蛆虫或成为未来世界的灵丹妙药? 分享到
The Next ’Wonder Drug’ Is ... a Maggot? 2018-07-0464196

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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
这里是美国之音慢速英语健康与生活栏目。
The next superhero that saves the world may not be strong, powerful or good-looking.
在未来,拯救世界的超级英雄可能体格并不健壮,相貌也不出众。
In fact, that hero may be a wriggling, squirming faceless creature. It may be a maggot!
实际上,他们可能只是些蠕动的不知名的生物,比如:蛆虫!
Maggots are the soft-bodied, not fully developed larvae of flies or other insects. Many people feel sick by simply hearing the word “maggot,” let alone seeing them. To them, the larvae are simply, in a word, gross.
蛆虫是一种软体生物,是苍蝇或其它昆虫未发育成熟的幼虫。对大部分人来说,光是听到蛆这个词就让人恶心,更别说看到实物了。在他们看来,蛆给人就一种感觉,令人生厌。
This “yuck factor” is not stopping scientists around the world. Many are studying how one of the planet’s grossest creatures could help humankind.
可是,这个令人生厌的东西并没有令科学家们望而却步。相反,许多科学家正致力于研究如何让恶心的蛆虫造福于人类。
Wired magazine reports that companies are using maggots to eat natural waste. Its story explains that after the maggots clean up waste, they may become useful as animal feed or even bio-fuel.
《连线杂志》的一篇文章报道,有些企业正在利用蛆虫清理天然废料。文章还说,蛆虫吃了天然废料后可用作其他动物的食物和生物燃料。
BioCycle is a business specializing in renewable energy and recycling organic materials. The company’s website notes that black soldier flies are perfect to use for environmental purposes.The flies eat anything and a lot of it. Their larvae are not harmful to crops or other creatures. They live for only a short time, during which they only drink a little water and seem to be mainly concerned with mating.
“生物循环(BioCycle)”是一家专门生产可再生能源和回收利用有机物的公司。该公司网站指出,黑水虻对于环境大有裨益。这种苍蝇什么都吃,而且食量很大。他们的幼虫不会对庄稼或其他生物造成破坏。黑水虻生命周期短,仅靠少量水分就能存活,生命活动以交配为主。
But destroying waste, feeding animals and fueling vehicles may not be the greatest strength of the lowly maggot.
而蛆虫虽然地位卑贱,但本事不小,它们的用处不仅限于清理废料、作动物饲料和汽车燃料。
In laboratory tests, maggots seem able to fight diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics.
实验测试表明,蛆虫似乎能够治疗一些对抗生素产生耐药性的疾病。
For years, doctors used maggots to clear dead tissue from wounds. Medical historians claim that doctors in Napoleon’s army used maggots to do just that. And during World War I, an American doctor, William Baer, took note that wounds with maggots healed better.
多年来,一直有医生使用蛆虫清理伤口上的坏死组织。许多医学历史学家认为,拿破仑部队里的军医就曾这么干过。第一次世界大战期间,美国医生威廉·贝尔也曾记载过蛆虫能够有效愈合伤口。
But then penicillin and other antibiotics came along. So, doctors stopped using maggots. Now, however, some germs have mutated. The resulting “superbugs” are threatening the effectiveness of our most powerful drugs.
后来随着青霉素和其它抗生素的问世,医生们就不再使用蛆虫了。而如今,一些病菌发生了变异,由此产生的超级病菌令疗效最强大的药物都束手无策。
Researchers in Wales say maggot secretions -- the substances they naturally produce -- may be able to fight germs that have built-up a resistance to antibiotics.
威尔士的研究人员表示,蛆虫的自然分泌物也许能够抵御已对抗生素产生耐药性的病菌。
To make things even grosser, these scientists are not interested in all maggots – just the ones that eat dead tissue. Maggots can eat many different things. The University of Swansea researchers, however, studied only maggots that eat dead -- or necrotic -- tissue.
而更恶心的是,这些科学家并非对所有蛆虫都感兴趣,他们只研究那些以坏死组织为食的蛆虫。蛆虫能吃的东西有很多,而以坏死的组织为食的蛆虫才是斯旺西大学研究人员的主要研究对象。
As if maggots eating dead tissue isn’t gross enough, what they secrete or spit up could be a wonder drug.
尽管这些吃坏死组织的蛆虫很恶心,但其分泌物可是神药。
Yamni Nigam is a professor with Swansea University in Wales. She says her team was surprised to learn that the substances that maggots produce are effective against bacteria.
亚穆尼·尼加姆是威尔士斯旺西大学的教授。她表示,她的研究团队对发现蛆虫分泌物能有效对抗细菌感到很吃惊。
And to our surprise we found that we had excellent antibacterial activity in certain fractions, in certain samples of maggot secretions. So that’s a new hope for a novel new antibiotic that we’re hoping to one day find from the maggot secretions.
“我们惊奇地发现,某些蛆虫分泌物样本有很好的抑菌作用。那么在未来,我们就有可能利用蛆虫分泌物的原理发明出一种新型抗生素。”
She says the maggots used in this study were clean and free from living organisms.In other words, they were the best maggots on the market!
她说实验中选取的蛆虫是脱离有机体的纯净样本。换句话说,这些蛆虫是市面上最优良的实验品种。
The clinical maggot we use which is sterile, clean, clinical grade can only eat dead tissue. People need to be reassured about that.
“我们使用的是无菌而纯净的临床蛆虫,它们只食用坏死组织。人们大可以放心。”
The researchers take sterile maggots and add water. The maggots produce their secretions in the water.Nigam notes that the maggot secretions are full of molecules that can help us heal.
实验中,研究人员将无菌蛆虫和水放到一起。不久,水中出现蛆虫的分泌物。尼加姆指出蛆虫分泌物中含有大量促进伤口愈合的分子。
She gets very excited when she talks about maggots.
谈起蛆虫,她很兴奋。
They’re little factories producing all these molecules; anti-bacterial molecules, anti-fungal molecules, the pro wound-healing molecules. They’re doing all that, as well as digesting away the dead, necrotic tissue,which again we’ve known that they do that by secreting a series of enzymes that they let out of their body, and those enzymes digest all the dead infected flesh away.”
“这些蛆虫仿佛一个个生产分子的小工厂,它们生产抑菌分子,抗真菌分子和促进伤口愈合的分子。此外,它们还会食用并消化掉坏死的组织。我们知道,要完成这一过程,它们的身体会分泌出一系列酶,正是这些酶促进了蛆虫对坏死组织的消化和吸收。”
The Swansea University team has named one of these healing molecules. They are calling it Seraticin. If it works, people may not be so grossed out by maggots in the future.
斯旺西大学的研究团队还把其中一种促进伤口愈合的分子命名为Seraticin。如果这些分子确实能够为人所用,那么人类以后就不会对蛆虫感到如此厌恶了。
Maybe.
这是有可能的。
In 2017, Nigam asked a group of British health workers if they would use maggots on a patient. Only 30 percent said they would.
2017年,尼加姆询问了几个英国的医务人员,问他们是否会将蛆虫用于治疗病人。30%的人给出了肯定的回答。
But she is not giving up. She believes so strongly in the healing power of maggots that she launched a “Love a Maggot” campaign at the university.
但她不会放弃。她坚信蛆虫具有神奇的疗愈功效,为此她还在斯旺西大学发起了一项运动,名字就叫做“爱上小蛆虫!”
And that’s the Health & Lifestyle report. I’m Anna Matteo.
以上就是今天的健康与生活报道。安娜·马泰奥为您播报。

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