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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Scientists: Gene Editing Should Stay in Laboratories

来源:慢速英语   时间:2016-06-26 10:04:06

Scientists are debating how to limit their newly-discovered power to change genetic structure.

科学家们正在争论如何限制他们最新发现的改造基因结构的能力。

Scientists already modify the genes of farm animals and agricultural plants to make them more productive or stronger. But now they can also change genes in wild animals and plants. These genes would continue into later generations.

科学家们已经改造了家畜和农作物的基因,使得他们更加多产或强壮。但是他们现在也能改变野生动物和植物的基因,这些基因可能会延续到后代。

For example, it may be possible for scientists to remove from existence the kind of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. They might also be able to permanently remove species of plants and animals that are destructive to other species.

例如,科学家可能可以消灭携带寨卡病毒的蚊子。他们可能也可以永久消灭对其它物种有破坏作用的动植物物种。

Power, danger of gene control

基因控制的能力和危险

In a report published last week, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) said it supports continued research on this kind of gene control. But it warned that it is not possible to know what will happen when these changed plants and animals are released into the wild.

美国国家科学、工程和医学院在一份上周发表的报告中表示,它支持对这类基因控制继续进行研究。但它警告说,这类基因改造过的动植物进入自然环境时,不可能知道将会发生什么。

Sixteen biologists, ethicists and policymakers are on an NAS committee that is examining the issue. They say that there is value to the new technology. But, they say, there is not enough evidence to support the release of modified organisms from the laboratory into nature.

隶属美国科学院某委员会的16名生物学家、伦理学家和决策者正在研究这个问题。他们表示,这项新技术有价值。但是他们表示,尚没有足够证据支持将基因改造后的生物体从实验室释放到自然界。

Many people would support stopping mosquitoes and rats from carrying diseases. But scientists say we must understand the possible scientific, ethical, legal and social results of such action before we decide whether to take it.

很多人将会支持消灭携带疾病的蚊子或老鼠。但是科学家们表示,在我们决定是否行动之前,我们必须了解这种行动可能导致的科学、伦理、法律和社会后果。

Gene modification is spread through reproduction.

基因改造通过繁殖传播。

Changed genes will continue to spread as long as an animal or plant continues to reproduce. They cannot be limited to a farm or kept within a country’s borders.

只要动物或植物继续繁殖,改造过的基因就会继续传播。它们无法被限制在一个农场或一国边境之内。

Scientists are wondering what would happen if a modified organism mates with another species. They are not yet sure how the modified genes would affect the other species. It is possible that those genes could harm those creatures or even lead to their disappearance from our planet.

科学家们想知道如果某种基因改良生物体和其它物种交配将会发生什么。他们尚不确定这些改良基因会如何影响其它物种。有可能这些基因可能会损害这些生物,或者甚至导致它们从地球上消失。

I’m Anne Ball.

Words in This Story

modify – v. to change some parts of (something) while not changing other parts

species – n. a group of animals or plants that are similar and can produce young animals or plants; a group of related animals or plants that is smaller than a genus

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