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改造蚊子来对抗疾病 – 译学馆
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改造蚊子来对抗疾病

Hadyn Parry: Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease

Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast
我想从
So I’d like to start by focusing on
这个世界上最危险的动物开始说起。
the world’s most dangerous animal.
当你说到最危险的动物时,
Now, when you talk about dangerous animals,
大多数人们可能想到了狮子,老虎或者鲨鱼。
most people might think of lions or tigers or sharks.
但事实上世界上最危险的动物
But of course the most dangerous animal
是蚊子。
is the mosquito.
蚊子造成的死亡人数
The mosquito has killed more humans
比其他任何一种动物造成的死亡都要多。
than any other creature in human history.
实际上,把其他所有动物杀死的人类数目加起来,
In fact, probably adding them all together,
都比不上蚊子杀死人类的数量。
the mosquito has killed more humans.
因为蚊子而死亡的人,甚至比因为战争
And the mosquito has killed more humans than wars
和瘟疫而死亡的人还多。
and plague.
你可能认为,
And you would think, would you not,
随着科学的进步,随着社会的前行,
that with all our science, with all our advances in society,
城镇环境变得更好,人们养成更好的生活习惯,卫生条件越来越优越,
with better towns, better civilizations, better sanitation,
社会越来越富裕,我们能更好的控制蚊子,
wealth, that we would get better at controlling mosquitos,
并以此减少疾病的发生。
and hence reduce this disease.
但是,实际情况并非如此
And that’s not really the case.
如果真的是那样,
If it was the case, we wouldn’t have
就不会每年有2亿到3亿人受到疟疾的侵扰;
between 200 and 300 million cases of malaria every year,
也不会
and we wouldn’t have
有一百五十万人死于疟疾;
a million and a half deaths from malaria,
也不会让一种
and we wouldn’t have a disease
50年前我们还几乎一无所知的疾病
that was relatively unknown 50 years ago
突然变成今天的
now suddenly turned into
最大病毒威胁,而这种病毒是由蚊子传播的;
the largest mosquito-borne virus threat that we have,
这种疾病叫做登革热。
and that’s called dengue fever.
五十年前,几乎没人听说过登革热,
So 50 years ago, pretty much no one had heard of it,
至少在欧洲没人听说过这种疾病。
no one certainly in the European environment.
而据世界卫生组织报道,
But dengue fever now, according to the World Health Organization,
如今每年有5千万到1亿人感染登革热,
infects between 50 and 100 million people every year,
这相当于
so that’s equivalent to the whole of the population
整个英国的人口数量。
of the U.K. being infected every year.
还有人估计每年登革热的感染人数
Other estimates put that number at roughly double
是这个数字的两倍。
that number of infections.
如今登革热蔓延得很快,
And dengue fever has grown in speed quite phenomenally.
在过去的50年中,登革热
In the last 50 years, the incidence of dengue
的发病率增长了三十倍。
has grown thirtyfold.
我来解释一下什么是登革热,
Now let me tell you a little bit about what dengue fever is,
以防有人不了解这种疾病。
for those who don’t know.
现在我们假设你要去度假了,
Now let’s assume you go on holiday.
你可能会去加勒比海沿岸,
Let’s assume you go to the Caribbean,
又或者你会去墨西哥,或者拉丁美洲,
or you might go to Mexico. You might go to Latin America,
亚洲,非洲,阿拉伯世界的的某个地方。
Asia, Africa, anywhere in Saudi Arabia.
你也可能去印度,远东地区。
You might go to India, the Far East.
这都不重要。那里都有同一种蚊子,
It doesn’t really matter. It’s the same mosquito,
和同一种疾病。你都可能患病。
and it’s the same disease. You’re at risk.
假设你被一只
And let’s assume you’re bitten by a mosquito
携带登革热病毒的蚊子咬了一口。
that’s carrying that virus.
接着你会出现类似感冒的症状,
Well, you could develop flu-like symptoms.
