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VOA慢速英语2010年-Scientists Find Many Animals, Like Peo

时间:2011-01-03 06:12来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

BOB DOUGHTY1: And I’m Bob Doughty. Today, we will tell about a possible biological test for autism. We also will talk about some allergic2 reactions and their causes. And we will tell about an investigation3 of weight gain in animals.

(MUSIC)

FAITH LAPIDUS: Autism affects social and communication skills. It usually first appears in young children. Doctors currently identify autism disorders5 by observing behavior. Now, researchers in the United States think they have found a biological test for autism.

A team from Harvard University in Massachusetts and the University of Utah developed the test. It uses an MRI or magnetic resonance6 imaging machine to look for abnormalities in the brain. Other studies have not shown major structural7 differences between the brains of autistic people and those without autism.

BOB DOUGHTY: However, the latest study did not look at the large structures of the brain. Harvard's Nicholas Lange says the team looked instead at the chemical and electrical pathways that link the different parts of the brain.

NICOLAS LANGE: "The brain may be OK, the parts that do the work may be OK. But the wiring, the cables between the points in the brain, one to another, may be disrupted in some way."

Pippo, a chimpanzee, enjoys iced food at a zoo in Rome as temperatures reached 35 degrees Celsius8 in July

BOB DOUGHTY: The researchers did MRI scans on sixty males between the ages of eight and twenty-six. Thirty of them had been identified as having mild autism, a form also known as high-functioning autism.

The researchers looked at the connections in two areas of the brain that control language and social behavior. They used a method called diffusion9 tensor imaging. This way they could observe microscopic10 fibers11 to see how well the brain circuitry was organized.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Nicholas Lange says the pictures showed a clear difference between the people with autism and those without. He compared it to spaghetti.

NICHOLAS LANGE: "There's a bundle of uncooked spaghetti and there's clear a directionality to that. It's nice and well-organized, as opposed to a cooked bowl of spaghetti that's just a tangle12 of -- it looks like spaghetti. And that's the way the wiring can be. It can either be very tangled13 [or] it can be very organized."

FAITH LAPIDUS: The researchers say the tests were able to predict with ninety-four percent accuracy which of the people had been found to have autism. The researchers repeated their testing with other subjects and got equally strong results. The results appeared in the journal Autism Research.

Doctor Lange says the test is not ready yet for general use. The study was small and only involved males. It also used older children and adults.

Doctor Lange says that, in time, the test might be able to identify autism in children under three. Three is currently the youngest age at which most doctors will diagnose an autism disorder4. But most parents begin to suspect a problem by the age of two.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Seasonal14 allergies15 can have a huge effect on worker productivity. The United States loses an estimated seven hundred million dollars in productivity each year because of allergies. And Americans spend billions more on allergy16 medications and treatments.

An allergy is an unusually strong reaction to a substance. Many things can cause allergic reactions. The most common cause is pollen17 from flowering plants and trees. Other causes can include organisms like dust mites18 or mold. Chemicals, plants and dead skin particles from animals can cause an allergic reaction. So can insect bites, some foods and changes in temperature.

The most common kind of allergic reaction is itchy, watery19 eyes and a blocked or watery nose. Allergies can cause red, itchy skin. Some reactions can be life-threatening; for example, when breathing passages become blocked.

The most common cause of allergies is pollen from flowering plants and trees.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Springtime can be beautiful in the southeastern United States. Every tree and plant seems to be flowering. But all that beauty comes at a heavy price. The state of Tennessee has been called one of the worst places in the country to live if you suffer from seasonal allergies. The reason is its climate and vegetation.

Bruce Lyon, a physical trainer, is in great physical shape. However, all his strength and energy seems to melt away when spring arrives.

BRUCE LYON: “This is the saddest thing. On the most beautiful days, especially when the spring starts around and you’re ready to get out and do something. Then I’m so tired I didn’t even feel like getting out and doing anything. I felt like, I think I’m going to go back home and sleep.”

