首页 > VOA慢速英语 > 科技报道 > Technology Report - Brain Imaging Comes to Children in Africa

文章详情

Technology Report - Brain Imaging Comes to Children in Africa

来源:慢速英语   时间:2014-09-15 10:54:05

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语科技报道。

Brain imaging was once thought to be too costly and difficult for widespread use in the developing world. But the technology soon may be available in poor countries. Brain imaging creates pictures of brain activity. It uses infrared light -- similar to the light produced by a television remote control. Brain imaging can identify the first signs of cognitive delays, mental problems, in newborns and young children. Such children could be suffering from malnutrition – a poor diet.

脑成像一度被认为成本太高难以在发展中国家广泛应用。但是这项技术很快可以在贫穷国家得到应用。脑成像会生成脑部活动的图片。它采用红外光,类似于电视机遥控器产生的光线。脑成像可以识别出新生儿和婴幼儿认知延迟和精神问题的初期迹象。这类孩子可能患有营养不良。

The technology has a long name -- functional near-infrared spectroscopy, or f-N-I-R-S. It involves placing an extremely small, soft helmet around a baby's head. Infrared light is sent through the bone protecting the brain. It helps to show whether babies are developing normally for their age.

该技术拥有一个很长的名字,功能性近红外光谱仪,简称fNIRS。它包括围绕婴儿头部放置一个非常小的柔软的头盔,红外光穿过保护大脑的头骨。它有助于显示婴儿是否发育正常。

f-N-I-R-S is considered safer than other imaging methods, including MRI or PET scan. And it also can be easily moved. The brain scanner equipment can be loaded into a vehicle. Health workers can drive it from village to village.

近红外光谱仪被认为比其它包括核磁共振成像或PET扫描在内的成像方法更为安全,并且它可以方便地移动。这种脑部扫描设备可以装入车辆,卫生工作者可以开车带着它走村串巷。

Clare Elwell is a professor of medical physics at University College London. She helped develop the relatively low-cost, non-invasive imaging technology. She says the device measures oxygen in the blood to learn how babies' brains are developing.

克莱尔·艾沃尔(Clare Elwell)是伦敦大学学院的一位医用物理学教授。她帮助开发了这种相对成本较低,非侵入性的成像技术。她说,该设备测量血液中的氧气以了解婴儿的脑部发育如何。

"And as you use different areas of your brain, you direct oxygen to those different brain areas. And so if we look at the change in the distribution of the oxygen in your brain, we can work out how active your brain is and what your brain is actually processing."

艾沃尔说,“当使用大脑的不同区域时,氧气就会供应到这些不同的脑区。所以如果我们查看大脑中氧气分布的变化,就能获知大脑有多活跃以及脑部实际在处理什么。”

Clare Elwell led a study of the testing method in rural Gambia. The babies involved were between four and eight months old. They were examined three times over 15 months. Researchers noted the babies' reactions to different images and sounds.

艾沃尔在冈比亚农村地区主持了一项针对这种检测方法的研究。研究涉及的婴儿的年龄在4到8岁之间,他们在15个月时间内被检查了三次。研究人员注意到了婴儿对不同图像和声音的反应。

"So if we present the babies with visual or auditory stimuli, then we expect certain brain areas to light up, essentially. We expect the oxygen to be diverted to certain brain regions."

“如果我们对婴儿进行视觉或听觉刺激,那么我们估计氧气会被转移到大脑的特定区域,这些特定区域会被激活。”

She says that shows if those brain areas are fully developed or mature. And, she says, it shows if they are performing normally.

她说这能显示出这些脑区是否发育成熟。她还表示,它能显示出大脑功能是否正常。

The babies looked at pictures of objects and people. Human speech and non-human sounds such as running water and bells tested the babies' hearing. And their brain recognition was compared to those of British children.

这些婴儿们看着物体或人的图像。人类语言或流水、钟声等非人类声音检测着婴儿们的听力。他们的大脑认知被同英国的孩子进行对比。

Clare Elwell says poor nutrition and childhood diseases threaten the African children. She says the goal is to identify babies needing to be better fed or treated for health problems that can harm brain development.

艾沃尔表示,营养不良和儿童疾病威胁着非洲儿童。她说我们的目标是确定婴儿需要更好喂养或治疗可能损伤大脑发育的健康问题这一需求。

And that's the Technology Report from VOA Learning English.  I'm Jonathan Evans.

推荐文章