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DNA里的无名英雄 – 译学馆
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DNA里的无名英雄

Rosalind Franklin: DNA's unsung hero - Cláudio L. Guerra

脱氧核糖核酸 (DNA)
The discovery of the structure of DNA
结构的发现是上个世纪最重要的科学成就之一
was one of the most important scientific achievements in the last century,
应该说是人类历史上最重要的科学成就之一
in human history, in fact.
现在著名的双螺旋结构几乎成了沃森和克里克的同义词
The now-famous double helix is almost synonymous with Watson and Crick,
这两位科学家也因此获得了诺贝尔奖
two of the scientists who won the Nobel Prize for figuring it out.
但你可能还认识一个名字
But there’s another name you may know, too,
罗莎琳·富兰克林
Rosalind Franklin.
你可能听说过 她的数据支持了沃森和克里克的天才想法
You may have heard that her data supported Watson and Crick’s brilliant idea,
或者她是个不修边幅 争强好胜的科学家
or that she was a plain-dressing, belligerent scientist,
这其实是沃森在《双螺旋》這本書中
which is how Watson actually described her in “The Double Helix.”
对她的描述但幸亏富兰克林传记的作者
But thanks to Franklin’s biographers,
调查了她的生平并采访了很多熟悉她的人
who investigated her life and interviewed many people close to her,
现在我们知道這些事与实际状况差距很大
we now know that that account is far from true,
她的科学贡献也被大大的低估了
and her scientific contributions have been vastly underplayed.
让我们来看看事实是怎样的
Let’s hear the real story.
罗莎琳·艾尔希·富兰克林1920 年出生在伦敦
Rosalind Elsie Franklin was born in London in 1920.
从青少年起 她就想成为一名科学家在当时
She wanted to be a scientist ever since she was a teenager,
这对女孩子来说是很不寻常且非常困难的职业规划
which wasn’t a common or easy career path for girls at that time.
但她在科学方面天赋异禀
But she excelled at science anyway.
她获得了奖学金 前往剑桥大学研究化学
She won a scholarship to Cambridge to study chemistry,
并获得了博士学位
where she earned her Ph.D.,
随后她进行了煤炭结构的研究
and she later conducted research on the structure of coal
这让英国在第二次世界大战期间拥有了更好的防毒面具
that led to better gas masks for the British during World War II.
1951年 她进入国王学院利用
In 1951, she joined King’s College
X 射线技术来研究 DNA
to use x-ray techniques to study the structure of DNA,
的结构这是当时最火热的科研课题之一
then one of the hottest topics in science.
富兰克林改进了 X
Franklin upgraded the x-ray lab and got to work
射线实验室并开始对微小湿润的 DNA 晶体进行高能 X 射线照射的工作
shining high-energy x-rays on tiny, wet crystals of DNA.
但当时的学术氛围对女性并不友好
But the acadmemic culture at the time wasn’t very friendly to women,
富兰克林也受到了同事们的排挤
and Franklin was isolated from her colleagues.
她和莫里斯·威尔金斯起了冲突
She clashed with Maurice Wilkins,
威尔金斯是她的实验伙伴但却把她当作助手来对待
a labmate who assumed Franklin had been hired as his assistant.
但富兰克林还是继续努力在
But Franklin kept working,
1952 年 她拍到了“照片51” 这是最著名的 DNA X
and in 1952, she obtained Photo 51, the most famous x-ray image of DNA.
射线照片光是拍摄这张照片就花了100个小时
Just getting the image took 100 hours,
而分析所必须的计算过程还要花费一年的时间
the calculations necessary to analyze it would take a year.
与此同时 美国生物学家詹姆斯·沃森
Meanwhile, the American biologist James Watson
和英国物理学家弗朗西斯·克里克
and the British physicist Francis Crick
也在研究 DNA
were also working on finding DNA’s structure.
的结构在富兰克林不知情的情况下
Without Franklin’s knowledge,
威尔金斯把“照片51”拿给了沃森和克里克
Wilkins took Photo 51 and showed it to Watson and Crick.
他们並没有计算每个原子的精确位置
Instead of calculating the exact position of every atom,
仅是对富兰克林的数据进行了快速分析
they did a quick analysis of Franklin’s data
从而建立了几个可能的模型
and used that to build a few potential structures.
最终他们找到了正确的结构DNA
Eventually, they arrived at the right one.
是由两根双螺旋线
DNA is made of two helicoidal strands,
方向相反 中间由类似梯子横杆的基底连接
one opposite the other with bases in the center like rungs of a ladder.
1953 年 4 月 沃森和克里克发表了他们的模型
Watson and Crick published their model in April 1953.
与此同时 富兰克林也完成了她的计算
Meanwhile, Franklin had finished her calculations,
也得到了一样的结果
come to the same conclusion,
并提交她的手稿
and submitted her own manuscript.
杂志同时发表了两篇论文
The journal published the manuscripts together,
但把富兰克林的放在后面
but put Franklin’s last,
看起来像是她的实验只是验证了沃森和克里克的重大发现
making it look like her experiments just confirmed Watson and Crick’s breakthrough
而不是赞扬她的实验
instead of inspiring it.
但当时富兰克林已经停止了DNA
But Franklin had already stopped working on DNA
方面的工作并于 1958
and died of cancer in 1958,
年死于癌症直到过世 她仍不晓得沃森和克里克已经看过她的实验照片沃森
never knowing that Watson and Crick had seen her photographs.
克里克以及威尔金斯 因为他们在 DNA
Watson, Crick, and Wilkins won the Nobel Prize in 1962
方面的贡献在 1962 年获得了诺贝尔奖
for their work on DNA.
经常有人说 如果诺贝尔奖可以追认的话
It’s often said that Franklin would have been recognized by a Nobel Prize
富兰克林应该也能获得诺贝尔奖事实上
if only they could be awarded posthumously.
她可能会获得两次
And, in fact, it’s possible she could have won twice.
她对病毒结构的研究帮助一位同事获得了 1982 年的诺贝尔奖
Her work on the structure of viruses led to a Nobel for a colleague in 1982.
是时候把这位在科学界遭受到性别歧视的勇敢女性故事讲出来了
It’s time to tell the story of a brave woman who fought sexism in science,
她的研究颠覆了医药学 生物学和农业科学
and whose work revolutionized medicine, biology, and agriculture.
让我们来歌颂罗莎琳·埃斯利·富兰克林
It’s time to honor Rosalind Elsie Franklin,
这位被埋没的双螺旋
the unsung mother of the double helix.

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