FAITH LAPIDUS: It is hard to believe that something as small as a grain of pollen can cause so much suffering. But the effect can be overwhelming. Allergist Burt Wolf says this year was worse than usual.

BURT WOLF: “I mean we don’t even need a calendar for a certain segment of our patient population. We know when allergy season begins for them and how it affects them. But this year many of our patients were calling two or three weeks earlier.”

FAITH LAPIDUS: Doctor Wolf believes rising temperatures in Earth’s atmosphere may be responsible.

BURT WOLF: “Increased temperature to a certain degree and also increased CO2, or so-called greenhouse effect. These thing, in some studies, have shown to increase pollen over the last decades, sixty to ninety percent.”

FAITH LAPIDUS: Allergies cannot be cured but the physical reactions can be treated. Doctor Wolf says several new medicines have reached the market in recent years and allergy injections often work for more severe cases.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Like many people, animals are getting fatter. At least that is the finding of a report in the British publication, Proceedings20 of the Royal Society B. David Allison of the University of Alabama at Birmingham wrote the report.

Weight gain is often blamed on too much fatty food and too little exercise. But Professor Allison and his research team say there may be reasons other than these traditional ones.

The researchers studied body weight changes in more than twenty thousand animals. The animals came from twenty-four populations of eight different species, or groups, across North America.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Each animal was said to be in early middle age for its species. Yann Klimentidis worked on the study with David Allison. Mr. Klimentidis said they considered animals with at least two body weight measurements in the past sixty years. At least one measurement was made in the last half of the twentieth century. One exception was non-laboratory rats. Their body weight was first measured in nineteen forty-eight.

FAITH LAPIDUS: The study involved creatures as different as large animals in research centers and rats living free around Baltimore, Maryland. All the animals demonstrated major gains in average body weight over ten-year periods.

For example, chimpanzees in captivity21 showed a thirty-three percent increase in weight each decade. Laboratory marmosets increased weight at a rate of nine percent per ten-year period. Laboratory mice became fatter at a rate of ten percent. And laboratory rats increased at a three-percent rate.

The study also showed that pet animals are fatter. The average house cat weighed almost ten percent more each decade. Dogs’ weight increased at a rate of three percent.

BOB DOUGHTY: A virus called AD36 could be involved in the gain. Its presence has been connected to obesity22 in adults. And the team says changes in time spent in light or dark environments influences eating habits.

David Allison says earlier studies found that light differences may be part of the reason for fatter animals. For example, one kind of animal -- the lemming – experiences body weight changes at different times of the year.

DAVID ALLISON: “We know that light affects weight gain in species like lemmings that gain and lose a great deal of weight in different times of the year, when there is much sunlight versus23 little sunlight. That is the natural thing for them. So our brains are responsive to light and in ways that relate to body weight.”

BOB DOUGHTY: David Allison says changes in environmental temperature affect weight in both people and animals. The body produces more energy to keep itself warm in the cold. But it produces less energy to cool itself in heat.

DAVID ALLISON: “That all other things being equal, if you put a warm-blooded species like humans or mice or dogs into a colder environment, then they will need to expend24 more energy to maintain their body temperature. And so, being in a cold environment increases energy expenditure25, and if you eat the exact same amount, will lead to lesser26 body weight. Being in a warmer environment, up to a point, will lead to decreased energy expenditure and therefore, at the same amount of food intake27, weight gain.”

BOB DOUGHTY: Yann Klimentidis says knowing causes of weight gain in animals may help researchers as they deal with overweight human beings.

(MUSIC)

FAITH LAPIDUS: This SCIENCE IN THE NEWS was written by Avi Arditti, Brianna Blake and Jerilyn Watson. Our producer was June Simms. I’m Faith Lapidus.