这些症状可能都很轻。
They could be quite mild.
你会觉得头疼,恶心,
You could develop nausea, headache,
肌肉酸痛,似乎肌肉都收缩起来,
your muscles could feel like they’re contracting,
你觉得你的骨头疼得像要断了。
and you could actually feel like your bones are breaking.
这是登革热的另一个名称的由来。
And that’s the nickname given to this disease.
它又被成为断骨热(也称骨痛热症)。
It’s called breakbone fever,
因为这就是疾病让你感受到的。
because that’s how you can feel.
而奇怪的是,你一旦被一只
Now the odd thing is, is that once you’ve been bitten
携带登革热病毒的蚊子咬了,你患上了这种疾病,
by this mosquito, and you’ve had this disease,
你的身体会产生抗体,
your body develops antibodies,
如果以后你再被携带同一种病毒的蚊子咬了一口,
so if you’re bitten again with that strain,
你不会再次被感染。
it doesn’t affect you.
但是登革热的病毒不止一种,而是四种,
But it’s not one virus, it’s four,
而如果你身体里有了一种登革热病毒的抗体,
and the same protection that gives you the antibodies
抗体会保护你不再被这同一种病毒感染,
and protects you from the same virus that you had before
然而这种抗体却会让你更容易感染上其他三种登革热病毒。
actually makes you much more susceptible to the other three.
于是,下一次如果你再遇上登革热,
So the next time you get dengue fever,
而且还是与上次不同的病毒,而你因为身体里的抗体而变得更容易感染,
if it’s a different strain, you’re more susceptible,
你这次的症状很可能比上次严重得多,
you’re likely to get worse symptoms,
而且这次侵染你的病毒可能也比上次厉害得多,
and you’re more likely to get the more severe forms,
你可能患上登革出血热,或者登革休克综合征。
hemorrhagic fever or shock syndrome.
所以你一次都不想患上登革热,
So you don’t want dengue once,
你更加不想第二次患上它。
and you certainly don’t want it again.
为什么登革热蔓延得这么快?
So why is it spreading so fast?
答案就是这种蚊子。
And the answer is this thing.
这是埃及伊蚊。
This is Aedes aegypti.
就像它的名字里说的,这种蚊子来自
Now this is a mosquito that came, like its name suggests,
非洲北部,现在已经遍布全球。
out of North Africa, and it’s spread round the world.
实际上,一只蚊子一生中只会
Now, in fact, a single mosquito will only travel
飞行200码(约183米)。它们飞不了多远。
about 200 yards in its entire life. They don’t travel very far.
但它们很擅长搭便车,
What they’re very good at doing is hitchhiking,
特别是它们的卵。
particularly the eggs.
它们把卵产在干净的水里,池塘,小水坑,
They will lay their eggs in clear water, any pool, any puddle,
水盆,浇花的水壶,
any birdbath, any flower pot,
任何有干净的水的地方,它们都可以产卵,
anywhere there’s clear water, they’ll lay their eggs,
如果这些水恰好就在待运的货物旁边,或是临近港口,
and if that clear water is near freight, it’s near a port,
或者在任何交通工具的旁边,
if it’s anywhere near transport,
这些卵就会随着它们传播到世界的任何地方。
those eggs will then get transported around the world.
这就是登革热迅速蔓延的原因,人类
And that’s what’s happened. Mankind has transported
使这些卵得以周游世界。
these eggs all the way around the world,
这种蚊子已经传播到了一百多个国家
and these insects have infested over 100 countries,
这些国家里居住着25亿人口,
and there’s now 2.5 billion people living in countries
这种蚊子就在他们身边
where this mosquito resides.
举几个例子
To give you just a couple of examples
来看看这种蔓延有多快。
how fast this has happened,
70年代中期,巴西宣称:“巴西没有埃及伊蚊”
in the mid-’70s, Brazil declared, “We have no Aedes aegypti,”
如今他们每年要花十亿美元
and currently they spend about a billion dollars now
灭蚊,试图控制蚊子的数量,
a year trying to get rid of it, trying to control it,
仅仅为了一种蚊子。
just one species of mosquito.
