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新版大学英语综合教程第三册 UNIT8-2

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Cloning offers the possibility of making exact copies of ourselves. Should this be allowed? What benefits and dangers may cloning bring?
克隆技术使我们有可能分毫不差地复制自己。这一技术是否应该获准应用?克隆技术会带来什么裨益与危险?


A Clone Is Born

Gina Kolata


1 On July 5, 1996, at 5:00 p.m., the most famous lamb in history entered the world. She was born in a shed, just down the road from the Roslin Institute in Roslin, Scotland, where she was created. And yet her creator, Ian Wilmut, a quiet, balding fifty-two-year-old embryologist, does not remember where he was when he heard that the lamb, named Dolly, was born. He does not even recall getting a telephone call from John Bracken, a scientist who had monitored the pregnancy of the sheep that gave birth to Dolly, saying that Dolly was alive and healthy and weighed 6.6 kilograms.


克隆生命诞生了

吉纳·科拉泰

1996年7月5日下午5点,有史以来最出名的小羊羔问世了。它出生在苏格兰罗斯林镇的罗斯林研究院所在的那条路上的一个小棚里,这只羊羔是在该研究院创造出来的。而它的创造者伊恩·威尔莫特,一位正在谢顶的文质彬彬的52岁的胚胎学家,却不记得自己是在什么地方听到这头名叫多利的羊问世的消息的。他甚至不记得曾接到约翰· 布拉肯的电话,这位对产下多利的那头羊的整个妊娠过程进行监察的科学家在电话上说多利健康存活,体重6.6千克。
 
2 No one broke open champagne. No one took pictures. Only a few staff members from the institute and a local veterinarian who attended the birth were present. Yet Dolly, who looked for all the world like hundreds of other lambs that dot the rolling hills of Scotland, was soon to change the world.
没有人打开香槟酒庆贺。没有人拍照留影。只有研究院的几位员工,以及接生的一位当地兽医在场。然而,多利,这头与苏格兰起伏的山丘上散布着的千百头其他的羊毫无异样的小羊羔,很快就改变了世界。

3 When the time comes to write the history of our age, this quiet birth, the creation of this little lamb, will stand out. The world is a different place now that she is born.
当后人编写我们这一时代的历史的时候,这一平静的降生,这头小羊羔的问世,将会引人注目。世界因它降生而从此改变。

4 Dolly is a clone. She was created not out of the union of a sperm and an egg but out of the genetic material from an udder cell of a six-year-old sheep. Wilmut fused the udder cell with an egg from another sheep, after first removing all genetic material from the egg. The udder cell's genes took up residence in the egg and directed it to grow and develop. The result was Dolly, the identical twin of the original sheep that provided the udder cells, but an identical twin born six years later.
多利是头克隆羊。它不是精卵结合的产物,而是由取自一头六龄羊的乳腺细胞的基因材料生成的。威尔莫特先将取自另一头羊的卵子中的所有基因材料取出,再将该卵子与这一乳腺细胞融合。乳腺细胞的基因在该卵子中安营扎寨,令其生长发育。其结果就是多利羊,即与提供乳腺细胞的那头羊一模一样的孪生羊,只是这头孪生羊晚出生了6年。

5 Until Dolly entered the world, cloning was the stuff of science fiction. It had been raised as a possibility decades ago, then dismissed, something that serious scientists thought was simply not going to happen anytime soon. Now it is not fantasy to think that someday, perhaps decades from now, but someday, you could clone yourself and make tens, dozens, hundreds of genetically identical twins. Nor is it science fiction to think that your cells could be improved beforehand, genetically engineered to add some genes and remove others. 在多利羊问世之前,克隆技术不过是科学幻想的故事。几十年前有人提出这种可能性,后来遭到摒弃,严肃的科学家那时认为克隆在近期根本不可能实现。现在这已不再是幻想,几十年之后,或许有朝一日你可以克隆自己,造出数十个,数百个,上千个基因完全相同的孪生的兄弟。事先改进你的细胞,运用基因工程注入某些基因,剔除某些基因,这样的事也不再是科学幻想。

6 True, it was a sheep that was cloned, not a human being. But there was nothing exceptional about sheep. Even Wilmut, who made it clear that he was opposed to the very idea of cloning people, said that there was no longer any theoretical reason why humans could not clone themselves, using the same methods he had used to clone Dolly. "There is no reason in principle why you couldn't do it." But, he added, "All of us would find that offensive."
没错,克隆的是头羊,而不是人。但羊并没有任何独特之处。甚至明确表示反对克隆人的威尔莫特也称,理论上,没有理由说人类不能使用与克隆多利羊同样的手段来克隆人类本身。“原则上没有不能这么做的理由。”但他补充说,“我们都会认为这样做令人厌恶。”


7 We live in a time when we argue about pragmatism and compromises in our quest to be morally right. But cloning forces us back to the most basic questions that have plagued humanity since the dawn of recorded time: What is good and what is evil? And how much potential for evil can we tolerate to obtain something that might be good? Cloning, with its possibilities for creating our own identical twins, brings us back to the ancient sins of vanity and pride; the sins of Narcissus, who so loved himself, and of Prometheus, who, in stealing fire, sought the powers of God. So before we can ask why we are so fascinated by cloning, we have to examine our souls and ask, What exactly so bothers many of us about trying to make an exact copy of our genetic selves? Or, if we are not bothered, why aren't we?
我们生活在这样一个时代,人们为了追求道德的完善对实用主义和妥协折衷的问题争论不休。而克隆技术迫使我们回到有史以来一直困扰人类的那些最本质的问题:何者为善,何者为恶?为了获得可能有益的东西,我们对邪恶的隐患能容忍到何种程度?克隆技术以其创造与我们自身完全一样的孪生兄弟的可能性,将我们带回到种种古老的罪孽:虚荣傲慢;那喀索斯式的自恋罪,以及普罗米修斯的罪孽,他以盗火来谋求上帝的权力。因此,我们在扪心自问为什么对克隆技术如此着迷之前,不得不首先审视自己的心灵,问一问:究竟是什么东西使得我们中的许多人对于尝试复制与自身基因完全等同的孪生兄弟那么不安?或者,如果我们并没有感到不安,其原因又是什么?


8 We want children who resemble us. Even couples who use donor eggs or donor sperm, search catalogs of donors to find people who resemble themselves. Several years ago, a poem by Linda Pastan, called "To a Daughter Leaving Home," was displayed on the walls of New York subways. It read:

Is it my own image
I love so
in your face?
I lean over your sleep,
Narcissus over
his clear pool,
ready to fall in --
to drown for you
if necessary.

Yet if we so love ourselves, reflected in our children, why is it so terrifying to so many of us to think of seeing our exact genetic replicas born again, identical twins years younger than we? Is it one thing for nature to form us through a genetic lottery, and another for us to take complete control, abandoning all thoughts of somehow, through the mixing of genes, having a child who is like us, but better? Normally, when a man and a woman have a child together, the child is an unpredictable mixture of the two. We recognize that, of course, in the old joke in which a beautiful but dumb woman suggests to an ugly but brilliant man that the two have a child. Just think of how wonderful the baby would be, the woman says, with my looks and your brains. Aha, says the man. But what if the child inherited my looks and your brains?



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