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《中英文對照讀新聞》Elephants’ low cancer rates explained 大象的低癌症率獲得解釋

2015-11-19 06:00:00

◎國際新聞中心

Elephants have enhanced defences against cancer that can prevent tumours forming, say scientists.

科學家說,大象對癌症的抵抗力較強,可避免腫瘤形成。

There is a train of thought that says every cell can become cancerous so the more of them you have, the more likely you are to get cancer. So if an elephant has 100 times as many cells as a person then the trunk-swinging mammals should be 100 times more likely to have the disease.

有一種認知以為,每個細胞都可能變成癌細胞,所以細胞越多,罹癌的可能性就越高。所以,如果大象的細胞是人類的100倍,這種揮舞著鼻子的哺乳動物,罹患癌症的機率也應該是100倍。

And yet the analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed only 5% of elephants die from cancer compared to up to 25% of people. The scientists turned to the elephant’s DNA - the blueprint of life - to find an explanation.

但「美國醫學協會期刊」刊登的分析顯示,大象死於癌症的比率只有5%,人類卻是25%。科學家因此轉向大象的DNA——就是生命的藍圖——尋求解釋。

Cancer is caused by mutations in a cell’s DNA that produce faulty instructions leading to rampant growth as the cell spirals out of control.

癌症肇因於細胞的DNA變異,產生錯誤的指令,導致細胞失控生長。

But animals also have "smoke alarms" that detect the damage and either lead to the cell being repaired or killed. One of these alarms is called TP53, and while humans have one TP53 gene, elephants have 20. As a result, elephants seem far more keen to kill off cells on the cusp of going rogue.

不過,動物也有可察覺損傷的「煙霧警報器」,進而讓細胞被修護,或者讓細胞被殺死。其中一種警報器稱為TP53,雖然人類有一個TP53基因,大象卻有20個。因此,大象似乎更會在細胞剛出現異常時,便予以消滅。

新聞辭典

rain of thought︰片語,思路。例句:What amazing train of thought led you from Napoleon to global warming?

(是怎樣驚人的思路讓你從拿破崙想到全球暖化?)

turn to︰片語,(尤指因不開心)開始使用(不好的東西),開始做(不當之事)。例句:She turned to drugs after the break-up of her marriage.(婚姻破裂後她開始吸毒。)

on the cusp of︰片語,處於……的開端。例句:We are on the cusp of a new age marked by gender equality .( 我們正處於一個性別平等時代的開端。)

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