两天前,或者是昨天,我记不太清楚哪一天,
Two days ago, or yesterday, I can’t remember which,
我看到一则路透社的报道称
I saw a Reuters report that said
马德拉发现了首例登革热
Madeira had had their first cases of dengue,
约有52例确诊,400人疑似患病。
about 52 cases, with about 400 probable cases.
这是两天前的消息。
That’s two days ago.
有意思的是,马德拉首次发现埃及伊蚊是在2005年
Interestingly, Madeira first got the insect in 2005,
而如今,几年以后
and here we are, a few years later,
就发现了第一例登革热病例。
first cases of dengue.
所以你会发现,这种蚊子到了哪里,
So the one thing you’ll find is that where the mosquito goes,
登革热就随之而来。
dengue will follow.
一旦在你所在的地区有这种蚊子,
Once you’ve got the mosquito in your area,
任何一个携带登革热病毒的人进入了这一地区
anyone coming into that area with dengue,
蚊子都可能咬到他/她,然后蚊子也可能咬到其他人,
mosquito will bite them, mosquito will bite somewhere else,
再咬到其他人,再咬到更多人,
somewhere else, somewhere else,
于是你这个地区就会爆发流行病。
and you’ll get an epidemic.
所以我们必须很好的灭蚊。
So we must be good at killing mosquitos.
我的意思是,这不应该是一件非常困难的事情。
I mean, that can’t be very difficult.
除蚊主要有两种方法。
Well, there’s two principle ways.
一种方法是使用杀幼虫剂。
The first way is that you use larvicides.
你可以使用化学药品,把药品倒进蚊子产卵的水域。
You use chemicals. You put them into water where they breed.
但在城市里,这非常困难。
Now in an urban environment, that’s extraordinarily difficult.
你得把化学杀虫剂倒进每个水坑,
You’ve got to get your chemical into every puddle,
每个水盆,每个树干的空洞,
every birdbath, every tree trunk.
这太不实际了。
It’s just not practical.
另一种可行的方法
The second way you can do it
是杀死飞来飞去的成虫。
is actually trying to kill the insects as they fly around.
这是一张雾化的相片。
This is a picture of fogging.
这也是现在人们采取的措施,
Here what someone is doing
他们用烟雾把化学药品混合起来
is mixing up chemical in a smoke
然后使之弥漫到到整个空间。
and basically spreading that through the environment.
你也可以用喷雾器来喷洒。
You could do the same with a space spray.
这真是让人很不舒服的一件事。
This is really unpleasant stuff,
然而如果这种方式有效,蚊子的数目就不会增长得这么快,
and if it was any good, we wouldn’t have this massive increase
登革热也不会蔓延得这么迅速。
in mosquitos and we wouldn’t have this massive increase in dengue fever.
虽然这些方法不是很有效,但这些
So it’s not very effective, but it’s probably
是我们现阶段最好的灭蚊方法了。
the best thing we’ve got at the moment.
说完了这些,事实上,对你和我来说,最有效的保护措施
Having said that, actually, your best form of protection
还是一件长袖衬衫
and my best form of protection is a long-sleeve shirt
和一点点的避蚊胺。
and a little bit of DEET to go with it.
现在让我们一起来设计一个灭蚊产品,
So let’s start again. Let’s design a product,
就从我们现在所知道的,来决定我们想要怎样的产品。
right from the word go, and decide what we want.
我们很清楚地知道有些措施可以
Well we clearly need something that is effective
有效的减少蚊子的数量。
at reducing the mosquito population.
这里杀几只蚊子,那里杀几只蚊子的措施是毫无意义的。
There’s no point in just killing the odd mosquito here and there.
我们想要的是使整个蚊子种群的数量降下来,
We want something that gets that population right the way down
从而使疾病无法传播。
so it can’t get the disease transmission.
