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Its Wednesday, February 16, Im Natali Morris. And its time to get loaded.今天是2月16日,周三。我是Natali Morris。是时候接收最新科技资讯了。Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did speak about internet freedom on Tuesday, but we didnt get many concrete plans as to what the government plans to do to insure this internationally. The State Department does have to walk a fine line ensuring security from cyber criminals and terrorists, but also they want to ensure equal unfettered access though no word on how theyre gonna do that yet.美国国务卿希拉里·克林顿周二提到了互联网自由问题,但我们并没得知政府对这一国际问题的任何具体工作计划。国务院必须要确保网络安全,避免网络黑客和恐怖分子的袭击,但同时也要确保网络公平自由,虽然目前政府还没有任何表示。In related news, we do know that the Obama Administration plans to increase the budget for cyber security at home. Mondays budget proposal included more money for security research and development to reduce the risk of insider threats and make sure the programs that run our national utilities are not threatened. This is just a proposal, but itll kick into effect in 2012.相关新闻称,奥巴马政府计划增加国内网络安全方面的预算。周一的预算草案显示国家预算不仅包括了网络安全的研究与开发经费,还包括减小内部网络威胁和维护国家公用事业安全运行的经费。虽然这还只是提议,但这项计划将于2012年生效。Leapfrog announced a tablet for children. Its the LeapPad Explorer. It looks like a kid-friendly version of a tablet. It has games and activities to help children learn to , count, practice vocabulary and more. It also has a camera, a recorder, a microphone and a five-inch color touchscreen. Itll cost 99 dollars when it comes out this summer.Leapfrog公司宣布将为孩子们推出一款平板电脑。那就是LeapPad Explorer。它看上去就是一款儿童友好型的平板电脑。它拥有玩游戏以及帮助儿童阅读,数数,学习词汇等功能。它还配备有摄像头,录像机,麦克风和一个5英寸的色触摸屏。这款电脑售价99美元,并将于今年夏天上市。Apple has enabled subscriptions in the App store for things like magazines, newspapers and s. This means that publishers of content will be able to set the price and timeframe of your subscriptions. These are subscriptions for the Mac app store and the ITunes app store. Apple will process the payments through your ITunes account and take 30% of the revenue. This is the same subscription service that news corps The Daily uses.苹果公司的用户可以在应用商城中获取杂志,报纸和视频。这意味着出版商可以为苹果用户设定图书价格和图书出版时间表了。目前,这一功能对Mac应用商城和Itunes应用商城的用户可用。苹果公司将通过用户的iTunes账户收取交易额30%的务费用。新闻集团的The Daily报也是同样的商业模式。And if you feel like your cellphone bill is always higher than you anticipated, its probably because of taxes. A new report from KSE partner shows that customers in Nebraska, Washington, and New York are paying the highest percentage of tax on wireless bills. The rate is over 20% of the total amount in these states. The national average is not much better at 16%. Unfortunately this is not very well regulated, and municipalities can make changes to these taxes as they see fit, so the customers get shafted.如果你的手机的费用总是超出你的预计,那么这有可能是税收造成的。卡拉奇券交易所的最新报告显示,内布拉斯加州,华盛顿和纽约消费者们的手机税率是最高的。在这些州税率是20%。全国平均税率不超过16%。不幸的是税率的多少并不规律,市民可以进行适当的调整,这样消费者就能受到一定保护了。Logitech will upgrade its streaming service to stream to IPhone, IPad and IPod touch. Logitech lifesize center is a product for businesses to stream to employees for the purpose of training or meeting. Its not a two-way communication tool, it only sends out to approve people who can now watch it on IOS devices.罗技科技公司将更新其视频务,以使iPhone,iPad和iPod touch用户也可使用其务。罗技科技的Lifesize视频中心是一款向职工发放培训和会议视频的商业产品。这并不是一款用于双向交流的工具,它允许用户向指定用户发送视频,接收的用户将可以在IOS系统的电子设备上观看所接收的视频。