BOB DOUGHTY: And I’m Bob Doughty. Listen again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 doughty Jk5zg     
adj.勇猛的,坚强的
参考例句:
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
2 allergic 4xozJ     
adj.过敏的,变态的
参考例句:
  • Alice is allergic to the fur of cats.艾丽斯对猫的皮毛过敏。
  • Many people are allergic to airborne pollutants such as pollen.许多人对空气传播的污染物过敏,比如花粉。
3 investigation MRKzq     
n.调查,调查研究
参考例句:
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
4 disorder Et1x4     
n.紊乱,混乱;骚动,骚乱;疾病,失调
参考例句:
  • When returning back,he discovered the room to be in disorder.回家后,他发现屋子里乱七八糟。
  • It contained a vast number of letters in great disorder.里面七零八落地装着许多信件。
5 disorders 6e49dcafe3638183c823d3aa5b12b010     
n.混乱( disorder的名词复数 );凌乱;骚乱;(身心、机能)失调
参考例句:
  • Reports of anorexia and other eating disorders are on the increase. 据报告,厌食症和其他饮食方面的功能紊乱发生率正在不断增长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The announcement led to violent civil disorders. 这项宣布引起剧烈的骚乱。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 resonance hBazC     
n.洪亮;共鸣;共振
参考例句:
  • Playing the piano sets up resonance in those glass ornaments.一弹钢琴那些玻璃饰物就会产生共振。
  • The areas under the two resonance envelopes are unequal.两个共振峰下面的面积是不相等的。
7 structural itXw5     
adj.构造的,组织的,建筑(用)的
参考例句:
  • The storm caused no structural damage.风暴没有造成建筑结构方面的破坏。
  • The North American continent is made up of three great structural entities.北美大陆是由三个构造单元组成的。
8 Celsius AXRzl     
adj.摄氏温度计的,摄氏的
参考例句:
  • The temperature tonight will fall to seven degrees Celsius.今晚气温将下降到七摄氏度。
  • The maximum temperature in July may be 36 degrees Celsius.七月份最高温度可能达到36摄氏度。
9 diffusion dl4zm     
n.流布;普及;散漫
参考例句:
  • The invention of printing helped the diffusion of learning.印刷术的发明有助于知识的传播。
  • The effect of the diffusion capacitance can be troublesome.扩散电容会引起麻烦。
10 microscopic nDrxq     
adj.微小的,细微的,极小的,显微的
参考例句:
  • It's impossible to read his microscopic handwriting.不可能看清他那极小的书写字迹。
  • A plant's lungs are the microscopic pores in its leaves.植物的肺就是其叶片上微细的气孔。
11 fibers 421d63991f1d1fc8826d6e71d5e15f53     
光纤( fiber的名词复数 ); (织物的)质地; 纤维,纤维物质
参考例句:
  • Thesolution of collagen-PVA was wet spined with the sodium sulfate as coagulant and collagen-PVA composite fibers were prepared. 在此基础上,以硫酸钠为凝固剂,对胶原-PVA共混溶液进行湿法纺丝,制备了胶原-PVA复合纤维。
  • Sympathetic fibers are distributed to all regions of the heart. 交感神经纤维分布于心脏的所有部分。
12 tangle yIQzn     
n.纠缠;缠结;混乱;v.(使)缠绕;变乱
参考例句:
  • I shouldn't tangle with Peter.He is bigger than me.我不应该与彼特吵架。他的块头比我大。
  • If I were you, I wouldn't tangle with them.我要是你,我就不跟他们争吵。
13 tangled e487ee1bc1477d6c2828d91e94c01c6e     
adj. 纠缠的,紊乱的 动词tangle的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • Your hair's so tangled that I can't comb it. 你的头发太乱了,我梳不动。
