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VOA慢速英语:中国科学家宣称创造出首批基因改造婴儿

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2018年11月27日

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Chinese Scientist Claims First Gene Edited Babies

中国科学家宣称创造出首批基因改造婴儿

A Chinese scientist claims he successfully created the world's first genetically-edited babies.

一位中国科学家宣称自己成功创造了世界上第一批经过基因编辑的婴儿。

Chinese researcher He Jiankui made the claim in interviews with the Associated Press. He also spoke about his research with organizers of an international conference on gene editing in Hong Kong, the AP reported.

中国研究人员贺建奎在接受美联社采访时发表了上述声明。据美联社报道,他还跟香港一场基因编辑国际会议的组织者谈到了他的研究。

He is a research professor at China's Southern University of Science and Technology in the southern city of Shenzhen.

贺建奎是位于南方城市深圳的中国南方科技大学的一名研究教授。

He said he had edited the genetic substance, or DNA, of twin girls born a few weeks ago. There was no independent confirmation of He's work and he did not provide written documentation of his research. Many scientists working in genetics say they believe such experimentation is dangerous.

他声称自己编辑了几周前出生的一对双胞胎女婴的DNA。目前尚未能对贺建奎的工作进行独立确认,他也没有提供这项研究的书面文档。很多从事遗传学工作的科学家都表示,他们认为这种实验非常危险。

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He's claims were immediately condemned by some scientists as unsafe and unethical. This kind of gene editing is banned in the United States and many other countries. Such changes to a person's DNA can pass to future generations and risks harming other genes.

一些科学家对贺建奎的声明发出谴责,称这是不安全和不道德的。这种基因编辑在美国和其它很多国家都被禁止。人类DNA的这种改造可以传递给后代,并且有可能会危害其它基因。

In interviews, He Jiankui defended his work. He said he had performed the gene editing to help protect the babies from future infection of HIV, the virus responsible for the disease AIDS. He said the process had "worked safely" and the twin girls were "as healthy as any other babies."

贺建奎在采访中为自己的工作进行了辩解。他说,他已经进行了这项基因编辑工作,以帮助婴儿免受艾滋病毒的感染。艾滋病毒会导致艾滋病。他说,这一过程“安全有效”,这对双胞胎女婴“像其他婴儿一样健康。”

He told the AP he felt a strong responsibility "not just to make a first, but also to make an example" for future research. "Society will decide what to do next," he said.

贺建奎对美联社表示,他感觉有责任“不仅要迈出第一步,还要为未来的研究做出榜样。”他说:“社会会决定下一步该怎么做。”

China to investigate He's activity

中国调查贺建奎的行为

He had studied in the past at Rice and Stanford universities in the United States. He then returned to his homeland China to open a laboratory at Southern University of Science and Technology.

贺建奎过去曾经在美国的赖斯大学以及斯坦福大学深造。然后他回到了自己的祖国,并在中国南方科技大学开设了一个实验室。

When He's claims became public, the university issued a statement saying his work had "seriously violated academic ethics and standards." University officials said they had no knowledge of his research and had launched an investigation. A university spokesman said the professor had been on a break from teaching since early this year. But he remains an employee and still works in the laboratory.

当贺建奎的言论公之于众时,中国南方科技大学日报声明称,他的工作“严重违反了学术伦理规范。”大学官员声称对他的研究不知情,并已经对此展开调查。一位大学发言人表示,自今年年初以来,该教授一直暂停教学,但他仍然是该大学的员工,仍然在该实验室工作。

China's National Health Commission said it was "highly concerned" about the claims and ordered local health officials "to immediately investigate" He's activity. "We have to be responsible for the people's health and will act on this according to the law," the commission said in a statement.

中国国家卫生健康委员会表示对此高度重视,并已下令当地卫生官员立即对贺建奎的行为展开调查。该委员会表示:“我们必须对人民的健康负责,并将依法采取行动。”

Limited use of gene-editing

基因编辑的有限应用

Scientists discovered in recent years a new way to edit genes that make up a person's DNA throughout the body. The tool, called CRISPR-cas9, makes it possible to change DNA to supply a needed gene or take one away that is causing problems.

科学家们近年来发现了一种新方法,可以用于编辑构成人体DNA的基因。这种名为CRISPR-cas9的工具使得改造DNA提供所需基因或是去掉某种致病基因成为可能。

So far the tool has only been used on adults to treat deadly diseases, and the changes only affected that person. Editing sperm, eggs or embryos is different because such changes can be passed down. In the U.S., the process is only permitted for lab research. China bans human cloning, but not specifically gene editing.