And finally, a German man received the honorable mention in this years World Press Photo Contest for taking photos of Google street view images. He put his camera in front of his computer and photographed images of unfortunate events that were on Google Street View, like this one, and this one, and this one. He called his photos as a series of unfortunate events, if you want to page through this, find at link at cnet.com/loaded.最后一条消息,一名德国人使用谷歌街景技术截取图片并获得世界新闻摄影比赛荣誉奖。他用照相机对准电脑屏幕拍摄下利用谷歌街景技术找到的不幸事件图片,这张就是,这张也是,这张也是。他称这些图片为《一系列的不幸事件》,如果你想查看相关的详细信息,请登录cnet.com。Thats your news of the day. I will see you tomorrow, Im Natali Morris for cnet, and youve just been loaded.以上就是今天的科技新闻。我们明天见,我是CNET的Ntali Morris,感谢您的收看。注:本篇文章英文来自普特论坛,译文属原创,,。201210/206293Business Corporate political donations Lighten our darkness商业 公司政治献金 拨云见日There are big differences in what firms reveal about their political donations政治献金信息披露因公司而异IT IS not just the incestuous make-up of News Corporations board that annoys its shareholders. Activist investors such as the Nathan Cummings Foundation also complain about the firms lack of transparency about its political donations.不仅仅是新闻集团董事会排外的组织结构让其股东感到懊恼,就连诸如内森?卡明斯基基金会这样的投资积极分子也抱怨该公司在其政治献金项目上缺乏透明度。Although News Corp opened up a bit this year, it is still more opaque than its peers in the Samp;P 100, as a new index of corporate political disclosure shows.尽管,今年新闻集团对该项目透露了稍许信息,但是根据一项新的旨在披露公司政治捐赠行为的指数显示,新闻集团较其在标准普尔500指数上市的同行们显得更加不透明。The index, launched by the Robert Zicklin Centre for Corporate Integrity at Baruch College on September 15th, does not argue that corporate political donations are good or bad.9月15日,由纽约市立大学巴鲁克学院的罗伯特金科林企业诚信中心发布了该指数。该指数并未表明赞同抑或否定公司政治捐赠行为的意见。But its compilers believe that the public and shareholders have a right to know what firms are up to.但是该指数的众多编者相信公众和股东有权利知道公司做出捐赠决议的理由。It looks at 57 measures of transparency, including how many clicks it takes to get from the firms website to information about political donations and how detailed that information is.指数考察了57项透明度指标,其中包括为获得公司政治捐赠信息而产生的公司网页点击量及信息的详细程度。News Corp is one of 28 companies rated ;opaque;, along with popular bogeymen such as Halliburton and Walmart—and fashionable firms such as Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Nike and Walt Disney.新闻集团是28家被评为不透明的公司之一,这些公司还包括诸如哈利伯顿和沃尔玛这样受人欢迎的怪物公司,以及亚马逊、伯克希尔?哈撒韦公司、谷歌、耐克和迪斯尼这样的新贵公司。Only a handful of firms were deemed ;transparent;, including Colgate-Palmolive, IBM, Pfizer and Goldman Sachs (an investment bank once nicknamed ;Government Sachs; because of its political connections).仅有部分公司被该指数认为是透明的,这包括高露洁、国际商业机器有限公司,瑞辉制药有限公司和高盛(一家因其政治关系而曾被冠以;Government Sachs;绰号的投资)。Finance is, surprisingly, the third-most-transparent industry, behind drugs and oil. Mining, manufacturing and utilities are the most opaque.令人惊奇的是,金融业位列透明度第三的产业,居于制药业和石油行业之后。采矿业、制造业及公用事业是最不透明的行业。As firms donate more to politicians, they tend to disclose more.鉴于公司对政客的捐赠行为越来越多,他们倾向于披露更多的信息。Yet the very biggest donors are not the most transparent, says Donald Schepers, one of the creators of the index, which they aim to expand next year to cover the entire Samp;P 500.作为该指数创始人之一唐纳德?施皮尔斯说,尽管最大的献主是那些最不透明的公司,但他们打算明年将该指数拓展到囊括所有的标准普尔500公司。That said, several firms have ;made big improvements in their disclosure since we wrote to tell them that we were doing the index,; says Mr Schepers.施皮尔斯说,由于被告知他们正在编排该指数,一些公司改善了政治捐赠项目的信息披露状况。That alone suggests that measuring transparency is worthwhile.仅此就表明对透明度的衡量是值得的。 /201301/219222Science and technology.科技。Animal cognition动物的认知Mans best friend人类的挚友Can dogs really show empathy towards humans?