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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Scientists Produce Gene-Edited Chickens to Stop Spread of Flu Virus

更新时间:2019/1/27 8:07:34 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

British scientists are developing gene-edited chickens designed to be fully resistant to the influenza, or flu virus.

英国科学家正在培育经过基因编辑、可以完全抵抗禽流感的雏鸡。

Wendy Barclay is one of the leaders of the gene-editing project. She is a professor of virology at Imperial College London. She said the first chickens will be born later this year at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

温迪·巴克利(Wendy Barclay)是这项基因编辑项目的领导者之一。她是伦敦帝国理工学院的一名病毒学教授。她说,第一只(经过基因编辑的)雏鸡将于今年年底在苏格兰爱丁堡大学的罗斯林研究所孵化出来。

The scientists are using a new gene-editing technology known as CRISPR to change the birds’ DNA. The scientists removed parts of a protein on which the flu virus normally depends. That makes the chickens completely flu-resistant.

科学家们采用一项名为CRISPR的基因编辑技术来修改这种家禽的DNA,他们去除了流感病毒所依赖的蛋白质部分,这使得这些鸡可以彻底抵抗流感。

Barclay said the idea is to produce birds that cannot get the flu and would form, in her words, a “buffer between wild birds and humans.”

巴克利表示,其目标是孵出不会感染流感的家禽,用她的话来说就是,“在野生鸟类和人类之间形成缓冲。”

Health experts say the threat of a human flu pandemic is one of their biggest concerns.

卫生专家表示,人类流感大爆发的威胁是他们最大的担忧之一。

About 500,000 people died worldwide in the last large flu outbreak in 2009 and 2010. The historic 1918 Spanish flu killed around 50 million people.

2009年和2010年的最近一场大流感疫情造成了全球大约50万人死亡。历史上1918年西班牙流感造成了大约5千万人死亡。

The greatest fear now is that a deadly form of flu could spread from wild birds into poultry and then into humans. The virus could then become an airborne form that can pass easily between people.

现在最大的担忧是某种致命流感从野生鸟类传播到家禽,进而传播给人类。然后这种病毒变异成一种可以在人与人之间通过空气轻松传播的形态。

“If we could prevent influenza virus crossing from wild birds into chickens, we would stop the next pandemic…” said Barclay.

巴克利表示:“如果我们能够阻止流感病毒从野生鸟类传播到鸡群,我们就能阻止下一场流感大爆发。”

Barclay’s team of scientists published their research in the journal Nature in 2016. They found that a gene present in chickens makes a protein that all flu viruses depend on to infect a host. Tests of cells created to not have the gene showed they cannot be infected with flu.

巴克利的科学家团队在2016年的《自然》杂志上发表了他们的研究成果。他们发现,鸡身上存在的一种基因可以让流感病毒依赖的蛋白质感染宿主。对创造出来不含该基因的细胞进行的测试表明它们不会感染流感病毒。

Barclay said the plan is to use CRISPR to edit the chickens’ DNA so that only one part of the protein is changed. The rest of the bird would be exactly the same as it was before.

巴克利表示,他们计划利用CRISPR来编辑鸡的DNA,这样就只改变这种蛋白质的一个部分,其它的蛋白质将维持不变。

Barclay said poultry producers may have concerns about the public’s opinions of gene-edited food. She said that people have been eating food from farmed animals that have been changed over many years by traditional breeding.

巴克利表示,家禽生产商可能会担心公众对基因编辑食物的看法。她说人们一直食用的养殖动物也经过了多年传统育种的改变。

But she added, “They might be nervous about eating gene-edited food.”

但是她补充说,“他们可能会对食用基因编辑食物感到紧张。”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

Words in this Story

pandemic – n. an occurrence in which a disease spreads very quickly and affects a large number of people over a wide area or throughout the world

poultry – n. birds such as chickens and ducks that are raised on farms for their eggs or meat

buffer – n. something that gives protection by separating things; a protective barrier

journal – n. a magazine that reports on things of special interest to a particular group of people

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