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实验室培养的迷你大脑 发出类似早产儿的脑电波

hxyxm 于2019-10-22发布 l 已有人浏览
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科技的突破:科学家在实验室培养出来的“迷你大脑”中发现了类似人脑电波!
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Lab-Grown Human Mini Brains Show Brainy Activity

实验室培养的人类迷你大脑显示出聪明的活动

It's not easy to study the early development of the human brain. "The brain is very inaccessible, especially the early fetal stages. It's just not ethical to study normal, healthy human brains."University of California, San Diego biologist Alysson Muotri. He says researchers have instead relied on animal models.

要想研究人脑的早期发育并不容易。因为“大脑难以进入,特别是在胎儿早期。研究正常健康的人脑又是不道德的。”加州大学圣地亚哥分校的生物学家阿里森·穆特里表示到。他说,因而,研究人员只能转而依赖于动物模型。

But the human brain is so much different from other species that we're desperate to have really a human model so we can study the human brain.Now, Muotri's team may have that model, in the form of small globules of brain cells they've created in the lab. These pea-sized structures develop from stem cells that are bathed in a culture of nutrients along with proteins that control gene activation. As the little structures grow, their constituents also specialize into different types of brain cells.

“但人脑与其它物种的大脑结构大不相同,所以我们迫切希望有一个真正的人类模型,这样我们就可以研究人类的大脑。”现在,穆特里的团队已经有了这个模型,该模型以他们在实验室中创造的脑细胞小球的形式存在。这些豌豆大小的结构是由浸泡在营养物质和以及控制基因激活的蛋白质中的干细胞发展而来。随着这些小结构的生长,它们的成分也会分化成不同类型的脑细胞。

And they will form connections, and these connections will form functional synapses that will later on turn into networks.

“脑细胞之间会形成连接,这些连接会形成功能性突触,突触随后又会形成神经网络。”

After two months, the mini-brains even begin to emit brain waves.

两个月后,微型大脑甚至开始发出脑电波。

And you can record every week to see how the activity has changed. And when they reach about six months of age, we see a growth exponentially in the number of connections and synapses that they can make.

“你可以每周进行记录,看看大脑活动是如何变化的。当它们长到约六个月大时,我们看到大脑细胞所形成的连接和突触的数量呈指数级增长。”

And at around 10 months, their brain activity compares to that of premature human infants.

在大约10个月大的时候,它们的大脑活动跟早产儿的大脑活动差不多。

They're pretty much following the same trajectory as the human brain does.

“它们的运行轨迹与人类大脑非常相似。”

That could make the mini-brains very useful for understanding how our brains become wired early on. And they could also provide insights into the development of neurological conditions such as autism and epilepsy.

这可能使微型大脑对于理解我们的大脑在早期是如何连接的非常有用。它们还可以为(研究)如自闭症和癫痫等神经系统疾病的发展提供思路。

These very early stages are exactly when some neurological conditions appear. And we have the possibility to help millions of people with neurological conditions.

“神经疾病正是出现于大脑发育非常早期的阶段。我们有可能帮助数百万患有神经疾病的人。”

But Muotri also cautions that as the technology moves forward, ethical questions will start to emerge.

但穆特里也告诫说,随着技术的进步,伦理问题将随之而来。

Someone might ask, are they conscious or are they self-aware? Can they feel pain? I think we are in a gray zone where this technology could evolve to something more complex. And then I think the ethical question would be, what's the moral status of these miniaturized brains?

“有人可能会问,大脑细胞是有意识的吗?或者能自我感知的吗?它们能感觉到疼痛吗?我认为我们正处在一个技术可以发展成更复杂的东西的灰色地带。然后,我认为伦理问题将是:这些微型大脑的道德地位如何?”

Muotri says that same question has formed the basis for the rules and regulations governing the use of animals in the lab, which can serve as a model to guide the mini-brain research. The findings are in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

穆特里说,同样的问题也构成了在实验室中使用动物的规章制度的基础,这些规章制度可以作为小型大脑研究的参考。研究结果发表在《细胞干细胞》杂志上。

In addition to shedding light on neurological development, mini-brains could also help reveal how the human brain evolved, and play a role in improving algorithms for artificial intelligence. These pea-sized brains may produce some big insights.

微型大脑除了阐明神经发育,还可以帮助揭示人类大脑是如何进化的,并在改进人工智能算法方面发挥作用。这些豌豆大小的大脑可能会产生一些重大的见解。

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