真的能感受人类的情绪吗?DOGS quickly become part of the family. Tales abound of dogs celebrating joy in a household or commiserating when tragedy strikes. This may not seem surprising after 15,000 years of co-evolution. But what hard evidence is there of dogs empathy with humans? A new experiment suggests that behind all the waggy tails there really is something deeper going on.很快成了人类家庭中的一员,它们庆祝家庭喜事,怜悯悲剧的发生,这种故事屡见不鲜。在人类与共同进化了一万五千年之后,这点或许并不稀奇。但有没有确凿的据能够明能体会人类的感受呢?最近一项新的实验表明,背后的确隐藏着更深的含义。Past experiments have hinted that animals can feel sympathy. Rats and monkeys had been found to forgo food to avoid delivering electric shocks to relatives. Similarly, apes have recently been documented consoling one another after conflicts. However, all these experiments and observations were demonstrating an animals sensitivity to distress in other members of the same species. Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer of Goldsmiths College, London, set out to see if dogs could detect the emotional state of humans.以往的一些实验已经间接地表明动物们也具有同情心。科学家发现,老鼠和猴子会放弃食物,以防自己受到电击而危害同伴。类似的还有大猩猩,它们会在发生争斗后彼此安慰。然而这些实验和观察都只能明同物种的动物相互之间拥有感受痛楚的能力。伦敦金史密斯大学的黛拉?科斯坦斯与詹妮弗?梅耶正在着手研究,看它们能否察觉人类的情绪状态。To do this, Dr Custance and Ms Mayer conducted an experiment to study the response of dogs when a nearby human suddenly began to cry. The researchers knew that interpreting responses would be difficult, since dogs tend to whine, nuzzle, lick, lay their heads in laps and fetch toys for people in distress. Although such actions hint at a dog wishing to offer comfort, they could also be signs of curiosity, or suggest that a dog is simply distressed by seeing its master upset.为了研究这个问题,科斯坦斯士与梅耶女士进行了一项试验。他们将安排在一个人身边,观察在此人突然开始哭泣时的反应。他们深知想要解读的反应是十分困难的,因为在这种条件下经常会发出呜呜声,把鼻子贴在人的大腿上并蹭蹭舔舔,还会在人类悲伤时叼来玩具哄人开心。尽管这样的行为暗示着它们想要给主人提供安慰,但同时也可能仅仅代表了它们的好奇心,又或者它们只是看到主人懊恼感到忧虑罢了。To work round this, the researchers presented 18 dogs of various breeds with four separate 20-second conditions. They included their owner crying, a stranger crying and both taking it in turns to hum ;Mary had a little lamb;. All four of these conditions were preceded by two minutes of mundane conversation between Ms Mayer, who filled the role of the stranger, and the dogs owner.为了能够正确解读的反应,研究者在实验中采用了18条不同品种的并将它们分别置于时长均为20秒的四种不同的情境中,分别为主人在一旁哭泣、陌生人在一旁哭泣、主人与陌生人轮流对哼唱《玛丽有只小羊羔》。在每种情境开始前,梅耶女士都会充当陌生人的角色与的主人进行时长两分钟的常规交谈。Dr Custance and Ms Mayer suspected that if exposure to crying led dogs to feel distress, then regardless of who was crying, the dog would go to their master to seek comfort. They also theorised that if curiosity, rather than empathy, was the driving force, then the humming would cause dogs to engage with people.科斯坦斯士与梅耶女士猜想如果看到人类哭泣会感到悲伤的话,无论是其主人还是陌生人,都会去主人那里寻求安慰。他们还建立了一个理论,如果使接近人类的是它们好奇心而非感情上的共鸣,那么哼唱小曲同样会使跟人类进行互动。As they report in Animal Cognition, ;person-oriented behaviour; did sometimes take place when either the stranger or the owner hummed, but it was more than twice as likely to occur if someone was crying. This indicated that dogs were differentiating between odd behaviour and crying. And of the 15 dogs in the experiment that showed person-oriented responses when the stranger cried, all of them directed their attention towards the stranger rather than their owner.正如他们在《动物的认知》中描述的一样,不管是陌生人还是的主人哼唱小曲儿,有时候的确会对人类的这些活动作出一定回应,但哭泣的人吸引到注意的概率比唱歌的人要高出两倍以上。这表明能区分哭泣与其他一些奇怪的行为。在此次实验中有15条在看到陌生人哭泣时表现出了同情人类的行为,这些都把注意力转向了哭泣的陌生人而非它们的主人。