第二十六期 自然科学

科学日期:2021-06-03 08:35

原文复现 

 

How to map tumours using the techniques of astronomy

Over the past two decades Alexander Szalay, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has helped create the most detailed maps of the comos yet made. His raw material comes from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which began in 2000. So far, this project has charted a third of the heavens and observed nearly 1bn astronomical objects.

The survey’s telescope, which sits on a mountain top in New Mexico, collects its data by recording the arrival of photons of light on a charge-coupled device. This turns them into an electrical signal that Dr Szalay and his confrères translate into a representation of reality by winnowing out the noise and determining, from what remains, what sorts of objects the telescope is looking at and how far away they are.

Now, Dr Szalay has added a microscope to his telescope. In collaboration with Janis Taube, a colleague at Johns Hopkins who is a pathologist, he is developing AstroPath. This is a project that combines his knowledge of astronomy with hers of pathology into a system which does for images of cancer cells and tissues what the Sloan survey does for images of the universe.

Dr Szalay, ever handy with an astronomical analogy, compares the most common current approach to the examination of images of cancers—which is to look in great detail, but at only a few tumours—to studying the universe using the Hubble Space Telescope. This instrument can focus on only a restricted area of the sky, but is then able to record what it sees with immense precision by spending lots of time taking long exposures.

As a consequence, the Hubble has surveyed only 45 of the 41,253 square degrees which constitute the celestial sphere. By contrast, the Sloan survey has so far covered, in a more cursory manner, about 15,000 square degrees of that sphere. This sweeping approach lets astronomers understand the universe’s large-scale structure by seeing entire clusters of galaxies and the relationships between them.

Both methods are valuable. But because fewer cancer biologists use the second than the first, AstroPath is designed to fill the gap. The specialised microscopes the project uses capture images of broad slices of tumours, and do so in multiple wavelengths. These images are then subjected to data-analysis techniques developed as part of the Sloan survey.

In particular, AstroPath employs a technique called immunofluorescence to make its images. This works by using antibodies to attach fluorescent tags to specific sorts of protein molecules. That permits the distributions of these proteins throughout a tumour to be mapped cell by cell. So far, AstroPath can do this simultaneously for between 20 and 30 proteins. Dr Taube’s longterm goal is to do likewise for hundreds of individual tumours of more than 20 different types, enabling comparisons to be made both within and between types.

Currently, AstroPath has scanned more than 226m cells from three types of tumour—lung cancer and two skin cancers, melanoma and Merkel-cell carcinoma. Dr Szalay points out that dealing with these three alone meant processing more pixels than the whole Sloan survey to date. But this is only a start. Eventually, he and Dr Taube aspire to collect and process 1,000 times more data than this.

For herself, Dr Taube particularly hopes AstroPath will flag up molecules that will help her develop blood tests for melanoma and lung cancer, and will improve her understanding of how tumours respond to a form of treatment called immunotherapy. Some cancers are able to put the brakes on the immune system’s anti-tumour activity. Disable this ability and the immune system can return to the fray. She hopes to identify markers, such as the levels of a substance called pd-1, a so-called immune checkpoint protein, that will be able to predict whether a patient will respond to such therapy—and, if so, precisely which sort of it.

The project’s wider aim, though, is to make the results available to the world as a cancer atlas in a format similar to Google Maps. Then, any interested oncologist can take a look and draw conclusions relevant to his or her own area of interest and expertise. If that can be done, it really will enable cancer researchers to reach for the stars. 


                                                                                    

文本分析 

What

本文属于人与自然主题下的自然科学研究成果的主题语境。约翰·霍普金斯大学的天文学家Alexander Szalay和他的病理学家同事Janis Taube合作开发了AstroPath是一个将他的天文学知识和她的病理学知识结合在一起的项目,这个系统通过对癌细胞和组织的图像进行处理,从而应用于免疫治疗促进更有效的药物开发,是广大癌症患者的福音。该项目更广泛的目标是将研究结果以类似谷歌地图的格式,作为癌症地图集提供给全世界,这也将为癌症研究人员的研究提供更多的便利。

