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【科学新闻】科学家希望冷冻生物DNA Scientists want to freeze biological DNA

来源:慢速英语   时间:2020-01-11 15:45:58

Earth is in the middle of its sixth mass extinction.The last such event took place 66 million years ago,when an asteroid–a huge space rock–-hit our planet.The asteroid strike killed off dinosaurs and almost everything else.


地球正处于第六次大灭绝的中期。上一次这样的事件发生在6600万年前,当时一颗小行星——一块巨大的太空岩石——撞击了我们的星球。小行星的撞击杀死了恐龙和其他几乎所有的生物。


Now,scientists are in a race against time to classify-–organize into groups-–the estimated 11 million species alive today.Yet only about two million species are known to science.Researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name.


现在,科学家们正与时间赛跑,把今天估计有1100万种存活的物种分类——组织成一组。然而,科学界所知的物种只有大约200万种。研究人员担心,很多人甚至还没有名字就消失了。


The United States Botanic Garden has launched a field project with a really big goal.Vicki Funk,a botanist with the Smithsonian Institution,explains.


美国植物园已经启动了一个非常大的目标领域项目。史密森学会的植物学家维姬·芬克解释说。


"We are trying to get about half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years."


“我们正试图在两年内获得地球上植物物种多样性的一半。”

The effort is part of what Smithsonian officials are calling the Global Genome Initiative.Its goal is to classify 50 percent of all plant species.Vicki Funk admits it seems like a huge project,but says the Botanic Garden is a great place to start.


这项努力是史密森官方称之为全球基因组计划的一部分。它的目标是对所有植物物种的50%进行分类。Vicki Funk承认这看起来是一个巨大的项目,但是他说植物园是一个很好的开始。


"Because if you look around you,you see all kinds of plants from all over the world growing right next to one another.So instead of going to Madagascar to get a plant and Hawaii to get a plant,you can get them in rooms that are adjacent to one another."


“因为如果你环顾四周,你会看到来自世界各地的各种植物彼此毗邻生长。所以,与其去马达加斯加买植物,夏威夷买植物,不如把它们放在彼此相邻的房间里。”


Many of the species are already growing in botanic gardens–places known for their collections of rare or endangered plants.The aim is to set up a program to classify plants at 36 partner organizations in 17 countries.


许多物种已经在植物园里生长,那里以珍稀或濒危植物的收集而闻名。目的是建立一个计划,在17个国家的36个合作组织对工厂进行分类。


One recent day in Washington,Vicki Funk performed a test-run on a long-stemmed pink flower called Sabatia.She took pictures of the plant.She then put one piece into silica gel,and dropped another piece into liquid nitrogen,where it is frozen.Next,she removed the flower and pressed it in a plant book for a museum collection.


最近一天在华盛顿,维姬·芬克在一种名为萨巴蒂亚的长茎粉红色花朵上进行了一次测试。她给植物拍照。然后她把一块放进硅胶里,另一块放进液氮里冷冻。接着,她把花摘下来,压在一本植物册里,准备收藏。


"The plants are placed between these corrugates(corrugated cardboard)that have holes in them and when we get the press back we put it into a dryer that blows hot air through it and overnight it will turn it into a beautiful specimen.Usually it saves the color.It looks very nice."


“这些植物被放置在这些有孔的瓦楞纸板(瓦楞纸板)之间,当我们拿回压榨机时,我们把它们放进一个吹风机,吹入热空气,一夜之间,它就会变成一个美丽的标本。通常它会保存颜色。它看起来很漂亮。”


All the plants are numbered and linked in a computer database with the frozen pieces.These specimens are sent to the Smithsonian Institute's Genomics Laboratory for studies of their genetic material.Jonathan Coddington directs the Genome Initiative at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History.He says the project is on target to gather samples from all 10,000 plant and animal families,and half the genera in those families,within five years.


所有的植物都有编号,并在计算机数据库中与冷冻的植物联系起来。这些标本被送往史密森学会的基因组学实验室,以研究它们的遗传物质。乔纳森·科丁顿在史密森尼自然历史博物馆领导基因组计划。他说,该项目的目标是在五年内从所有10000个动植物科以及其中一半的属中采集样本。


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