These discoveries suggest that dogs do have the ability to express empathetic concern. But although the results are clear enough, Dr Custance argues that more work needs to be done to be sure that such behaviour is true empathy. It is possible, she points out, that the dogs were drawing on previous experiences in which they were rewarded for approaching distressed human companions. Dog-owners, however, are unlikely to need any more convincing.这些发现表明的确有表达关心的能力。科斯坦斯士说,尽管结论已经十分明确,我们仍需要更多做工来确定它们的行为是否真的因为它们能体会人类的感受。她指出,可能是出于以往获得的经验即靠近它们的人类同伴能获得奖励进而表现出这种行为。而对于能通人性这一点主人已经十分清楚了。201208/193546Finance and Economics;Europe in limbo;Home and dry财经;迷途的欧洲;安然无恙?岌岌可危!Europes weaker economies are in the grip of a worsening credit crunch;欧洲经济本已弱风扶柳,怎奈又陷入愈演愈烈的信贷危机; The joke recounted by the boss of a large Italian bank is an old one, but it captures the moment. Two hikers are picnicking when a bear appears. When one laces up his boots to run, his friend scoffs that he cant outrun a bear. The shod hiker retorts that it is not the bear he needs to outrun, merely his fellow hiker. “Were sitting at the picnic with our boots still on,” says the bank boss.一家意大利大老板讲了一个笑话,虽然笑话老掉牙了,但是正切合现在的状况。两名背包客正在享受野餐,一只熊出现了。其中一个立刻穿上靴子准备逃命,他的朋友却嘲笑他不可能跑得过熊。前者却反驳道,他不用跑得过熊,只要跑得过他的同伴就够了。这个老板说:“我们现在就是穿着鞋子野餐。”As policymakers and pundits try to work out the effects of a Greek exit, banks and investors have aly been taking precautions. One course of action has been to pull money out of more fragile markets. Never mind the weakest economies like Greece, Ireland and Portugal; Spain and Italy have also lost foreign bank deposits of about 45 billion Euro(56 billion dollar) and 100 billion Euro respectively from their peaks. Add in things like sales of government bonds by foreigners (see chart 1), and capital flight is probably equal to about 10% of GDP in those countries, say Citigroup analysts. Such outflows are hard to stop.政治决策人和专家们正在努力想办法消除希腊脱离欧盟带来的影响,而和投资商早已未雨绸缪,做好了预防措施。第一步,先从较为脆弱的市场里撤资。希腊,爱尔兰,葡萄牙这几个最弱的经济体就不说了,甚至西班牙和意大利也流失了大量外资存款,与各自最高存款金额相比,分别损失了450亿欧元(约合560美元)和1000亿欧元。花旗分析师说,再加上其他种种,如外国政府债券持有量锐减(见图表一),估计上述国家外流的资金很可能达到GDP的百分之十。外流量如此之高,想要收线,可没那么容易。The European Central Bank (ECB) has filled this funding gap by providing liquidity to the banks. But that has in turn reinforced the second precautionary tactic: matching assets and liabilities within countries as much as possible. It is a common refrain from bankers that the euro area no longer functions as a single financial market, although that has the paradoxical advantage of making a break-up less destructive. Banks have used ECB loans to borrow from the national central banks of the countries in which they have assets; that should mean that both sides of the balance-sheet would get redenominated in the event of a euro exit.欧洲中央(ECB)已经向提供流动资金来填补这个资金缺口。这样做却反而强化了预防措施第二步,即在上述国家尽全力实施资产与负债匹配。家们总是在喋喋不休欧元区已经不再以一个单一的金融市场运作,即使这样有一个看似荒谬优势,即降低欧元区崩溃的破坏程度。利用ECB贷款向它们已有资产的各国央行借钱,这意味着,一旦欧元不复存在,负债资产表的两部分都需要重新计算。Much of that ECB liquidity is meant to find its way into the real economy, of course. But the third precautionary technique, for both lenders and borrowers, is to hang fire while uncertainty is so high. The Economist has compiled credit-crunch index, comprising a number of measures on everything from bank lending to the cost of buying insurance against default for banks, firms and sovereigns in the euro zone. A single index disguises big differences between weaker and stronger states, but it shows that credit is crunchier now than it was at the height of the banking crisis in 2008 (see chart 2).ECB当然想要把大部分流动资金投入到实体经济中。