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VOA慢速[科技]脑成像技术走进非洲

2014-10-29    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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VOA慢速[科技]脑成像技术走进非洲

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

Brain imaging was once thought to be too costly and difficult for widespread use in the developing world. But the technology soon may be available in poor countries. Brain imaging creates pictures of brain activity. It uses infrared light -- similar to the light produced by a television remote control. Brain imaging can identify the first signs of cognitive delays, mental problems, in newborns and young children. Such children could be suffering from malnutrition – a poor diet.
 
The technology has a long name -- functional near-infrared spectroscopy, or F-N-I-R-S. It involves placing an extremely small, soft helmet around a baby’s head. Infrared light is sent through the bone protecting the brain. It helps to show whether babies are developing normally for their age.
 
F-N-I-R-S is considered safer than other imaging methods, including MRI or PET scan. And it also can be easily moved. The brain scanner equipment can be loaded into a vehicle. Health workers can drive it from village to village.
 
Clare Elwell is a professor of medical physics at University College London. She helped develop the relatively low-cost, non-invasive imaging technology.  She says the device measures oxygen in the blood to learn how babies’ brains are developing.
 
“And as you use different areas of your brain, you direct oxygen to those different brain areas. And so if we look at the change in the distribution of the oxygen in your brain, we can work out how active your brain is and what your brain is actually processing.”
 
Clare Elwell led a study of the testing method in rural Gambia. The babies involved were between four and eight months old. They were examined three times over 15 months. Researchers noted the babies’ reactions to different images and sounds.
 
“So if we present the babies with visual or auditory stimuli, then we expect certain brain areas to light up, essentially. We expect the oxygen to be diverted to certain brain regions.”
 
She says that shows if those brain areas are fully developed or mature. And, she says, it shows if they are performing normally.
 
The babies looked at pictures of objects and people. Human speech and non-human sounds such as running water and bells tested the babies’ hearing. And their brain recognition was compared to those of British children.
 
Clare Elwell says poor nutrition and childhood diseases threaten the African children. She says the goal is to identify babies needing to be better fed or treated for health problems that can harm brain development.
 
And that's the Technology Report from VOA Learning English.  I'm Jonathan Evans.


本文来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2014-09-08


这里是美国之音慢速英语科技报道。

脑成像曾被认为太昂贵而难以在发展中国家普遍使用。但是该技术不久后将在贫穷国家中得以应用。脑成像采用类似电视遥控器产生的红外光生成大脑活动的图像。脑成像可识别新生儿和幼婴的认知延迟和智力障碍的初期迹象。这类孩子可能营养不良或饮食不良。

该技术有个很长的名称——功能性近红外光光谱仪(FNIRS)。使用时将小巧柔软的头盔带在婴儿头上,红外光穿透保护大脑的骨头,如此有助于显示婴儿在其年龄阶段的发育是否正常。

FNIRS被认为比核磁共振成像(MRI)或正电子发射计算机断层扫描(PET)等其他成像方式更安全且便于移动。该大脑扫描设备可装载于车辆。医疗工作者可驱车从这个村落带到那个村落。

Clare Elwell是伦敦大学学院医用物理学教授,她帮助研发了这种相对低成本、无损伤性成像技术。她表示该设备测量血液含氧量来了解婴儿大脑发育情况。

“当运用不同的大脑区域,氧气会传送到那些不同大脑区域,所以如果我们查看大脑中氧气的分布变化便可得出大脑活跃情况及大脑实际上在处理什么。”

Clare Elwell在冈比亚农村地区发起了一项对该测试方法的研究。研究人员在15个月内,给四个月至八个月的婴儿检查了三次,他们注意到婴儿对不同图像和声音的反应。

“因此,如果我们带给婴儿视觉或听觉刺激,我们预测将激活某特定大脑区域,并预测氧气将转移到该特定大脑区域。”

她称该方式能显示大脑区域是否完全发育或成熟及功能是否正常。

婴儿注视物体和人的图片。人类演讲和非人声音(如流水或铃铛)测试婴儿听觉。他们的大脑认知能力与同类英国婴儿进行比较。

Clare Elwell称营养不良和儿童疾病威胁非洲儿童。她表示目的在于识别出需要改善饮食或治疗可能损伤大脑发育的健康问题婴儿。

以上是美国之音慢速英语科技报道。我是Jonathan Evans。



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