Why

科学的发展一次次推动着人类社会前进。本文向读者说明了自然科学领域新的发现——即如何使用天文学技术绘制肿瘤地图。通过阅读此文,学生在提高阅读能力的同时还能够深切感受到科学的不断前进给人类社会发展带来的福音,从而极大地激发学生的学习热情,促使学生立志成为对社会有用的人。

How

本文是一篇科普类说明文。文章主要介绍了使用天文学技术绘制肿瘤地图的背景、过程、原理、优势和前景。本文可分为三部分。第一部分(第1-2)主要介绍了Szalay博士在和Janis Taube合作之前在天文学上的建树,这为他以后运用天文学技术绘制出肿瘤地图奠定了扎实的基础。第二部分(第3-8段)说明了利用天文学技术绘制肿瘤地图原理(3-7段),进展(8)。第三部分(第9-10段)提出了对该技术的前景展望。语言准确严谨,明晰平实,朴素自然,符合科普类说明文的语言特点。                                                                                      

评判阅读  

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【明析体裁  提炼要素】

本文属于科普说明文。科普说明文是高考英语阅读理解的一种常见体裁,着重考查考生对于语篇的理解能力以及信息处理能力。

科普类说明文是对自然科学中的新科技、新发明的介绍,那么我们就要弄清文章介绍的什么人提出了什么样的观点和设想,做了什么样的科学研究、科学发明和科学试验以及研究、发明、试验的内容、依据、材料、设备、特点、方法、操作程序,取得了怎样的进展,获得了什么样的结果,得到了怎样的应用及今后的应用前景和研究发明的意义。反映科技前沿内容的说明文一般来说主要介绍人工智能产品和其他的高科技产品,展示这类产品给生活带来的便利以及可能给我们的生活带来的变化。这类文章的选材一般力求新颖,符合学生探究新事物的心理,对学生创造性思维的培养具有一定的启迪作用。

文本结构一般包括五个部分:标题headline、导语(introduction)、背景(background)、主干(main body)和结尾ending。标题高度精辟地概括文章中心思想,背景则交代研究的起因或者问题现状。主干部分介绍研究所取得的突破,作者往往会详细介绍研究的理论构架、研究对象、研究方法、具体的实验、统计等过程。结尾通常会再次对中心进行概括、重述研究成果后续研究的方向等,与导语相呼应。

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【梳理语篇  获取信息】


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【解析文本  语言欣赏】

本文为说明文,采用了时间顺序来说明研究的阶段。体现时间前后顺序的词依次是 over the past two decades”、“now”和“currently。这些时间顺序的词都形象地说明了科学研究之路不是一蹴而就的,是需要科学家们持之以恒的不断努力。

本文多处使用比较和对照的写作方法。常见的比较对照方式有两种方式:

1、块状比较方式,即先AB,即A1,A2,A3...;B1,B2,B3...

2、逐点比较方式,AB交错,即A1,B1;A2,B2;A3,B3...

本文属于逐点比较方式。如下:

Dr Szalay, ever handy with an astronomical analogy, compares the most common current approach to the examination of images of cancers—which is to look in great detail, but at only a few tumours—to studying the universe using the Hubble Space Telescope. This instrument can focus on only a restricted area of the sky, but is then able to record what it sees with immense precision by spending lots of time taking long exposures.

翻译如下:Szalay博士一直擅长天文类比,他将目前最常用的检查癌症图像的方法——即观察大量细节,但只观察少数肿瘤——与使用哈勃太空望远镜研究宇宙进行了比较。这台仪器只能聚焦天空的一个有限区域,但通过长时间的曝光,它可以非常精确地记录下所看到的东西。

通过对比,读者可以形象地感受到使用哈勃太空望远镜研究的优势。

As a consequence, the Hubble has surveyed only 45 of the 41,253 square degrees which constitute the celestial sphere. By contrast, the Sloan survey has so far covered, in a more cursory manner, about 15,000 square degrees of that sphere. This sweeping approach lets astronomers understand the universe’s large-scale structure by seeing entire clusters of galaxies and the relationships between them.

