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[健康报道]科学家发现“不老泉”了?

2014-08-06    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.

 
Could young blood be the answer to cheating death? It may sound like the story in a vampire movie but now there is scientific research that supports the theory.
 
U.S. scientists have discovered a protein in the blood in young mice that can undo some effects of aging in old mice. The same protein is present in human blood and might one day help us lead healthier lives.
 
Two papers published in the journal Science discuss this protein, called GDF11.
 
Researchers at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts explain how GDF11 improved the brain and muscle ability of older mice. This protein is found in high levels in the blood of young mice. And it appears to help develop new blood vessels.
 
In one experiment, the scientists increased the levels of GDF11 in aging mice by surgically connecting (or infusing) the blood flow systems of young mice to the old mice. Blood containing higher levels of GDF11 flowed among both groups. In another experiment, they injected the protein into old mice.
 
Scientists saw the greatest change in the old mice that shared blood flow with the young.
 
The old mice formed new blood vessels. The animals' blood flow improved. And the aging process changed directions, or reversed, in every tissue the researchers observed.
 
Researcher Lee Rubin is a professor of stem cell research at Harvard's Stem Cell Institute. His team looked at the effect of GDF11 on brain tissue.
 
"So, this simple surgery, infusing an old mouse with young blood, actually produced some structural changes in the old brain, making the old brain, in essence, more like (a) young brain. And some people have used the phrase 'rejuvenating the old brain.' And similar things were observed in other tissues."
 
Rubin's teammate Amy Wagers said that GDF11 repaired DNA damage linked to aging. Wagers said earlier GDF11 research showed a change in the weakened hearts of older mice. The hearts returned to a more youthful size and beat more efficiently.
 
So, this is great news for old mice. But what does it mean for us? There is growing hope GDF11 might someday repair and renew unhealthy human hearts. Also, Mr. Rubin says the protein might improve memory power for Alzheimer's patients or physical movement for people with Parkinson's disease.
 
But the researcher says the protein is not a "fountain of youth." He says the aim of the research is not to lengthen life as much as to improve it.
 
"In other words, even if you did not live more years, at least you could remain healthier for the number of years you do live. And I think again, what we've shown is functional improvement in ... various different tissues in mice."
 
Researchers at Stanford University in California are doing similar research. They report that blood from young mice improved brain operations in older mice. 
 
Researchers in Massachusetts and California are working with technology companies that specialize in human medicine to see how these findings can help humans.
 
Harvard University's Lee Rubin predicts human testing could begin in as little as three years.
 
文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2014-06-04

 年轻的血液能欺骗死神吗?这听起来像吸血鬼电影里的情节。但是,如今有科学研究支持这一理论。

 
美国科学家已经在年轻老鼠血液中发现一种蛋白质,这种蛋白质可以逆转年老老鼠的衰老。同样的蛋白质在人体血液中也有,它有朝一日能我们活得更健康。
 
两篇发表在《科学》期刊上的文章讨论了这种名为“GDF11”的蛋白质。
 
马萨诸塞州剑桥的哈佛大学的研究人员解释了GDF11如何改善年老老鼠的大脑和肌肉功能。研究人员在年轻老鼠的血液中发现了大量该蛋白质并有助于新血管生长。
 
在一项实验中,科学家通过外手术将年轻老鼠和年老老鼠的血流系统连接,提高了年老老鼠的GDF11含量。两组老鼠血液中都有较高的GDF11含量。另一实验中,科学家对年老老鼠注射了该蛋白质。
 
科学家发现和年轻老鼠共享血流的年老老鼠发生的变化最大。
 
年老老鼠形成了新血管,血流得以改善,研究人员观察的每个组织的衰老过程都发生了逆转。
研究人员Lee Rubin是哈佛干细胞研究所从事干细胞研究的教授,他的团队查看了GDF11对脑组织的影响。
 
“所以,将年轻血液注入到年老老鼠的这样一个简单手术竟然使衰老的大脑产生了一些结构性变化,让年老的大脑本质上更像年轻的大脑。一些人还用“返老还童”来形容。而据观察其他组织也发生了同样变化。”
 
Rubin团队的成员Amy Wagers表示GDF11修复了导致衰老的DNA损伤,Wagers表示早期的GDF11研究证实了年老老鼠衰弱心脏的变化。心脏变得更像年轻,心跳更有力了。
 
所以,这对年老老鼠而言是大好的消息,那么,对我们又意味着什么呢?人们越来越希望GDF11在未来能修复和恢复人类的不健康心脏。Rubin先生还表示蛋白质可以改善老年痴呆症患者的记忆力或帕金斯病患的运动力。
 
但是,研究人员表示该蛋白质并非“青春泉”。他表示研究的目的并非延年益寿而是改善机体。
 
“换而言之,即使无法活得更久,但是至少能活得更健康。此外,我们已经证实的是老鼠各种不同组织功能的改善。”
 
加利福尼亚州斯坦福大学的研究人员正也在做相关研究,他们报告称,从年轻老鼠提取的血液改善了年老老鼠的大脑运作。
 
马萨诸塞和加利福尼亚的研究人员正和专门研究人类医学的科技公司合作,以确定这些研究如何帮助人类。
 
哈佛大学的Lee Rubin预计人类试验最快可能在三年内进行。


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