很明显,这种产品必须对人类无害
Clearly the product you’ve got has got to be safe to humans.
我们会在人群中使用这一产品
We are going to use it in and around humans.
它必须是安全无害的。
It has to be safe.
我们也不希望这种产品对环境有长期的影响。
We don’t want to have a lasting impact on the environment.
我们不希望做任何有永久性伤害的事情。
We don’t want to do anything that you can’t undo.
也许在未来20到30年内会出现这样一种更好的产品。
Maybe a better product comes along in 20, 30 years.
但我们不希望对环境产生长久的影响。
Fine. We don’t want a lasting environmental impact.
这种产品最好比较便宜,性价比高
We want something that’s relatively cheap, or cost-effective,
因为灭蚊涉及很多很多国家
because there’s an awful lot of countries involved,
有些是发展中国家
and some of them are emerging markets,
而有些发展中国家的收入还不高。
some of them emerging countries, low-income.
最后,这种产品最好是专门针对埃及伊蚊这一个种群。
And finally, you want something that’s species-specific.
你希望能根除这种散播登革热的蚊子
You want to get rid of this mosquito that spreads dengue,
但你不想因此杀死其他所有昆虫
but you don’t really want to get all the other insects.
有些昆虫对人们是有益的,有些则是维持生态环境平衡必不可少的。
Some are quite beneficial. Some are important to your ecosystem.
只有这种蚊子不是。它侵扰你的生活。
This one’s not. It’s invaded you.
但你不会因此想杀死所有昆虫。
But you don’t want to get all of the insects.
你只是想消灭这一种。
You just want to get this one.
而大多数时候,你会发现这种蚊子
And most of the time, you’ll find this insect
就住在你的家里。
lives in and around your home,
所以这就是我们为了消灭这些蚊子而必须做的。
so this — whatever we do has got to get to that insect.
我们必须进到人们的房子里,他们的卧室里
It’s got to get into people’s houses, into the bedrooms,
厨房里。
into the kitchens.
蚊子的两种特性
Now there are two features of mosquito biology
能帮助我们更好的消灭它们
that really help us in this project,
首先,雄蚊子是不咬人的
and that is, firstly, males don’t bite.
只有雌蚊子才会咬人。
It’s only the female mosquito that will actually bite you.
雄性蚊子不会咬人也不能咬人
The male can’t bite you, won’t bite you,
它们没有咬人的嘴
doesn’t have the mouth parts to bite you.
只有雌性蚊子才咬人。
It’s just the female.
第二,我们发现雄性蚊子
And the second is a phenomenon
非常擅长找到雌性蚊子
that males are very, very good at finding females.
如果你放飞一只雄蚊子
If there’s a male mosquito that you release,
而且你的周围有雌蚊子,雄蚊子能马上找到雌蚊子。
and if there’s a female around, that male will find the female.
因此,我们可以利用这两点。
So basically, we’ve used those two factors.
这是一种典型情况
So here’s a typical situation,
雄性蚊子找到雌性蚊子,产下很多下一代
male meets female, lots of offspring.
一只雌蚊子一次能
A single female will lay about
产多达100个卵
up to 100 eggs at a time,
一生之中能产500个卵
up to about 500 in her lifetime.
如果这只雄蚊子携带一种
Now if that male is carrying a gene
使后代致死的基因
which causes the death of the offspring,
那么它们的后代就无法生存
then the offspring don’t survive,
这样你就不会看到500只飞来飞去的蚊子
and instead of having 500 mosquitos running around,
你一只都不会看到。
you have none.
而且如果你能放飞更多的不育的雄蚊子,我把这些携带这种基因的蚊子称为不育蚊子,
And if you can put more, I’ll call them sterile,
事实上它们的后代会在不同时期死亡,
that the offspring will actually die at different stages,
但现在我先把它们叫做不育蚊子。
but I’ll call them sterile for now.