截至目前为止,该工具仅用于成年人治疗致命疾病,并且这种改造只会影响本人。编辑精子、卵子或是胚胎则有所不同,因为这种改造可以遗传。在美国,该过程仅允许进行实验室研究。中国禁止人类克隆,但是并未具体针对基因编辑。

Kiran Musunuru is a University of Pennsylvania gene editing expert and editor of a genetics journal. He told the Associated Press that if such an experiment had been carried out on human beings, it could not be "morally or ethically defensible."

Kiran Musunuru是宾夕法尼亚大学的基因编辑专家,也是一位遗传学期刊编辑。他对美联社表示,如果在人类进行这种实验,在道德和伦理上就站不住脚。

Julian Savulescu, a medical ethics expert at Britain's University of Oxford, agreed. "If true, this experiment is monstrous," he told Reuters.

牛津大学医学伦理专家Julian Savulescu表示认同。他说:“如果事实如此,那这个实验也太可怕了。”

However, one well-known geneticist, Harvard University's George Church, defended the attempt to edit genes to prevent infections of HIV. He told the AP that since HIV is "a major and growing public health threat" he finds such experiments "justifiable."

然而,哈佛大学一位著名的遗传学专家George Church对编辑基因防止艾滋病感染的尝试进行了辩护。他对美联社表示,既然艾滋病毒是“一种主要的、而且不断增长的公共卫生威胁,”他认为这种实验“合情合理。”

I'm Anna Mateo.

安娜·马特奥报道。

A Chinese scientist claims he successfully created the world’s first genetically-edited babies.

Chinese researcher He Jiankui made the claim in interviews with the Associated Press. He also spoke about his research with organizers of an international conference on gene editing in Hong Kong, the AP reported.

He is a research professor at China’s Southern University of Science and Technology in the southern city of Shenzhen.

He said he had edited the genetic substance, or DNA, of twin girls born a few weeks ago. There was no independent confirmation of He’s work and he did not provide written documentation of his research. Many scientists working in genetics say they believe such experimentation is dangerous.

He’s claims were immediately condemned by some scientists as unsafe and unethical. This kind of gene editing is banned in the United States and many other countries. Such changes to a person’s DNA can pass to future generations and risks harming other genes.

In interviews, He Jiankui defended his work. He said he had performed the gene editing to help protect the babies from future infection of HIV, the virus responsible for the disease AIDS. He said the process had “worked safely” and the twin girls were “as healthy as any other babies.”

He told the AP he felt a strong responsibility “not just to make a first, but also to make an example” for future research. “Society will decide what to do next,” he said.

China to investigate He’s activity

He had studied in the past at Rice and Stanford universities in the United States. He then returned to his homeland China to open a laboratory at Southern University of Science and Technology.

When He’s claims became public, the university issued a statement saying his work had “seriously violated academic ethics and standards.” University officials said they had no knowledge of his research and had launched an investigation. A university spokesman said the professor had been on a break from teaching since early this year. But he remains an employee and still works in the laboratory.

China’s National Health Commission said it was “highly concerned” about the claims and ordered local health officials “to immediately investigate” He’s activity. “We have to be responsible for the people’s health and will act on this according to the law,” the commission said in a statement.

Limited use of gene-editing

Scientists discovered in recent years a new way to edit genes that make up a person’s DNA throughout the body. The tool, called CRISPR-cas9, makes it possible to change DNA to supply a needed gene or take one away that is causing problems.

So far the tool has only been used on adults to treat deadly diseases, and the changes only affected that person. Editing sperm, eggs or embryos is different because such changes can be passed down. In the U.S., the process is only permitted for lab research. China bans human cloning, but not specifically gene editing.

Kiran Musunuru is a University of Pennsylvania gene editing expert and editor of a genetics journal. He told the Associated Press that if such an experiment had been carried out on human beings, it could not be “morally or ethically defensible.”

Julian Savulescu, a medical ethics expert at Britain’s University of Oxford, agreed. “If true, this experiment is monstrous,” he told Reuters.

However, one well-known geneticist, Harvard University’s George Church, defended the attempt to edit genes to prevent infections of HIV. He told the AP that since HIV is “a major and growing public health threat” he finds such experiments “justifiable.”

I’m Anna Mateo.

_______________________________________________________

Words in This Story

unethical – adj.morally bad

standard – n.level of quality considered acceptable

sperm – n.male reproductive fluid

clone – v.an exact copy of a plant or animal made by scientists removing one of its cells

justifiable – adj.having a good reason

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