翻译如下:因此,哈勃只观测了构成天球的41253平方度中的45个。相比之下,斯隆的调查到目前为止只粗略地覆盖了那个球体的大约1.5万平方。这种全面的方法让天文学家通过观察整个星系团和它们之间的关系来了解宇宙的大尺度结构。

通过对比,可以让读者深刻地理解为什么斯隆的调查更具有优势。同时我们也可以感受到,科学研究之路也是在不断比较中向前的。

Both methods are valuable. But because fewer cancer biologists use the second than the first, AstroPath is designed to fill the gap.

翻译如下:这两种方法都有价值。但由于使用第二种方法的癌症生物学家比使用第一种方法的要少,因此AstroPath被设计用来填补这一空白。

通过对比,形象地说明第二种方法即斯隆的调查的必要性。


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【难词扫障】

tumour n. 肿瘤

photon n. 光子;光量子

charge-coupled adj. 电荷藕合的

confrere n. 同事

winnow v. ......挑出来;精选

collaboration n. 合作

pathologist n. 病理学家

tissue n. 组织

analogy n. 类比;类推

immense adj. 巨大的;非常好的

precision n. 精确度 

constitute v. 组成;构成

celestial adj. 天上的;天空的

sphere n. 球体;范围

cursory adj. 粗略的;草率的;匆忙的

sweeping adj. 影响广泛的;含丰富信息的

cluster n. 群;簇

galaxy n. 星系;银河系

specialized adj. 专业的;专门的

slice n. 薄片;部分

immunofluorescence n. 免疫荧光;萤光免疫检验法

antibody n. 抗体

fluorescent adj. 荧光的;发亮的

molecule n. 分子;微小颗粒

simultaneously adv. 同时地

likewise adv. 同样地

molecule n. 分子

melanoma n. 黑素瘤

carcinoma n. 

pixel n. 像素

immunotherapy n. 免疫疗法

brake n. 阻碍物

fray n. 磨损处

format n. 格式;版式

oncologist n. 肿瘤学家

expertise n. 专门知识;专门技术

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【词块积累】

translate into 翻译成

winnow out 淘汰;排除

in collaboration with ...合作

as a consequence 因此

by contrast 相比之下

point out 指出

to date 迄今为止

available to 现有的;对...有效

draw conclusions 得出结论

relevant to 相关的

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【熟词生义】

原句1In particular, AstroPath employs a technique called immunofluorescence to make its images.

   翻 译特别地,AstroPath采用一种叫做荧光免疫检验法的技术制作图像。

employ
分析】"employ"在该句中的意思是: “使用,利用 to use sth such as a skill, method, etc. for a particular purpose。此外, 还有雇佣 give work and pay to; take on or appoint a person as a paid worker之意;短语: “be employed in doing sth 忙于做某事
例句
1. Electronics factories that employ three shifts around the clock are exempted.

采取三班倒的电子产品工厂可豁免。

2. We want to employ men of his stamp.

我们想雇佣他这种类型的人。

3. The children were employed in painting.

孩子们正忙于画画儿。

小试牛刀:(标出划线单词的意思)

1. For the past three years he has been employed as a firefighter.

2. The police had to employ force to enter the building.

3. She was employed in making a list of all the jobs to be done.

Key:1.雇佣;2. 利用;3. 忙于,从事。

高考链接:
    The likables’ plays-well-with-others qualities strengthen schoolyard friendships, jump-start interpersonal skills and , when tapped early, are employed ever after in life and work.2019全国卷一)

翻译:讨人喜欢的能与他人很好地相处,从而增强校园友谊,激发人际交往能力。这些能力如能及早发掘,将会在未来的工作和生活中得以应用。


原 句2By contrast, the Sloan survey has so far covered, in a more cursory manner, about 15,000 square degrees of that sphere.

翻译相比之下,斯隆的调查到目前为止,以一种更粗略的方式涉及了这个球体的大约15000平方度。

cover

分析】"cover"在该句中的意思是包括,涉及,此外还有遮盖;覆盖;包括,涉及;足以支付;行走(一段路程);占(一片面积);报道等意思。

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