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[翻译]新闻传真 - 黑猩猩可以识别其他动物的情绪

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-10-30 12:30:41

Hello there, and welcome to As It Is from VOA Learning English!

I’m Christopher Cruise in Washington.

Today we have news -- a lotof news -- about chimpanzees.

A new study has found that as chimpanzees grow, they can recognize emotions in other creatures, including human beings! We will hear from one of the researchers who led the study, which involved the act of yawning.


“Some people have looked at adult chimps and have shown them cartoons of other chimps yawning, and that sets off their yawning as well. The stimulus -- the yawn stimulus -- can be very simple and still set off a yawn.”


Also today, we hear about a study earlier this year that showed chimpanzees, like people, share a sense of fair play.


And we report on plans by America’s National Institutes of Health to end medical research on most of the chimps it owns.


“Americans have benefited greatly from the chimpanzees’ service to biomedical research, but new scientific methods and technologies have rendered their use in research largely unnecessary.”


Finally, we have a report on a new study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda. Researchers found the animals used warning sounds in the same way as humans!


It’s all about chimps today on As It Is, VOA’s daily show for people learning American English.

Chimps Respond to Human Yawning


A new report says as chimpanzees grow, they increase their ability for empathy -- the ability to recognize emotions in others. Researchers say they learned this by watching some chimps yawn when they see people yawn. Yawning involves opening the mouth while taking a long, deep breath of air. This is usually done when someone is tired or sleepy.


The lead researcher in the study was Elaine Madsen at Lund University in Sweden. She and her team studied 33 orphaned chimpanzees at a wildlife area in the West African nation of Sierra Leone. All of the chimps were between the ages of 13 months old and eight years old. VOA asked Ms. Madsen why she and her team studied contagious yawning.

瑞典隆德大学的 Elaine Madsen 是该研究的主要研究人员。她和她的团队在西非国家塞拉利昂的野外研究了 33 只黑猩猩孤儿。这些黑猩猩的年龄都在 13 个月到 8 岁之间。VOA 询问了 Madsen 女士她和她的团队为什么要研究哈欠传染。

“I don’t know. It’s a really peculiar effect. It’s such a small thing, but that nonetheless most of us experience. Most of us when we see or hear others yawn or just think about yawning or read about yawning then we ourselves begin to yawn. So it’s something that most people are familiar with.”


In humans, children begin to yawn when they see other people yawn starting at about the age of four years. This shows they are beginning to develop empathy. This yawning response -- or “yawn contagion” -- is strongest between people who know each other well.

在人类中,儿童从 4 岁开始会在看到别人打哈欠的时候打哈欠。这表明他们的共感开始发育了。这种哈欠反应——或“哈欠传染”——在相互熟知的人群中更明显。

Elaine Madsen and her team had the chimps watch them as they yawned, opened and closed their mouths in make-believe yawns, and rubbed their noses. The chimps only responded to the yawning, and only if they were at least five years old. Younger animals showed no sign of contagious yawning. So it appeared that empathy develops over the first few years of life.

Elaine Madsen 和她的团队让猩猩观察他们打哈欠、假装打哈欠地张嘴、闭嘴,以及擦鼻子。黑猩猩仅对哈欠有反应,而且必须要在 5 岁以上。更年幼的猩猩没有哈欠传染的迹象。因此,共感似乎是在出生几年之后才发育的。

“Some people have looked at adult chimps and have shown them cartoons of other chimps yawning and that sets off their yawning as well. The stimulus, the yawn stimulus, can be very simple and still set off a yawn. We seem to have this very strong inclination to copy the yawn, whether it’s from a cartoon, whether it’s another human that the animal sees. I also catch their yawns. It also works the other way around. So very simple stimulus can make us yawn.”


​Chimps and Humans Said to Share a Sense of Fair Play


Scientists already know that chimpanzees are the animals with genes most like human beings. But scientists now say chimps and humans share a quality once thought to be seen only in people: a sense of fairness.


The finding comes from researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. They had chimpanzees play a game they called “Ultimatum.” A chimp would be given a choice. He could either share food with a group of chimpanzees or keep more food for himself.


The researchers say the chimps shared as much food as a group of young children did in a similar experiment.


The researchers wrote about their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They say the results could help us understand how human behavior evolved over time.


US to Retire Most Chimps from Medical Research


The United States National Institutes of Health plans to end most biomedical research on chimpanzees over the next few years. The NIH will send about 310 chimps to wildlife sanctuaries -- places where they will be cared for. Fifty others will be kept available for important medical studies that could not be performed any other way.

美国国家卫生研究所计划要在未来几年终止对大多数针对黑猩猩的生物医学研究。NIH 要将约 310 只黑猩猩送回野生自然保护区——在那里他们可以得到照顾。另外 50 只将留下来用作重要的无法采用其他方法的医学研究。

NIH Director Francis Collins announced the decision earlier this year. He said that chimpanzees “deserve special consideration.” He added, “I am confident that greatly reducing their use in biomedical research is scientifically sound and the right thing to do.”

NIH 主任 Francis Collins 在今年早些时候公布了这个决定。他说,黑猩猩“应该得到特别关注”。他补充道,“我确信,极大地减少它们在生物医学研究中的使用是科学合理的、正确的事情。”

“Americans have benefited greatly from the chimpanzees’ service to biomedical research, but new scientific methods and technologies have rendered their use in research largely unnecessary.”


The announcement came two weeks after the Fish and Wildlife Service said all chimps -- not only those living in the wild -- should be considered endangered and given protection.


Animal rights groups have praised the NIH announcement. But it concerned some medical researchers. They warned that it would slow the development of a vaccine for hepatitis C.

动物权利组织称赞了 NIH 的声明。但这引起了一些医学研究人员的担心。他们警告称,这会减缓丙型肝炎疫苗的发展。

The National Institutes of Health has not approved money for new research on chimps since the end of 2011.

国家卫生研究所从 2011 年末以来就没再对黑猩猩的新研究批准资金。

Chimpanzees: Alarm calls with “intent”?


Finally, scientists from England have discovered similarities between sounds made by chimpanzees in the wild and human language. The study took place in Uganda.


Researchers from the University of York put a moving snake model near wild chimps and then listened to and watched what the animals did. The researchers found that the chimps were more likely to produce “alarm calls” when other chimps arrived in the area. The research team says the chimps continued to produce these calls until all members of the group were warned about the snake.


One of the lead researchers said the alarm calls were produced to directly warn other chimps about the danger. She said they were not just sounds of fear that many animals make without planning to communicate with other animals. The researchers say the calls were made in the same way that humans make their fears known directly to other individuals.


The research paper was published in PLOS ONE.


And that’s our program for today. We hope you enjoyed it, and learned a lot about chimpanzees.

Our program was based, in part, on reporting from VOA’s Joe DeCapua.

I’m Christopher Cruise.