55a53c55bc968f9e4146e61191644f5     
诉诸(武力),施行(暴力),发(脾气)( wreak的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The earthquake wreaked havoc on the city. 地震对这个城市造成了大破坏。
  • They have wreaked dreadful havoc among the wildlife by shooting and trapping. 他们射杀和诱捕野生动物,造成了严重的破坏。
9 havoc 9eyxY     
n.大破坏,浩劫,大混乱,大杂乱
参考例句:
  • The earthquake wreaked havoc on the city.地震对这个城市造成了大破坏。
  • This concentration of airborne firepower wrought havoc with the enemy forces.这次机载火力的集中攻击给敌军造成很大破坏。
10 influenza J4NyD     
n.流行性感冒,流感
参考例句:
  • They took steps to prevent the spread of influenza.他们采取措施
  • Influenza is an infectious disease.流感是一种传染病。
11 genes 01914f8eac35d7e14afa065217edd8c0     
n.基因( gene的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • You have good genes from your parents, so you should live a long time. 你从父母那儿获得优良的基因,所以能够活得很长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Differences will help to reveal the functions of the genes. 它们间的差异将会帮助我们揭开基因多种功能。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 生物技术的世纪
12 potency 9Smz8     
n. 效力,潜能
参考例句:
  • Alcohol increases the drug's potency.酒精能增加这种毒品的效力。
  • Sunscreen can lose its potency if left over winter in the bathroom cabinet.如果把防晒霜在盥洗室的壁橱里放一个冬天,就有可能失效。
13 reconstruction 3U6xb     
n.重建,再现,复原
参考例句:
  • The country faces a huge task of national reconstruction following the war.战后,该国面临着重建家园的艰巨任务。
  • In the period of reconstruction,technique decides everything.在重建时期,技术决定一切。
14 containment fZnyi     
n.阻止,遏制;容量
参考例句:
  • Your list might include such things as cost containment,quality,or customer satisfaction.你的清单上应列有诸如成本控制、产品质量、客户满意程度等内容。
  • Insularity and self-containment,it is argued,go hand in hand.他们争论说,心胸狭窄和自我封闭是并存的。
15 killer rpLziK     
n.杀人者,杀人犯,杀手,屠杀者
参考例句:
  • Heart attacks have become Britain's No.1 killer disease.心脏病已成为英国的头号致命疾病。
  • The bulk of the evidence points to him as her killer.大量证据证明是他杀死她的。
16 potent C1uzk     
adj.强有力的,有权势的;有效力的
参考例句:
  • The medicine had a potent effect on your disease.这药物对你的病疗效很大。
  • We must account of his potent influence.我们必须考虑他的强有力的影响。
17 immunity dygyQ     
n.优惠;免除;豁免,豁免权
参考例句:
  • The law gives public schools immunity from taxation.法律免除公立学校的纳税义务。
  • He claims diplomatic immunity to avoid being arrested.他要求外交豁免以便避免被捕。
18 unduly Mp4ya     
adv.过度地,不适当地
参考例句:
  • He did not sound unduly worried at the prospect.他的口气听上去对前景并不十分担忧。
  • He argued that the law was unduly restrictive.他辩称法律的约束性有些过分了。
19 federation htCzMS     
n.同盟,联邦,联合,联盟,联合会
参考例句:
  • It is a federation of 10 regional unions.它是由十个地方工会结合成的联合会。
  • Mr.Putin was inaugurated as the President of the Russian Federation.普京正式就任俄罗斯联邦总统。
20 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
21 killing kpBziQ     
n.巨额利润;突然赚大钱,发大财
参考例句:
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
22 eerie N8gy0     
adj.怪诞的;奇异的;可怕的;胆怯的
参考例句:
  • It's eerie to walk through a dark wood at night.夜晚在漆黑的森林中行走很是恐怖。
  • I walked down the eerie dark path.我走在那条漆黑恐怖的小路上。
23 skeptic hxlwn     
n.怀疑者,怀疑论者,无神论者
参考例句:
  • She is a skeptic about the dangers of global warming.她是全球变暖危险的怀疑论者。
  • How am I going to convince this skeptic that she should attention to my research?我将如何使怀疑论者确信她应该关注我的研究呢?
24 imminent zc9z2     
adj.即将发生的,临近的,逼近的
参考例句:
  • The black clounds show that a storm is imminent.乌云预示暴风雨即将来临。
  • The country is in imminent danger.国难当头。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  killer  reconstruct
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