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The study of genes has shown that every individual is genetically unique, and this discovery leads to a host ofquestions as to the relationship between an individuals genesand environmental factors such as diet.由对基因的研究人们得出结论,每个人从遗传学的角度来看都是独一无二的。这一结论引出了一大堆的问题,例如人体基因与环境因素之间的关系。That is, how does diet interact with ones genetic make-up to affect ones health?换句话说,饮食是如何与人体的基因相互作用,从而影响到人们的身体健康?This is the primary concern of nutrigenomics.这是营养基因组学关注的核心问题。It is the study of how different foods interact with particular genes, affecting howthese genes act or altering their structures.营养基因组学是研究不同的食物是如何与特定的基因相互作用,进而影响这些基因的活动以及结构转变的科学。Specifically, nutrigenomics is concerned with how chemicals in different foods can interact withparticular genes to increase the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease,and some cancers.特别要说明一点,这门科学关注的问题是:不同食物中的化学物质是如何与特定的基因作用来增加人体患病的风险的,这些疾病可能是2型糖尿病、肥胖症、心脏病和一些癌症。Nutrigenomics dictates that understanding how dietary chemicals regulate different genes will leadto individualized nutrition, the ability to design diets catered to ones specific genetic make-up.在营养基因组学研究中,如果了解膳食化合物如何影响不同的基因,便可以研究出个性化营养方案,还可以根据一个人特定的基因构造来制定日常饮食计划。For example, the food pyramid developed by the USDA assumes that all Americans are the sameand have the same dietary needs.比如说,由美国农业部发布的食物金字塔,我们可以做出假设:所有的美国人都是一样的,人们有着同样的饮食需求。Of course, the truth is that were not.当然,事实并非如此。A lucky few of us can consume high fat diets and yet not develop heart disease, while others onmoderate fat diets may develop heart disease.只有少数的幸运儿才可能在摄入高脂肪的食物后不患上心脏病,很多人就算食物脂肪含量适中也可能患上心脏病。Perhaps one day our doctors will our DNA and take into account our genotype along withother environmental factors such as our physical activity.也许某一天,我们的医生能解读我们的DNA,同时将各人的基因型及其他的环境因素考虑在内。They may then prescribe usindividualized diets, designed to match our unique nutritional needs.其后,再根据各人独特的营养需求开出个性化的饮食规定。This way, diseases such as cancer and Alzheimers may actually be slowed down or evenprevented.这样一来,像癌症、老年痴呆这样的病的患病率就可能有所降低,甚至是得到预防!201406/306875

Larger than any lion alive today, this would have been an awesome predator. These caves were probably its winter den.冰河时代的狮子比当今任何一种狮子的体型都更加巨大,他们曾是一种可怕的捕猎者。这些山洞便可能是他们冬天的洞穴。With such abundant game down on the plains, this hunters life must have been pretty good.能在平原上进行大量的捕猎游戏,这些狮子的生活一定十分惬意。Sheer size and power and the benefit of life within a pride made it the unmatched ruler of the plains. By looking at the lions of Africa today, we can imagine how these ice age cats once lived in small prides based around a group of hunting females.无可比拟的体型和力量,良好的生存条件。这些因素使这些骄傲的狮子成为了美洲大平原的绝对主宰。看看今天的非洲狮,我们能够想象,在冰河时代,这些被一群雌性环绕的猫科动物是如何骄傲地生活的。Like wolves, lions work together to win larger prey. After a leading hunter launches the attack, the others move in, helping to dispatch the victim with a suffocating bite. But even for these rulers of the plains, the good life had to end. They would be toppled by another predator with even sharper skills.和狼一样,在追捕大型猎物时,狮子们也进行团队合作。领头的狮子首先发动袭击,随后其他的狮子也参与其中,扑到猎物身上并给与致命一击。但是,即使是平原上的主宰,他们的美好生活也不得不结束了。人类以更为强大的捕猎技能取代了他们的地位。The ice age lions joined the list of victims, animals that had lived here for hundreds of millennia, but were soon lost forever.冰河时代的狮子是人类活动的受害者之一,许多在美洲大平原上生活了数千年的动物很快都永久地消失了。Today few signs remain that any of them were ever here. Odd traces scattered far and wide across the plains. But if we piece together bones and teeth, plant fragments and the clues from animals alive today, we can begin to bring a lost world back to life.如今,明这些动物曾在美洲大平原活动的痕迹已寥寥无几。这些稀有的痕迹遍布平原各地。但是如果我们把这些骨骼,牙齿,植物碎屑以及从存活着的动物身上得到的线索拼凑到一起,我们便能将这个遗失的世界重新带入我们视野。英文文本来自普特英语,译文属.201305/240919

