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科学家发现智慧基因 打开“开关”可变聪明

Source: 每日邮报    2015-12-25  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

For the first time, scientists have identified two clusters of genes directly linked to human intelligence.
科学家们首次发现,大脑中存在两个与人类智力直接相关的基因集群。

Called M1 and M3, these so-called 'gene networks' appear to determine how smart a person is by controlling their memory, attention, processing speed and reasoning.
这两个“基因网络”分别为M1和M3。它们通过控制人的记忆力、注意力、反应速度和推理能力,来决定一个人到底有多聪明。

Crucially, the scientists have also discovered that these two networks - which each contain hundreds of genes - are likely to be under the control of master regulator switches.
关键是,科学家们还发现,有主控“开关”专门负责控制这两个基因群(每个基因群包含成百上千种基因)。

The researchers from Imperial College London are now keen to identify these switches and explore whether it might be feasible to manipulate them.
这些来自伦敦帝国学院的研究人员渴望找到以上的“开关”,然后看看能不能对它们加以掌控。

科学家发现智慧基因

The research is at a very early stage, but the scientists would ultimately like to investigate whether it is possible to use this knowledge of gene networks to boost cognitive function.
该研究尚在起步阶段,不过科学家们一定会深入研究下去,并通过对这些基因群的掌控,帮助提高人类的认知功能。

Dr Michael Johnson, lead author of the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said: 'We know that genetics plays a major role in intelligence but until now haven't known which genes are relevant.
论文第一作者、来自伦敦帝国学院医学系的迈克尔·约翰逊博士说:“我们都知道遗传基因对智力影响很大,但至今都不知道到底与哪些基因有关。”

'This research highlights some of genes involved in human intelligence, and how they interact with each other.
研究还发现了几个跟人类智力有关的基因,以及它们之间的相互作用关系。

'What's exciting about this is that the genes we have found are likely to share a common regulation, which means that potentially we can manipulate a whole set of genes whose activity is linked to human intelligence.
“令人兴奋的是,我们发现的这些基因很可能有一个共同的控制机制,这意味着我们可以操纵一整套与人类智力有关的基因的活动。”

'Our research suggests that it might be possible to work with these genes to modify intelligence, but that is only a theoretical possibility at the moment - we have just taken a first step along that road.'
“研究表明,或许可以通过协调这些基因来提升智力。但目前这只是一种理论上的可能——这是我们在这条研究之路上迈出的第一步。”

In the study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the international team of researchers looked at samples of human brain from patients who had undergone neurosurgery for epilepsy.
相关研究成果已经在《自然神经科学》杂志上发表。在这个研究中,国际研究团队使用的人脑样本来自一些癫痫病患者,他们正在接受神经外科手术。

The investigators analysed thousands of genes expressed in the human brain, and then combined these results with genetic information from healthy people who had undergone IQ tests.
研究人员对这些患者脑部的数千个基因进行了仔细分析,然后将结果与做过智力测试的正常人的基因信息进行比对。

They also studied the genetic information from people with neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability.
他们还研究了患有神经障碍的人的基因信息,比如自闭症类的神经障碍,以及智力障碍。

Using computer models, they were able to identify the gene networks responsible for healthy human cognitive abilities.
通过计算机模型,他们能够找到那些与人类认知有关的基因群。

Remarkably, they found that some of the same genes that influence human intelligence in healthy people were also the same genes that cause impaired cognitive ability and epilepsy when mutated.
值得注意的是,他们发现,正常人大脑中一些与智力相关的基因如果发生突变,同样也可导致认知能力受损,或引发癫痫。

Dr Johnson added: 'Traits such intelligence are governed by large groups of genes working together - like a football team made up of players in different positions.
约翰逊博士补充道:“智力是由一大群基因共同控制的,就像足球队也是由不同位置的球员组成的。”

'We used computer analysis to identify the genes in the human brain that work together to influence our cognitive ability to make new memories or sensible decisions when faced with lots of complex information.
“通过计算机分析,我们发现,当面对一堆复杂信息,需要记忆一些新东西,或作出理性决断时,大脑中的基因就会协同工作,帮助我们进行认知。”

该研究能为更好地治疗癫痫等神经疾病提供新见解,并最终改善或彻底治疗与这些疾病相关的认知障碍。
This research could help provide insights into better treatments for neurodevelopmental diseases such as epilepsy, and ameliorate or treat the cognitive impairments associated with these devastating diseases.

Vocabulary
epilepsy:癫痫
ameliorate:改善;减轻


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