但是,借贷双方保护措施第三步,就是在极其不确定的情况下,按兵不动。《经济学家》编辑了一份信贷紧缩指数,其中包含若干各种数据,从贷款额,到防止欧元区、公司和国家违约而投入的保险费。区区一个指数掩饰了强弱国家之间不小的差距,然而,这组数据却显示出,当下的信贷危机比08年危机最严重时更严重。(见图表二)Much economic activity is being strangled as a result. In Spain firms have put bond issues and asset sales on hold. Volatility makes it almost impossible to value an asset, bankers say. The Catalan government failed to sell 26 buildings in Barcelona earlier this year for about 450m Euro because one of the bidders wanted to introduce a clause that said rents would be paid in dollars in the event of a euro break-up; the other bidder pulled out because it had been told by headquarters to hold off on deals in southern Europe.结果,很多经济活动被扼杀掉。西班牙各个公司暂停发行债券,中止销售资产。家称,鉴于如今局面不稳定,资产评估只能是望洋兴叹。今年早些时候,加泰罗尼亚政府未能成功卖出位于巴塞罗那的26栋建筑,其价值约为四亿五千万欧元,究其原因,是一位投标人想要建立一项新条款,条款规定,如果欧元解体,租金将由美元付;另一位投标人选择退出,因为其总部要求暂停南欧市场的交易。The number of Spanish companies filing for bankruptcy climbed by 21.5% in the first quarter. Nearly a third of these were in the property or construction industries, but the rot is sping. Alestis, an aeronautical supplier to aircraft manufacturers, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after failing to reach an agreement with banks to refinance its debts.今年第一季度,申请破产的西班牙公司数量攀升了21.5%。其中,将近三分之一是房产公司和建筑公司,然而,破产还是同瘟疫一般传染开来。不乏就有一家叫Alestis的航空产品制造供应商在本月初申请了破产,因为该公司与达不成债务再融资的协议。The sound of credit crunching can also be heard next door in Portugal, where loans to non-financial companies fell by 5% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, and credit to households by 3.6%. One of the conditions of the countrys bail-out programme is that banks should reduce their total loans to 120% of assets. The quickest way to do that is to avoid making loans.邻国葡萄牙也听得见信贷危机的声音。与去年同期相比,在今年第一季度,葡萄牙非财务公司贷款下滑了5%,家庭贷款下滑了3.6%。在葡萄牙的纾困计划中,条件之一就是将总贷款额减少至其资产的120%。避免再向外贷款是实现这一目标的最佳捷径。Conditions are little better in Italy. The province of Varese, near Milan, is a manufacturing heartland: its factories make plastics, textiles and a range of engineering products. Once firms there griped about poor infrastructure and red tape; now the credit squeeze is their main complaint. The local bosses association says that 40% of firms were hit by lowered borrowing ceilings between January and March, and 15% were told to pay back loans. Banks turned down 45% of requests for new funding.意大利的情况也不容乐观。毗邻米兰的瓦雷泽省,是意大利的一个制造业中心,这里的工厂主要生产塑料,纺织品和各种工业制造品。曾经,这里的公司老是埋怨基础设备落后,官僚风气严重;而现在,他们主要抱怨贷款紧缩。当地领导联盟表示,今年一至三月,有40%的公司因贷款上限下降受挫,要求15%的公司偿还贷款,并拒绝了45%的新贷款申请。Those loans that are extended carry hefty interest rates, in part because higher sovereign-borrowing costs have a knock-on effect on banks funding costs. Differences in sovereign rates can be self-reinforcing, especially when German firms across the border are rivals. “A marginal northern Italian company competing against an equal company in Bavaria will go bust,” says the boss of one bank. “Then the cost of risk goes up and has to be shared by all the other small companies.”那些延期的贷款利率很高,部分原因是较高的主权借贷成本会对集资成本产生连锁影响。国家主权信用评级不同反而能增加本国的竞争力,尤其是当竞争对手是边境以外的德国公司。“一家意大利北部边界的公司想要和位于德国巴伐利亚的对手竞争,无疑是自取灭亡,”一家老板说,“然后风险成本随之上升,其他小公司就必须分担这些成本。”If firms cannot borrow from banks they lengthen payment terms to their suppliers, exacerbating the credit problem, says Michele Tronconi of Sistema Moda Italia, a body representing textiles and clothing firms. Fashion is Italys second-largest export industry, but no sector has a higher level of non-performing loans.