如果你把更多的 不育蚊子放飞到自然环境中
If you put more sterile males out into the environment,
那么雌蚊子很可能遇到一只不育雄蚊子
then the females are more likely to find a sterile male
而不是一只能正常生育的雄蚊子,这样你就能把蚊子种群的数量降下来。
than a fertile one, and you will bring that population down.
于是,雄蚊子飞出去,它们寻找雌蚊子,
So the males will go out, they’ll look for females,
然后它们交配。如果它们与雌蚊子成功交配,则无法产生后代。
they’ll mate. If they mate successfully, then no offspring.
如果雄蚊子找不到雌蚊子,它们也会死去。
If they don’t find a female, then they’ll die anyway.
雄蚊子只能存活几天时间。
They only live a few days.
这恰恰是我们想要的结果。
And that’s exactly where we are.
这就是几年前
So this is technology that was developed
牛津大学发明的一项技术。
in Oxford University a few years ago.
我在Oxitec这家公司工作了十年,
The company itself, Oxitec, we’ve been working
Oxitec采用的是和药品公司
for the last 10 years, very much on a sort of similar
非常类似的研发方式。
development pathway that you’d get with a pharmaceutical company.
在进行了约十年的内部评定和测试以后
So about 10 years of internal evaluation, testing,
我们认为这项产品已经成熟。
to get this to a state where we think it’s actually ready.
于是我们开始在户外大面积的使用它,
And then we’ve gone out into the big outdoors,
当然总是先征求当地政府和社区的同意,
always with local community consent,
和必须的许可,
always with the necessary permits.
我们在一些地方进行了实地实验,包括开曼群岛的实验
So we’ve done field trials now in the Cayman Islands,
马来西亚的一个小范围实验
a small one in Malaysia,
以及巴西的两处实验。
and two more now in Brazil.
结果如何?
And what’s the result?
结果令人非常满意。
Well, the result has been very good.
在放飞(雄蚊子)的四个月的时间里
In about four months of release,
我们改变了蚊子种群的数量
we’ve brought that population of mosquitos
大多数情况下我们是在乡村做这些实验
— in most cases we’re dealing with villages here
大概2,000到,3000人的乡村
of about 2,000, 3,000 people, that sort of size,
从小范围做起
starting small —
在四个月里我们将蚊子种群的数量
we’ve taken that mosquito population down
减少了85%
by about 85 percent in about four months.
事实上,后期蚊子种群的数目
And in fact, the numbers after that get,
非常难以统计,因为有些地方几乎没有蚊子了。
those get very difficult to count, because there just aren’t any left.
这是我们在开曼取得的成果,
So that’s been what we’ve seen in Cayman,
我们在巴西的实验
it’s been what we’ve seen in Brazil
也取得了同样的成果。
in those trials.
现在我们正在进行一个项目
And now what we’re doing is we’re going through a process
使其有效范围扩大到5,000人的城镇
to scale up to a town of about 50,000,
这样我们能检测这个产品在大范围使用的效果。
so we can see this work at big scale.
并且我们已经在牛津镇,或者说是牛津镇南部,建立了一个生产基地
And we’ve got a production unit in Oxford,
专门生产雄蚊子
or just south of Oxford, where we actually produce these mosquitos.
我们可以生产这些蚊子。
We can produce them,
在这块红地毯这么大的面积里
in a space a bit more than this red carpet,
我能每周生产出两千万只蚊子。
I can produce about 20 million a week.
我们能把它们运到世界各地去。
We can transport them around the world.
这并不昂贵,因为它们才有一个咖啡杯大小。
It’s not very expensive, because it’s a coffee cup —
一个咖啡杯大小的容器
something the size of a coffee cup
能装下三百万颗卵
will hold about three million eggs.
所以运费不会是我们最大的问题(笑)。
So freight costs aren’t our biggest problem. (Laughter)
我们做到了。你可以称之为蚊子工厂。
So we’ve got that. You could call it a mosquito factory.
