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[翻译]Science in the News - Scientists Could be Closer to AIDS Cure

来源:慢速英语   时间:2016-04-04 08:52:34

Since the start of the deadly AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, scientists have been working towards a cure. Now, they may be close to finding one.

自上世纪80年代致命艾滋病开始流行,科学家们一直在努力寻找治愈办法。现在他们可能接近于找到了一种。

Researchers have developed a method to cut the viral DNA from a person’s infected cells. It is called CRISPR/Cas9 and it means the person could be virus-free.

研究人员已经找到了一种从人体感染细胞中剔除病毒DNA的办法,它被称之为CRISPR/Cas9基因剪辑技术,这意味着这个人可以摆脱病毒。

DNA is a substance that carries genetic information in the cells of animals and plants. 

DNA是动植物细胞中携带遗传信息的物质。

This gene-editing took place in a scientific lab, but has not been tested on humans yet.

这种基因剪辑发生在科学实验室中,但是尚未在人体上进行测试。

“It’s a big step,” said Kamel Khalili, Ph.D. He is lead researcher and chair at the Department of Neuroscience at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He and his team made the discovery.

卡迈勒·哈利利(Kamel Khalili)博士表示,“这是向前迈进了一大步。”他是宾夕法尼亚州费城坦普尔大学神经科学系的首席研究员和系主任。他和他的团队发现了这一结果。

But more tests have to be done to know if it will be a cure for the millions of patients infected with the HIV virus, which causes AIDS.

但是目前尚需进行更多试验才知道它是否能治疗数百万艾滋病患者。

Antiretroviral drugs have been doing a good job of keeping the AIDS virus from reproducing. Such a good job that levels of HIV are just about undetectable in infected people who take the medicine.

抗逆转录病毒药物在防止艾滋病毒复制方面效果不错,它只是让服用这种药物的患者察觉不到艾滋病毒。

But even with the drugs, the virus stays in the body’s “T-cells,” which are T-lymphocytes. AIDS damages the immune system, hurting the body’s ability to fight off disease.

但是即使服用了这些药物,病毒仍停留在人体的T细胞,也就是T淋巴细胞之中。艾滋病会破坏免疫系统,损害人体抵抗疾病的能力。

So the drugs are kind of a “Band-Aid solution,” Khalili explained. They keep the virus from growing. But they do not eliminate the memory of the virus from the cells.

哈利利博士解释说,所以这些药物只是某种权宜之计。它们可以防止病毒重生,但是它们不会从细胞记忆中清除这种病毒。

And, the moment antiretroviral drugs are stopped, the HIV comes back to life and begins making more HIV, which is the AIDS virus.

而且,一旦停用抗逆转录病毒药物,艾滋病毒就会起死回生,并开始制造更多艾滋病毒。

Khalili and his team of scientists appear to have found a way to cut this viral DNA from infected people’s cells.

哈利利和他的科学家团队似乎找到了一种从人体细胞中剔除这种病毒DNA的办法。

In their lab, they took cells from people infected with the HIV virus. They removed the part of the cell that was holding the virus.

在实验室中,他们从艾滋病患者身上提取了细胞。他们剔除了细胞中容纳病毒的这部分。

He said they had “in some cases, near 90 percent of the virus replication or production dropped in the patient samples after treatment in the laboratory.”

他说,在某些情况下,患者样本在经过实验室处理之后减少了近90%的病毒复制或重生。

Khalili and his team have not actually cured any patients yet. However, he believes this gene-editing technology could possibly cure AIDS.

哈利利和他的团队尚未真正治愈任何患者。然而,他认为这种基因剪辑技术可能可以治愈艾滋病。

“Elimination of the virus can lead to the cure.” He said, "it's an exciting time, and the reason is the technologies are available and the methods are in place and our knowledge has increased.”

他说,“病毒的清除就能通向治疗方案,这是一个激动人心的时刻。原因是技术已经具备,办法也已经到位,我们的知识也增加了。”

“And hopefully, there will be funding to take us toward this exciting moment for developing the cure strategy by eliminating viral DNA using editing techniques."

“希望会有资金带我们走向这一激动人心的时刻,找出利用基因剪辑技术清除病毒DNA的治疗策略。”

He said that he hopes human tests could begin in two to three years. But that depends on funding.

他说,他希望在两到三年内开始进行人体测试,但是这取决于资金。

The work was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

这项研究发表在《科学报告》杂志上。

HIV/AIDS has been a devastating disease since it was first discovered in the early 1980s. Since then, the World Health Organization says almost 78 million people have been infected with the HIV virus. About 39 million people have died of HIV/AIDS.

艾滋病自上世纪80年代首次被发现以来一直是一种灾难性的疾病。世界卫生组织表示,此后有近7800万人感染了艾滋病毒,大约3900万已经死于艾滋病。

At the end of 2013, 35 million people worldwide were living with HIV, according to the WHO.

根据世界卫生组织的数据,截至2013年年底,全球有3500万人感染了艾滋病毒。

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected by the virus. Nearly 71 percent of people in the world who live with HIV are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

撒哈拉以南非洲地区受该病毒影响最为严重。全球71%的艾滋病感染者生活在撒哈拉以南非洲地区。

And while the drug therapy can control the virus, not everyone infected can get or afford it. Also, some who take it report side effects.

而且尽管药物治疗可以控制病毒,却不是每位感染者都能负担得起治疗药物。此外,一些服药者报告了副作用。

I’m Anne Ball.

Words in This Story

edit – v. to cut out; to change

anti-retroviral – adj. acting, used, or effective against retroviruses, especially HIV

undectable – adj. cannot be detected, or found

immune system – n. the body’s system that fights infection

eliminate – v. to end or remove something

devastating - adj. causes great damage or destroys

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