意大利纺织装协会,是纺织装公司的主要行情代表。协会主管米歇尔·特隆科尼(Michele Tronconi)称,如果公司从借不到钱,他们就会拉长给供应商的付款周期,造成信贷问题进一步恶化。时尚业是意大利第二大出口产业,幸好没有任何时尚部门被较高层次的不良信贷缠身。This credit squeeze will have tightened since Greeces inconclusive election this month. That further dents growth prospects: estimates by Now-Casting, a forecasting firm, suggests that euro-zone GDP will contract by 0.2% in the second quarter. That in turn risks worsening the debt dynamics of the zones peripheral countries at just the wrong time. Policymakers keep trying to buy time to solve the crisis, but they may be only speeding the end they are trying to avoid.由于本月希腊选举不了了之,信贷紧缩问题更是雪上加霜。于是,发展前景进一步削弱:据预测公司Now-Casting 估算表明,在今年第二季度,欧元区GDP将会下滑0.2%。这反而使欧元区国家的贷款活力在这个错误的时间遭受恶化的风险。决策人奋力争取更多的时间来化解这场危机,然而却可能适得其反,他们不愿看到的结果可能更早降临。 /201304/232929

Science and Technology Epigenetics and stress Baby blues科技 外因遗传与压力 新生儿蓝调曲A mothers stress while she is pregnant can have a long-lasting effect on her childrens genes母亲期压力过大会对孩子的基因造成长期影响RESEARCHERS have known for years that children whose mothers were chronically stressed during pregnancy—by famine, anxiety, the death of a relative or marital discord, for instance—show higher-than-normal rates of various psychological and behavioural disorders when they are adults.研究人员多年前就发现,如果母亲在怀期间长期遭受因饥饿,焦虑,亲友死亡或婚姻不幸等引起的过大压力,她们的孩子成年后出现各种心理疾病和行为问题的几率会高于平均几率。They have also known for a long time that those brought up in abusive environments often turn out to be abusive themselves.研究人员也早知道,在受虐环境下成长起来的孩子长大后往往本身也有施虐倾向。The second of these observations is usually put down to learning.The reason for the first has remained unclear. 人们通常把后面的这个发现归咎于盲目效仿,而头一个发现的原因却仍旧模糊不清。A study just published by Axel Meyer, Thomas Elbert and their colleagues at the University of Konstanz in Germany, however, points to a phenomenon called epigenetics as the likely answer.然而,德国康士坦茨大学的Axel Meyer, Thomas Elbert以及他们的同侪们最近发表的研究报告指出,一种被称为;外因遗传;的现象很有可能就是这个问题的。And if Drs Meyer and Elbert are right, it also suggests an alternative explanation for the inheritance of abusiveness.如果Meyer和Elbert士的结论是正确的,那它也为施虐遗传现象做出了另一个解释。Epigenetics is a type of gene regulation that can be passed from a cell to its daughters. The most common mechanism is methylation.外因遗传是一种可以传给下一代细胞的基因调控过程,This attaches methyl groups (a carbon atom and three hydrogens) to either adenine or cytosine,最常见的方式是通过甲基化作用来完成,该作用可以让甲基(由一个碳原子和三个氢原子组成)附着于腺嘌呤或胞嘧啶上。two of the four chemical bases that form the alphabet of DNA, depending on the gene involved.腺嘌呤和胞嘧啶是DNA四大成分其中之二,而到底附着于哪一个则取决于具体的基因。The consequence is to inactivate the gene being methylated.甲基化作用将使甲基化的基因失去活性。In the case of stress, previous studies have suggested that methylation of the gene which encodes glucocorticoid receptors is important.以往的研究表明,当母亲压力过大时,负责为糖皮质激素受体编码的基因的甲基化具有重要意义。Glucocorticoid receptors relay signals from stress hormones in the blood into cells.糖皮质激素受体依靠血液中的压力激素发出信号而进入细胞。In particular, they do so in those regions of the brain that control behaviour.尤其值得注意的是,这个过程在大脑中控制人体行为的区域进行。Newborns whose mothers suffered from depression while they were pregnant are known to have more highly methylated glucocorticoid-receptor genes than others.新生儿的母亲若是在怀期间出现抑郁症状,他们糖皮质激素受体基因的甲基化程度就会比其他新生儿更高。The same is true of children who were abused when young.幼时受虐的孩子在这一点上也有相同表现。