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    经济学人下载:神兽出世--人猴杂交(3)

    Source: Economist    2021-05-13  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

    The researchers hope this biotechnological wizardry will help with two goals. One is to shed light on the complicated process of embryological development, which might eventually lead to treatments for some congenital diseases. Chimeras may offer a way around some of the ethical difficulties involved in experimenting on human embryos. 

    研究人员希望这种生物技术的巫术能够帮助实现两个目标。一是阐明胚胎发育的复杂过程,这最终可能导向对某些先天性疾病的疗法。嵌合体可能提供了一个办法来绕过在人类胚胎上做实验所涉及的某些伦理困境。

    The other is the hope that chimeric animals might one day provide a source of organs to be transplanted into sick humans. In 2017 Japanese researchers demonstrated the principle by transplanting parts of a pancreas that had grown inside a mouserat chimera into a diabetic mouse, curing it. Whether that can work in people is, for now, unclear. And research into human chimeras is ethically fraught. America, for instance, forbids federal funding of such work. Most of the work reported in this latest paper happened in China. 

    另一个希望是有朝一日嵌合动物或许能提供可移植给患者的器官。2017年,日本的研究人员演示了这个原理。他们把在小鼠-大鼠嵌合体中生长的胰腺的某些部分移植给了一只糖尿病小鼠并治愈了它。这是否能运用于人体目前尚不清楚。而对人类嵌合体的研究充满了伦理争议。例如美国就禁止联邦资助这类研究。这篇最新的论文中所述的研究大部分发生在中国。

    But if chimeric human organs do become a reality, macaques are unlikely to be the animal of choice, says Dr Izpisúa Belmonte. The most likely donor would probably be pigs (this is why his 2017 experiment focused on the animals). Their organs are roughly the size of their human equivalents, and, fairly or unfairly, they seem to provoke fewer moral qualms. (Pigs already provide thousands of people with replacement heart valves, for instance.) 

    但如果嵌合人体器官真的成为现实,伊兹皮苏亚贝尔蒙特博士说,猕猴不太可能成为首选动物。最有可能的供体来源或许是猪(这就是为什么他2017年的实验专注于猪)。它们的器官与人类的对应器官差不多大小。而且,不管是否公平,它们似乎更少引发道德上的不安。(举例来说,猪已经为成千上万人提供了替代心脏瓣膜。)

    The advantage of working with monkeys, at least for now, is that they are much closer, in evolutionary terms, to humans. That may have helped smooth out any compatibility issues between the two sets of cells. The hope is that lessons from experiments with humanity's close cousins might allow the researchers to revisit their work with its more distant, porcine relatives—and get better results. 

    至少目前而言,与猴子合作的好处是从进化的角度来说它们和人类要亲近得多。这可能有助于消除两组细胞之间的任何排异问题。值得期待的是,从与人类的近亲合作中所获的经验或许可以让研究人员改进在猪这种远亲上所做的研究,获得更好的结果。


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