而在巴西,我们曾经做实验的地方,
And for Brazil, where we’ve been doing some trials,
巴西政府自己修建起了
the Brazilian government themselves have now built
他们自己的蚊子工厂,比我们的大多了
their own mosquito factory, far bigger than ours,
我们就用这家工厂的产品在巴西进行大规模灭蚊。
and we’ll use that for scaling up in Brazil.
你来看看吧。我们把蚊子卵寄过去,
There you are. We’ve sent mosquito eggs.
把雄蚊子和雌蚊子分开,
We’ve separated the males from the females.
雄蚊子被放进小瓶子里,
The males have been put in little pots
卡车沿着路走,
and the truck is going down the road
这些雄蚊子被沿途放飞。··
and they are releasing males as they go.
实际情况中操作会更精准一些。
It’s actually a little bit more precise than that.
你希望放飞的雄蚊子能
You want to release them so that
正好覆盖整个区域。
you get good coverage of your area.
于是你拿一张谷歌地图,把地图
So you take a Google Map, you divide it up,
按照蚊子能飞的距离把地图上的面积分成小块,
work out how far they can fly,
这样你就能保证放飞的雄蚊子能恰好地
and make sure you’re releasing such that you get
覆盖整个区域,放飞以后
coverage of the area, and then you go back,
过上很短的一段时间
and within a very short space of time,
你就能使这个区域的蚊子种群数量降下来。
you’re bringing that population right the way down.
我们也把这项技术用在农业上。
We’ve also done this in agriculture.
我们也针对农业上一些其他种类昆虫开发了产品。
We’ve got several different species of agriculture coming along,
我希望很快
and I’m hoping that soon
我们能获得一些资金,这样我们
we’ll be able to get some funding together so we can get back
能着手对付疟疾。
and start looking at malaria.
这就是我们现阶段取得的成果。
So that’s where we stand at the moment,
我最后还有几点想法
and I’ve just got a few final thoughts,
这是另一种方式,用生物学方法
which is that this is another way in which biology
来补充化学方法,
is now coming in to supplement chemistry
在某些比较先进的领域
in some of our societal advances in this area,
这些生物学方法
and these biological approaches are coming in
都各不相同。
in very different forms,
当你想到基因工程
and when you think about genetic engineering,
我们现在有供工业制造用的酶,
we’ve now got enzymes for industrial processing,
食物中的基因改造过的酶。
enzymes, genetically engineered enzymes in food.
我们有基因改造过的粮食,我们有药品,
We have G.M. crops, we have pharmaceuticals,
我们有新的疫苗,
we have new vaccines,
都采用了几乎相同的技术,却带来了非常不一样的效果。
all using roughly the same technology, but with very different outcomes.
实际上我更倾向于
And I’m in favor, actually. Of course I am.
在那些旧的技术没有效果,
I’m in favor of particularly where the older technologies
或者旧技术变得无法接受的领域(使用新技术)。
don’t work well or have become unacceptable.
虽然这项技术是相似的
And although the techniques are similar,
其结果却非常非常不同。
the outcomes are very, very different,
举例来说,如果你把我们的方法
and if you take our approach, for example,
和基因改造的粮食作比较,
and you compare it to, say, G.M. crops,
两者都试图造福于人类,
both techniques are trying to produce a massive benefit.
但也都有各自的副作用。
Both have a side benefit,
那就是我们大大减少了杀虫剂的使用量。
which is that we reduce pesticide use tremendously.
但是,区别在于,基因改造的植物试图
But whereas a G.M. crop is trying to protect the plant,
通过给予植物抵抗力优势来保护植物,
for example, and give it an advantage,
而我们所做的则是
what we’re actually doing is taking the mosquito
使蚊子获得其最大的劣势
and giving it the biggest disadvantage it can possibly have,
以使其无法生育。
rendering it unable to reproduce effectively.
对于蚊子来说,这是它们的末日。
So for the mosquito, it’s a dead end.
非常感谢(掌声)
Thank you very much. (Applause)

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