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          研究人員用納米機器作為新武器對付疾病

          Some bacteria have grown so strong that they cannot be killed with antibiotic drugs. Medical experts call them antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
          有些細菌已經發展得非常頑強,無法用抗生素殺死。醫學專家稱之為抗生素耐藥細菌。

          The World Health Organization says antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of the biggest threats to human health. But, researchers now say they may have found a way to fight them.
          世衛組織表示,抗生素耐藥細菌是人類健康最大的威脅之一。但是,研究人員現在自稱找到了對付它們的辦法。

          A team of researchers from three universities is working on a cell-killing "machine" that is too small for the human eye to see.
          來自三所大學的研究人員正在開發一種細胞殺滅機器,它小到肉眼無法看到。

          "We want to be bacteria's worst nightmare."
          “我們想要成為細菌的噩夢。”

          That was James Tour, a member of the team. Tour is a chemistry professor at Rice University in Houston. He is also a professor of materials science and nanoengineering and computer science.
          這是研究團隊成員詹姆斯·圖爾的原話。圖爾是萊斯大學的一名化學教授。他也是材料學、納米工程和計算機科學教授。

          In addition to Rice University, the researchers come from Durham University in Britain and North Carolina State University.
          除了萊斯大學,還有來自英國杜倫大學和北卡羅來納州立大學的研究人員。

          The team is experimenting with very small nanomachines that can drill into a cell and kill it. These "machines" are really single molecules that can rotate about three million times a second when near-infrared light shines on them.
          該團隊正在試驗一種非常微小的納米機器,它可以鉆入細胞里并消滅它。這些“機器”實質上是單分子,當近紅外光照射到它們身上時,它們可以每秒旋轉3百萬次。

          Tour said harmful bacteria cannot defeat this kind of weapon by changing and growing stronger.
          圖爾表示,有害細菌無法通過變異和強化來抵擋這種武器。

          "We may have found something that the cell could never build a resistance to."
          他說:“我們可能已經找到了一些細胞無法抵擋的東西。”

          The team's work is based on the Nobel-prize winning designs of other scientists. In 2016, three researchers received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for creating the first nanomachines.
          該團隊的研究是基于其他科學家獲得諾貝爾獎的設計。2016年,3名研究人員因為創造了第一臺納米機器獲得了諾貝爾化學獎。

          But the team's cell-killing nanomachines are much smaller. About 50,000 of them can fit across the width of a human hair. In comparison, only about 50 cells can fit in that amount of space.
          但是該團隊的細胞殺滅納米機器要小得多。大約5萬個納米機器才相當于一根頭發的直徑,而50個細胞就能占據著么大的空間。

          The nanomachines could also be effective against another serious health problem: cancer.
          這種納米機器還能有效對抗另一個嚴重的健康問題,那就是癌癥。

          Cancer killer
          癌癥殺手

          The machines can drill into cancer cells, causing the cells' center to break into pieces.
          該機器可以鉆入癌細胞,然后導致這種細胞的中心分裂成碎片。

          Tour said the team has tried four different kinds of cancer cells, and the nanomachines killed all of them.
          圖爾表示,該團隊已經嘗試了4種不同類型的癌細胞,納米機器殺死了全部癌細胞。

          The team carried out the tests on two kinds of human breast cancer cells, cancerous skin cells and pancreatic cancer cells.
          該團隊對兩種人乳腺癌細胞,以及皮膚癌細胞和胰腺癌細胞進行了試驗。

          The way it works is that a peptide, another kind of molecule, is added to the nano-drill. That peptide recognizes a diseased cell and attaches the nanomachine to it. Then, a special light activates the machine which drills into and kills the cell.
          其工作原理是將另一種分子肽附加到這種納米“鉆頭”上。這種肽識別出患病細胞,并將納米機器附著于其上。然后用一臺特殊的燈激活這種機器,它就會鉆入并殺死患病細胞。

          Tour said many nanomachines work together against the diseased cells.
          圖爾表示,很多納米機器聯合起來一起對付患病細胞。

          "Generally, it's not just one nanomachine, it's, it's 50, and each cell is going to get 50 holes drilled in it."
          他說:“一般來說不會只有一個納米機器,而是有50個,每個細胞上就會被鉆上50個洞。”

          The nanomachines can fight cancer cells in the mouth, upper and lower gastrointestinal areas, bladder and other body parts where light can be shined to start the engines, Tour said.
          圖爾表示,這種納米機器可以對付口腔、上下胃腸道區域、膀胱以及其它身體部位的癌細胞。這些部位光可以照到以便啟動納米機器。

          It would only take a few minutes to kill cancer cells with nanomachines, Tour added. He noted that radiation and chemotherapy take much longer.
          圖爾還說,用納米機器殺死癌細胞只需要幾分鐘時間。他提到了放療和化療都需要更長時間。

          In addition to killing bacteria and cancer cells, nanomachines might be used to kill fat cells when placed onto the skin with a gel. Tour said, when you pass the bright light over the problem areas, the machines attack the fat cells.
          除了殺死細菌和癌細胞,當用凝膠將納米機器置于皮膚之上時,它還可用于殺死脂肪細胞。圖爾表示,當燈光照到問題區域時,這種機器就會攻擊脂肪細胞。

          Test on animals to begin this year
          今年開始動物試驗

          Researchers have only worked with nanomachines in the laboratory. They say using this technology in studies on humans is still some time away. Later this year, researchers will start testing nanomachines on bacterial skin infections on live animals.
          研究人員還只在實驗室中使用過納米機器。他們說距離在人類研究中應用這種機器尚需時日。今年晚些時候,研究人員將會開始對活體動物的細菌性皮膚感染試驗這種納米機器。

          As research continues, one problem scientists will have to solve is how to get the light deep into some parts of the body. This would permit the engines to fight bacteria or cancers far below the surface of tissue.
          隨著研究的繼續,科學家們必須解決的一個問題是如何讓這種光線深入到人體的某個部位,這樣就能啟動機器對付遠在組織表面以下的細菌或癌癥。

          I'm Alice Bryant.
          我是愛麗絲·布萊恩特。(51VOA.COM原創翻譯,禁止轉載,違者必究!)

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