In infants, the level of glucocorticoid-receptor methylation is correlated with the release, in response to stress, of higher-than-normal amounts of stress hormones.胎儿糖皮质激素的甲基化程度与人体抑郁时分泌过多的压力激素有关。And in rats, such methylation makes young animals especially sensitive to stress, and also fearful of novelty.而老鼠试验表明,这样的甲基化过程让幼小动物对压力尤其敏感,对新鲜事物也感到恐惧。What has been unclear until now, however, is how long such effects persist.然而,现在还没弄清楚的是,这样的效应会持续多久。Dr Meyers and Dr Elberts study, published in Translational Psychiatry, offers a clue.Meyer士和Elbert士在《转化精神病学》杂志中发表的研究报告给出了。Troubled teens问题青少年Their team examined the methylation of the glucocorticoid-receptor gene in a group of children ranging in age from ten to 19 years, and in those childrens mothers. The researchers also used a psychological survey to try to determine which of the mothers had been physically or psychologically abused before, during or after pregnancy.他们的研究小组对一组年龄从10岁到19岁不等的青少年以及他们母亲体内糖皮质激素受体基因的甲基化程度进行了测量,还通过心理测试试着找出哪些母亲在期中或者生产后曾遭到身体或者心理上的虐待。They found that women abused during pregnancy were significantly more likely than others to have a child with methylated glucocorticoid-receptor genes.研究发现,期中遭到虐待的母亲生下糖皮质激素受体基因被甲基化的幼儿的可能性要比其他母亲高出得多。By contrast, abuse before or after pregnancy resulted in no such correlation. Nor was the mothers own methylation affected by violence towards her.相反,在前或是生产后遭到虐待的母亲则不会生下这样的幼儿,而且她们本身基因的甲基化与否也跟是否遭到家庭暴力无关。Taken together, these results suggest that glucocorticoid-receptor-gene methylation happens in the fetus in response to a mothers stress, and persists into adolescence.总体看来,这些结论表明胎儿糖皮质激素受体基因的甲基化是由于母亲压力过大引起的,并且其影响将会持续到青春期。This has implications for those adolescents long-term health.这会影响青春期孩子的长期健康。Dampened glucocorticoid-receptor-gene activity has been shown to increase the risk of obesity, of depression and of some autoimmune diseases. It also makes people more impulsive and aggressive—and therefore,事实明,糖皮质激素受体基因不够活跃会增加孩子患肥胖症,抑郁症以及某些免疫系统疾病的风险,也会让他们成年后个性更加冲动,更加富有侵略性。if male, more likely to abuse the pregnant mothers of their children, thus perpetuating the whole sorry cycle.因此,如果孩子是男性,他们更有可能施虐于怀着自己孩子的待产妇女,从而造成持续的恶性循环。Why, in light of such negative effects, have humans evolved to be programmed this way while still in the womb?发现了这种消极效应后,科学家们不禁问道,为何人类还在子宫内的时候就被设立了这样的一个进化程序呢?Part of the answer is probably that not all the negative consequences would have shown up at the time the mechanism was evolving.也许部分原因是,当甲基化作用还在进化的时候所有的消极影响不会当即全部表现出来。Obesity, for example, is rare in a state of nature.例如肥胖症在极少数情况下是天生的。The other part is that some of the consequences probably have a positive effect.还有一个原因是,部分消极影响也许会带来积极效应。If a mother lives in an environment where fear-inducing experiences are common, say, giving her offspring a sensitivity to fear may be no bad thing.如果母亲生活在一个很容易产生害怕心理的环境里,那么让她的后代对害怕情绪敏感也许并不是坏事。What can be done with such knowledge is unclear.知道了这些真相对人们有什么意义尚不明确。Drugs that demethylate DNA are under development, but are still some way from approval—and, in any case, interfering with epigenetics, which is a widesp mechanism of gene regulation, is a drastic approach.让DNA反甲基化的药物还在研发中,并且还未通过临床明。另外,外因遗传是基因调控的常见手段。从任何角度来说,干预外因遗传都是一种极端激进的做法。The research might, though, point to the period when intervening to stop abuse will have the greatest effect.但这项研究也许会把科学家们引向另一个方向,那就是找出对基因调控进行干涉从而阻止家庭暴力的最有效时期。Then again, such intervention is always desirable, for the sake of both mother and child.为了让母亲和孩子们都幸福,这样的干涉乃众望所归。 /201211/210685

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