Science and technology科学技术Climate change气候变化Good news at last?终于来了好消息?The climate may not be as sensitive to carbon dioxide as previously believed气候对二氧化碳的敏感性可能低于先前的预期CLIMATE science is famously complicated,气候科学的复杂程度众所周知,but one useful number to keep in mind is climate sensitivity.但把一个指标记在脑中非常好用,那就是气候敏感性。This measures the amount of warming that can eventually be expected to follow a doubling in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.该指标表示预计大气中二氧化碳浓度翻倍所能引致的升温量。The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its most recent summary of the science behind its predictions, published in 2007, estimated that,政府间气候变化专门委员会在其最近一次关于其预测背后的科学性的概要中估计,in present conditions, a doubling of CO2 would cause warming of about 3C, with uncertainty of about a degree and a half in either direction.在如今的情况下,二氧化碳浓度翻倍将造成3C左右的升温,上下误差在1.5度左右。But it also says there is a small probability that the true number is much higher. Some recent studies have suggested that it could be as high as 10C.但该概要也声称,真实数据有少许可能还要高得多。一些近期的研究也猜测气温上升可能达到10C之高。If that were true, disaster beckons.如果这种猜测属实,灾难说来就来了。But a paper published in this weeks Science, by Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University, suggests it is not.但美国俄勒冈州立大学的安德烈亚斯-施密特纳在本周《科学》杂志上刊登的一篇报告认为,情况并非如此。In Dr Schmittners analysis, the climate is less sensitive to carbon dioxide than was feared.在施密特纳士的分析中,气候并不像先前人们所担忧的那样对二氧化碳那么敏感。Existing studies of climate sensitivity mostly rely on data gathered from weather stations, which go back to roughly 1850.现有的关于气候敏感性的研究主要基于气象站收集的数据,可以追溯到公元1850年左右。Dr Schmittner takes a different approach. His data come from the peak of the most recent ice age, between 19,000 and 23,000 years ago.施密特纳士采用了另外一种方法。他的数据来源于最近一次冰河时期的顶峰。His group is not the first to use such data to probe the climates sensitivity to carbon dioxide. But their paper is the most thorough.他的团队不是第一个使用这些数据来探测气候对二氧化碳的敏感性的团队。但他们的报告是最全面彻底的。Previous attempts had considered only small regions of the globe.过去的研究只考虑了全球的小部分地区。He has compiled enough information to make a credible stab at recreating the climate of the entire planet.而他汇编了足够的信息,可以确凿地尝试一下重建整个地球的气候模型。The result offers that rarest of things in climate science—a bit of good news.研究的结果给出了气候科学中最为罕见之物—一丁点好消息。The groups most likely figure for climate sensitivity is 2.3C, which is more than half a degree lower than the consensus figure,该研究组给出最有可能的气候敏感性数字是2.3C,比公认的数据低了半度多,with a 66% probability that it lies between 1.7 and 2.6C.并且该数字有66%的几率位于1.7C到2.6C之间。More importantly, these results suggest an upper limit for climate sensitivity of around 3.2C.更重要的是,研究结果指出,气候敏感性的上限在3.2C左右。Before you take the SUV out for a celebratory spin, though, it is worth bearing in mind that this is only one study,但是在你把SUV开出去兜风以作庆祝之前,要记住这只是一项研究而已,and, like all such, it has its flaws.并且—就如同所有这类研究一样—研究自身也有缺陷。The computer model used is of only middling sophistication, Dr Schmittner admits.施密特纳士承认,该研究采用的电脑模型的复杂程度一般。That may be one reason for the narrow range of his teams results.这可能也是他的团队实验结果范围较窄的一个原因。And although the studys geographical coverage is the most comprehensive so far for work of this type, there are still blank areas,而且,尽管这项研究的地理覆盖范围是迄今为止同类中最大的,它仍有空白区域notably in Australia, Central Asia, South America and the northern Pacific Ocean.尤其指澳洲,中亚,南美和北太平洋地区。Moreover, some sceptics complain about the way ancient data of this type were used to construct a different but related piece of climate science:此外,一些怀疑论者对这些远古数据被用来构建一个不同的但是相关的气候学分:the so-called hockey-stick model, which suggests that temperatures have risen suddenly since the beginning of the industrial revolution.所谓的曲棍球棒模型认为气温自从工业革命以后就突然上升满腹牢骚。It will be interesting to see if such sceptics are willing to be equally sceptical about ancient data when they support their point of view.看看当远古数据持这些怀疑论者的观点时,这些人是否还愿意以同等的怀疑态度对待,这一定会非常有趣。 /201308/250601


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