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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第598期:生命的物质(24)

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The story was the same wherever researchers looked. They found that they could insert human DNA into certain cells of flies, and the flies would accept it as if it were their own.

同样的事情无处不在。研究人员将人类DNA植入果蝇某些细胞中,果蝇最终接纳了它,好像它是自己的基因似的。
Over 60 percent of human genes, it turns out, are fundamentally the same as those found in fruit flies. At least 90 percent correlate at some level to those found in mice. (We even have the same genes for making a tail, if only they would switch on.) In field after field, researchers found that whatever organism they were working on — whether nematode worms or human beings — they were often studying essentially the same genes. Life, it appeared, was drawn up from a single set of blueprints.
事实证明,60%以上的人类基因本质上与果蝇是一样的。至少90%以上的人类基因在某程度上与老鼠基因相互关联。(我们甚至拥有可以长出尾巴的同样基因,要是它们活跃起来的话。)研究人员在一个又一个的领域中发现,他们不管用什么生物做实验——无论是线虫还是人类——他们所研究的基因基本上是一样的。生命似乎就出于同一张蓝图。
DNA

Further probings revealed the existence of a clutch of master control genes, each directing the development of a section of the body, which were dubbed homeotic (from a Greek word meaning "similar") or hox genes. Hox genes answered the long-bewildering question of how billions of embryonic cells, all arising from a single fertilized egg and carrying identical DNA, know where to go and what to do — that this one should become a liver cell, this one a stretchy neuron, this one a bubble of blood, this one part of the shimmer on a beating wing. It is the hox genes that instruct them, and they do it for all organisms in much the same way.

科学研究迸一步揭示了一组掌控基因的存在,每一种控制着人体某一部分的发育。这种基因被称为变异同源基因(希腊语“相似”的意思),或同源基因。同源基因回答了长期以来困扰人们的问题:数以十亿计的胚胎细胞都来源于一个受精卵,并且携带完全相同的DNA,它们怎么知道去往哪个方向,该做些什么——其中某一个变成了肝脏细胞,另一个变成了伸缩性神经元,又有一个变成了血泡,还有一个变成了拍动的羽翼上的光点。原来是同源基因对它们发出了指令。它们对于所有的生物都以同样的方式发出指令。
Interestingly, the amount of genetic material and how it is organized doesn't necessarily, or even generally, reflect the level of sophistication of the creature that contains it.
有趣的是,基因的数量及其组合方式并不一定反映携带它的生物的复杂程度,甚至总的来说不反映。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
control [kən'trəul]

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n. 克制,控制,管制,操作装置
vt. 控制

 
organism ['ɔ:gənizəm]

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n. 生物体,有机体

 
cell [sel]

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n. 细胞,电池,小组,小房间,单人牢房,(蜂房的)巢室

 
neuron ['njuərɔn]

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n. 神经元,神经细胞

 
genetic [dʒi'netik]

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adj. 基因的,遗传的,起源的

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essentially [i'senʃəli]

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adv. 本质上,本来

 
organized ['ɔ:gənaiz]

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v. 组织

 
certain ['sə:tn]

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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.

 
instruct [in'strʌkt]

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v. 教,命令,指导
[计算机] 指示

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correlate ['kɔ:rə.leit]

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n. 有相互关系的东西,相关物
v. 使有相互

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