  • A movement caught his eye in the tangled undergrowth. 乱灌木丛里的晃动引起了他的注意。
14 seasonal LZ1xE     
adj.季节的,季节性的
参考例句:
  • The town relies on the seasonal tourist industry for jobs.这个城镇依靠季节性旅游业提供就业机会。
  • The hors d'oeuvre is seasonal vegetables.餐前小吃是应时蔬菜。
15 allergies 2c527dd68e63f119442f4352f2a0b950     
n.[医]过敏症;[口]厌恶,反感;(对食物、花粉、虫咬等的)过敏症( allergy的名词复数 );变态反应,变应性
参考例句:
  • Food allergies can result in an enormous variety of different symptoms. 食物过敏会引发很多不同的症状。 来自辞典例句
  • Let us, however, examine one of the most common allergies; hayfever. 现在让我们来看看最常见的变态反应的一种--枯草热。 来自辞典例句
16 allergy 8Vpza     
n.(因食物、药物等而引起的)过敏症
参考例句:
  • He developed an allergy to pollen.他对花粉过敏。
  • The patient had an allergy to penicillin.该患者对青霉素过敏。
17 pollen h1Uzz     
n.[植]花粉
参考例句:
  • Hummingbirds have discovered that nectar and pollen are very nutritious.蜂鸟发现花蜜和花粉是很有营养的。
  • He developed an allergy to pollen.他对花粉过敏。
18 mites d5df57c25d6a534a9cab886a451cde43     
n.(尤指令人怜悯的)小孩( mite的名词复数 );一点点;一文钱;螨
参考例句:
  • The only discovered animals are water bears, mites, microscopic rotifers. 能够发现的动物只有海蜘蛛、螨和微小的轮虫。 来自辞典例句
  • Mites are frequently found on eggs. 螨会经常出现在蛋上。 来自辞典例句
19 watery bU5zW     
adj.有水的,水汪汪的;湿的,湿润的
参考例句:
  • In his watery eyes there is an expression of distrust.他那含泪的眼睛流露出惊惶失措的神情。
  • Her eyes became watery because of the smoke.因为烟熏,她的双眼变得泪汪汪的。
20 proceedings Wk2zvX     
n.进程,过程,议程;诉讼(程序);公报
参考例句:
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
21 captivity qrJzv     
n.囚禁;被俘;束缚
参考例句:
  • A zoo is a place where live animals are kept in captivity for the public to see.动物园是圈养动物以供公众观看的场所。
  • He was held in captivity for three years.他被囚禁叁年。
22 obesity Dv1ya     
n.肥胖,肥大
参考例句:
  • One effect of overeating may be obesity.吃得过多能导致肥胖。
  • Sugar and fat can more easily lead to obesity than some other foods.糖和脂肪比其他食物更容易导致肥胖。
23 versus wi7wU     
prep.以…为对手,对;与…相比之下
参考例句:
  • The big match tonight is England versus Spain.今晚的大赛是英格兰对西班牙。
  • The most exciting game was Harvard versus Yale.最富紧张刺激的球赛是哈佛队对耶鲁队。
24 expend Fmwx6     
vt.花费,消费,消耗
参考例句:
  • Don't expend all your time on such a useless job.不要把时间消耗在这种无用的工作上。
  • They expend all their strength in trying to climb out.他们费尽全力想爬出来。
25 expenditure XPbzM     
n.(时间、劳力、金钱等)支出;使用,消耗
参考例句:
  • The entry of all expenditure is necessary.有必要把一切开支入账。
  • The monthly expenditure of our family is four hundred dollars altogether.我们一家的开销每月共计四百元。
26 lesser UpxzJL     
adj.次要的,较小的;adv.较小地,较少地
参考例句:
  • Kept some of the lesser players out.不让那些次要的球员参加联赛。
  • She has also been affected,but to a lesser degree.她也受到波及,但程度较轻。
27 intake 44cyQ     
n.吸入,纳入;进气口,入口
参考例句:
  • Reduce your salt intake.减少盐的摄入量。
  • There was a horrified intake of breath from every child.所有的孩子都害怕地倒抽了一口凉气。
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