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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Researchers Use Brain Cells to Control Aging in Mice

更新时间:2017/8/28 9:24:25 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

It is a question people have been asking for—well-- ages. Is there a way to turn back the aging process in people?

这是人们一直在追问的一个问题 - 衰老。有没有办法扭转衰老过程呢?

For centuries, people have been looking for a “fountain of youth.” The idea is that if you find a magical fountain, and drink from its waters, you will not age.

几个世纪以来,人们一直在寻找“不老泉。”其观点是,如果你找到一处神奇的泉水,喝了这里的水,你就不会变老。

Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León searched for waters with magical powers in the early 1500s. But what he found instead is the American state of Florida.

西班牙探险家胡安·庞塞·德莱昂(Juan Ponce de León)在16世纪初寻找具有魔力的水。但是他却发现了美国佛罗里达州。

Researchers in New York did not find an actual fountain of youth, but they may have found a way to turn back the aging process. It appears the answer may be hidden right between your eyes, in an area called the hypothalamus.

纽约的研究人员并没有找到真正的不老泉,但是他们可能已经找到了一种扭转衰老过程的办法。看起来答案可能就藏在你的两眼之间一处被称为下丘脑的地方。

The hypothalamus is part of your brain. It controls important activities within the body. They include growth, reproduction and the way we process food.

下丘脑是人类大脑的一部分。它控制着身体的一些重要活动,例如生长、繁殖以及如何处理食物。

Researchers at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that hypothalamus neural stem cells also influence how fast aging takes place in the body.

纽约爱因斯坦医学院的研究人员发现,下丘脑的神经干细胞还会影响身体的衰老速度。

What are stem cells? They are simple cells that can develop into specialized cells, like blood or skin cells. Stem cells can also repair damaged tissues and organs.

什么是干细胞?它们是一些可以发育成血液和皮肤细胞等特殊细胞的简单细胞。干细胞还能修复受损的组织和器官。

Dongsheng Cai is a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was the lead researcher in a study on aging in mice. He and his team reported their findings in the journal Nature.

蔡东升是爱因斯坦医学院的一名教授。他是这项针对老鼠衰老的研究的首席研究员。他和他的团队在《自然》杂志上报告了他们的发现。

Cai explains what they found.

蔡教授解释了他们的发现。

"Aging speed is controlled, can be controlled by a particular place in the body, which is the hypothalamus. And it can be controlled by a particular type of cells, which are hypothalamus stem cells. I think these findings are quite interesting, potentially even remarkable."

他说:“衰老速度受到了身体中一个特定位置也就是下丘脑的控制。它可以通过一种特定类型的细胞来控制,这些细胞就是下丘脑干细胞。我认为这些发现非常有趣,甚至可能是意义非凡的。”

He adds that when the hypothalamus starts aging, so does the body.

他补充说,当下丘脑开始衰老时,身体也跟着衰老。

"So when hypothalamus function is in decline, particularly the loss of hypothalamus stem cells, and this protection against the aging development is lost, it eventually leads to aging."

“所以当下丘脑功能下降,特别是失去下丘脑干细胞时,这种对抗衰老的保护就失去了,它最终会导致衰老。”

Using this information, the researchers began trying to activate, or energize, the hypothalamus in laboratory mice. They did this by injecting the animals with stem cells.

利用这些信息,研究人员开始尝试激活实验室小白鼠的下丘脑。他们通过给这种动物注射干细胞来实现这个目的。

Later, the researchers examined tissues and tested for changes in behavior. They looked for changes in the strength and coordination of the animals’ muscles. They also studied the social behavior and cognitive ability of the mice.

随后,研究人员检查了小白鼠的组织,并检测了它的行为变化。他们研究了这种动物的肌肉力量和协调的变化,还研究了它的社会行为和认知能力。

The researchers say the results show that the treatment slowed aging in the animals.

研究人员表示,研究结果表明,这种治疗延缓了小鼠的衰老。

Cai says injecting middle-aged mice with stem cells from younger mice helped the older animals live longer.

蔡教授表示,给中年小白鼠注射来自年轻小白鼠的干细胞有助于这只年龄更大的小白鼠活得更久。

"When we injected the hypothalamus stem cells, which were derived from young mice, we injected them to the middle-aged mice and that was, in fact, to slow down aging. So the mouse aged slowly and they also have increased their lifespan, which is longevity."

“当我们给中年小白鼠注射了来自年轻小白鼠的下丘脑干细胞时,实际上就延缓了它的衰老。因此这只老鼠缓慢地衰老,它们的寿命变长了,这就是长寿。”

But these results were just from studying mice in a laboratory. If the mice can live longer, does that mean people could have longer lives? The next step is to see if the anti-aging effects also work in human beings.

但是这些结果只是来自研究实验室小白鼠。如果这种小白鼠可以活得更久,是否意味着人类也能长寿呢?研究的下一步就是看看这种抗衰老作用是否也适用于人类。

"If we can translate what we have seen in animals to humans, I think humans, they can function better during later ages, later stage of aging."

“如果我们能将这些在动物身上的发现转化到人类身上,我认为人类在老年时期可以更好地发挥作用。”

Cai and his team say their studies may have other benefits. They say the findings could lead to new ways to help doctors identify and treat any number of age-related health issues.

蔡教授及其团队表示,他们的研究可能还有其它益处。他们表示,研究结果可能导致产生新的办法,来帮助医生诊断和治疗许多跟年龄相关的健康问题。

I’m Anne Ball.

Words in This Story

fountain – n. a device or structure that sends a stream of water into the air in a garden, park, etc

neural – adj. of, relating to, or involving a nerve or the nervous system

remarkable – adj. unusual or surprising : likely to be noticed

function – n. the job or duty of a person

coordination – n. the process of organizing people or groups so that they work together properly and well

cognitive – adj. of, relating to, or involving conscious mental activities (such as thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering)

benefit – n. a good or helpful result or effect

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