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    疫苗是人類醫學史上最偉大的醫學成就之一,是醫學發展的里程碑。疫苗不僅挽救了數以億計的生命,更重要的是,它還開啟了對抗疾病的新思路——預防。在疫苗出現之前,其他藥物和手術都是直接用于治病的,而疫苗開啟了預防疾病的新紀元。那么人類是如何知道接種疫苗的?

    Back in the late 1700s, long before people understood the reason behind immunity, farmers and doctors in rural areas of Britain noticed that dairymaids and other people who got a mild disease called cowpox seldom caught its fearsome cousin, smallpox. Was there a connection?

    18世紀末,早在人們理解免疫的原理之前,英國鄉村地區的農民和醫生就注意到,擠牛奶的女工和其他患過一種叫牛痘的輕微病癥的人很少感染牛痘可怕的表親——天花。這之間有什么聯系嗎?

    Some decided there was and inserted material from the cowpox into an incision they cut on the arm of healthy people, thus somehow protecting them from smallpox. In 1798, a doctor named Edward Jenner published the results of his experiments using this procedure, earning himself fame as the “Father of Smallpox Vaccination.” (In truth, we now know that for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, Chinese healers had been inducing immunity by pushing smallpox scabs into a person’s nose. Some experts now believe that these protective practices—inhaling smallpox virus or pricking the skin—began in Central Asia in the 10th or 11th century.)

    有些人認為有聯系,并在健康人的手臂上割開一個小口,植入含有牛痘的物質,以此保護他們免于感染天花。1798年,一位名叫愛德華·詹納的醫生公布了他使用這種方法的實驗結果,為自己贏得了“天花疫苗之父”的聲譽。(事實上,我們現在知道,中國醫士曾通過將天花結痂塞到人的鼻子里來促發免疫力,這種做法持續了數百甚或數千年。如今,一些專家認為,吸入天花病毒或刺破皮膚等防護措施始于10世紀或11世紀的中亞。)

    Note:

    incision(手術)切口。

    Scientists later figured out why Jenner was right that cowpox somehow protected one from smallpox. You see, when people caught cowpox, their bodies made special cells called antibodies. They fought the disease. That’s not all. They lingered in the blood in case the disease ever returned. Because cowpox and smallpox are fairly similar, if a person was later exposed to the more serious disease, anti-bodies were ready to fight it too.

    科學家后來發現了詹納提出的“牛痘以某種方式保護人們免于感染天花”這一說法的正確性,其原理是:當人們感染了牛痘,身體就會產生一種叫做抗體的特殊細胞,它們與疾病作斗爭,不僅如此,還存續在血液中,以防疾病復發;因為牛痘和天花比較相近,如果一個人后來接觸到更嚴重的天花,抗體也做好了與之抗爭的準備。

    That knowledge helped scientists develop vaccines. The term vaccination was coined from the Latin for cow (vacca). They contain small doses of weakened, dead or modified viruses. Injected into the blood, they trick the immune system into making antibodies. If the body ever encounters those same viruses, even at full strength, the antibodies make short work of them.

    這種認識有助于科學家研發疫苗。vaccination(疫苗接種)一詞是根據拉丁語 vacca(母牛)創造的。疫苗含有少量致弱、滅活或改良的病毒。它們被注射到血液中,誘使免疫系統產生抗體。如果人體再遇到同樣的病毒,即使病毒活性十足,抗體也會迅速將其消滅。

    Note:

    coin 設計(新單詞或短語)。

    at full strength 全力以赴。此處引申為“(病毒)活性十足”。

    make short work of 很快完成(某事)。

    The injected polio vaccine, for example, is a killed, intact virus; the oral vaccine is a live, weakened virus. Vaccines for measles, mumps, chickenpox (Varicella), and rubella (German Mea-sles) are live, weakened viruses.

    例如,注射的脊髓灰質炎疫苗是一種滅活的完整病毒;口服疫苗是一種致弱活病毒。麻疹、流行性腮腺炎、水痘和風疹(又稱德國麻疹)的疫苗都是致弱活病毒。

    Vaccination prior to exposure to the virus is ideal. But a vaccination given within three days of exposure will completely prevent or significantly modify smallpox in the majority of people and given within the first four to seven days will likely offer some protection or alter the severity of the disease.

    理想的情況是在接觸病毒之前接種疫苗。但對大多數人來說,接觸后三天內接種疫苗仍將完全預防感染天花或顯著改善感染狀況;最初的四到七天內接種疫苗可能會起到一定的保護作用,或減輕發病的嚴重程度。

    文章來源:China Daily

    Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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