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SSS 2010-09-06

时间:2010-10-08 03:23来源:互联网 提供网友:xn0006   字体: [ ]
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In 1980, a scientist looking at bone fragments under an ultraviolet microscope noticed the bones were glowing green—a hallmark of the antibiotic1 tetracycline. The drug latches2 onto calcium3 and gets deposited in bone. Nothing unusual. Except these bones were from a Nubian mummy buried 1,600 years ago in Sudan—long before scientists discovered tetracycline, in 1948.

At the time, other scientists said the antibiotic probably just contaminated the bones after death. Because tetracycline’s secreted4 by a soil bacterium5, Streptomyces. To get to the bottom of this, a chemist recently took bone from the mummy of a Nubian child and dissolved it in hydrogen fluoride, a nasty acid that helps extract tetracycline. And this bone extract also matched the chemical signature of tetracycline—evidence that the antibiotic was built into the kid's bones as he grew. That analysis appears in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology6.

Anthropologists know the Nubians were skilled brewers. Researchers now believe that the ancient brewmasters learned to purposely make their beer medicinal, by lacing it with grain contaminated with antibiotic-producing Streptomyces bacteria. Just imagine that prescription7.

Thanks for the minute for Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Christopher Intagliata.
 


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1 antibiotic KNJzd     
adj.抗菌的;n.抗生素
参考例句:
  • The doctor said that I should take some antibiotic.医生说我应该服些用抗生素。
  • Antibiotic can be used against infection.抗菌素可以用来防止感染。
2 latches 72e582024c502f75cdd8b1b4d69a127f     
n.(门窗的)门闩( latch的名词复数 );碰锁v.理解( latch的第三人称单数 );纠缠;用碰锁锁上(门等);附着(在某物上)
参考例句:
  • The virus latches onto the red blood cells. 这种病毒附着在红细胞上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The opposite end latches onto the pathogen. 相对的一端锁在病原体上。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 预防生物武器
3 calcium sNdzY     
n.钙(化学符号Ca)
参考例句:
  • We need calcium to make bones.我们需要钙来壮骨。
  • Calcium is found most abundantly in milk.奶含钙最丰富。
4 secreted a4714b3ddc8420a17efed0cdc6ce32bb     
v.(尤指动物或植物器官)分泌( secrete的过去式和过去分词 );隐匿,隐藏
参考例句:
  • Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. 胰岛素是胰腺分泌的。
  • He secreted his winnings in a drawer. 他把赢来的钱藏在抽届里。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 bacterium BN7zE     
n.(pl.)bacteria 细菌
参考例句:
  • The bacterium possibly goes in the human body by the mouth.细菌可能通过口进入人体。
  • A bacterium is identified as the cause for his duodenal ulcer.一种细菌被断定为造成他十二指肠溃疡的根源。
6 anthropology zw2zQ     
n.人类学
参考例句:
  • I believe he has started reading up anthropology.我相信他已开始深入研究人类学。
  • Social anthropology is centrally concerned with the diversity of culture.社会人类学主要关于文化多样性。
7 prescription u1vzA     
n.处方,开药;指示,规定
参考例句:
  • The physician made a prescription against sea- sickness for him.医生给他开了个治晕船的药方。
  • The drug is available on prescription only.这种药只能凭处方购买。
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