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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第584期:生命的物质(10)

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Finally, in 1944, after fifteen years of effort, a team at the Rockefeller Institute in Manhattan, led by a brilliant but diffident Canadian named Oswald Avery, succeeded with an exceedingly tricky experiment in which an innocuous strain of bacteria was made permanently infectious by crossing it with alien DNA, proving that DNA was far more than a passive molecule and almost certainly was the active agent in heredity. The Austrian-born biochemist Erwin Chargaff later suggested quite seriously that Avery's discovery was worth two Nobel Prizes.

1944年,在位于曼哈顿的洛克菲勒研究所里,一个由才华横溢而生性羞怯的加拿大科学家奥斯瓦尔德·埃弗雷领导的研究小组经过15年的努力,终于在一次极其棘手的实验中获得了成功。他们在实验中将一株不致病的细菌和不同性质的DNA混合培养,使这株细菌具有了永久性传染能力,从而成功地证明DNA根本不是一种惰性分子,而几乎肯定是遗传过程中极为活跃的信息载体。奥地利出生的生化学家埃尔文·查迦夫后来严肃地指出,埃弗雷的发现值得获两次诺贝尔奖。
DNA

Unfortunately, Avery was opposed by one of his own colleagues at the institute, a strong-willed and disagreeable protein enthusiast named Alfred Mirsky, who did everything in his power to discredit Avery's work — including, it has been said, lobbying the authorities at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm not to give Avery a Nobel Prize. Avery by this time was sixty-six years old and tired. Unable to deal with the stress and controversy, he resigned his position and never went near a lab again. But other experiments elsewhere overwhelmingly supported his conclusions, and soon the race was on to find the structure of DNA.

不幸的是,埃弗雷遭到研究所里的一个同事的反对,这入名叫阿尔弗雷德·米尔斯基,是一个生性顽固、令人讨厌的狂热的蛋白质研究学者,他利用他手中的权力竭尽全力地贬低埃弗雷的工作——据说,他甚至极力劝说斯德哥尔摩的卡罗林斯卡研究所当局不要授予埃弗雷诺贝尔奖。埃弗雷当时已经66岁,身心疲惫的他忍受不了工作的压力和喋喋不休的争论,辞去了工作,从此再也没有进行过研究工作。然而,别的地方的研究完全证明了埃弗雷的结论。没过多久,展开了一场搞清DNA结构的竞赛。
Had you been a betting person in the early 1950s, your money would almost certainly have been on Linus Pauling of Caltech, America's leading chemist, to crack the structure of DNA. Pauling was unrivaled in determining the architecture of molecules and had been a pioneer in the field of X-ray crystallography, a technique that would prove crucial to peering into the heart of DNA.
如果你在20世纪50年代初打一次赌,谁将在这一场破译DNA结构的竞赛中拔得头筹,你几乎肯定会把你的赌注押在美国首屈一指的化学家加州理工学院刘易斯·鲍林的身上。在分子结构的研究方面,鲍林是无与伦比的天才,他也是X射线晶体学领域的先驱之一,正是这项技术在破译DNA核心的研究中起了至关重要的作用。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
strain [strein]

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n. 紧张,拉紧,血统
v. 劳累,拉紧,过份

 
molecule ['mɔlikju:l]

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n. 分子

 
permanently ['pə:mənəntli]

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adv. 永久地

 
bacteria [bæk'tiəriə]

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n. (复数)细菌

 
resigned [ri'zaind]

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adj. 认命的,顺从的,听任的 动词resign的过去

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overwhelmingly [.əvə'welmiŋli]

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adv. 压倒性地,不可抵抗地

 
passive ['pæsiv]

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adj. 被动的,消极的
n. 被动性

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crucial ['kru:ʃəl]

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adj. 关键的,决定性的

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enthusiast [in'θju:ziæst]

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n. 热心人,热衷者

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institute ['institju:t]

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n. 学会,学院,协会
vt. 创立,开始,制

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