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“性染色体”的怪异历史

The weird history of the "sex chromosomes" | Molly Webster

OK.
好的
So we are going to start in 1891,
我们从1891年开始讲起
when a German scientist
当时一位德国科学家
was looking through a microscope at insect cells.
正在通过显微镜来观察昆虫细胞
And he saw something kind of funny.
而他观察到了一些有意思的东西
At the center of the cells, there was this dark stuff.
在细胞的中心部分 有个黑色的东西
No one had ever seen it before.
之前从来没有人看到过
And he noticed that as the cells would multiply and divide,
并且他还观察到 当细胞增殖分裂时
it would go into some of the new cells but not the others.
它就进入到一些新细胞里 但不进入其他的细胞
He didn’t know what it was, so he gave it a really great name.
他不知道这是什么 便给它起了个好名字
He called it the “X element.”
叫做“X元素”
And he was like, “We’ll just fill in that X later.”
大概他想 “我们之后再把X填上就好”
And then, fast-forward 10 years later,
接着 快进到十年之后
and there is an American scientist,
这时有一位美国科学家
and she is looking through her microscope, also at insect cells.
她用她的显微镜 也来观察昆虫细胞
And she sees something funny.
并且她也看到了有趣的东西
There’s more of this dark stuff.
细胞中出现了更多这种黑色的东西
And it’s kind of tiny, it’s hanging out near the X element.
它们很小 并在X元素附近游荡
And eventually, someone was like,
最后 有个人说
“Well, if that one thing’s called X, should we call this other thing Y?”*
“好吧 既然已经有一个X 那我们就叫这个Y吧?”
And like that,
就这样
the sex chromosomes had been discovered.
人们发现了性染色体
So chromosomes, you probably all know what they are,
染色体 你们也许都知道它是什么
but I will tell you anyways.
但我还是要和你们讲讲
They’re made up of DNA —
它们由DNA组成
everything has it, it’s the blueprint of life,
所有生物都有DNA 它们是组成生命的蓝图
we’ve got rats, we’ve got trees, we’ve got insects, we’ve got humans.
无论是老鼠 树木 昆虫 还是人类都有它
And in the case of human chromosomes,
而关于人类的染色体
geneticist Melissa Wilson broke it down for me like this.
遗传学家梅丽莎·威尔逊是这样讲的
(Audio) MW: Typically, you’ll get one copy of every chromosome from your genetic mom
通常 你会从生母的身上遗传她的染色体副本
and one copy of every chromosome from your genetic dad,
同时 你也会遗传来自生父的染色体副本
and we have 22 of these
此时 我们拥有了22对染色体
that you get one copy from mom and one copy from dad.
其中一半来自母亲 另一半来自父亲
And then there’s a 23rd pair, X and Y.
而第23对 就是X和Y
MW:So while all the other chromosomes are numbered, one through 22,
当所有其他的染色体被标号为1到22的时候
we do not call X and Y 23.
我们不称X和Y这对为23
I like to think that they are waiting for, like, a LeBron James to come along.
我喜欢把它们当成在等待勒布朗·詹姆斯的到来
But in this instance, they were like,
但是 对于这种情况 他们想
“We’re just going to keep the letters, and then we’ll give them a title.”
“我们就继续保留这俩字母 然后给它们取名字吧”
They called them the sex chromosomes.
他们将其命名为性染色体
Now I would wager that in the United States, these are the most well-known chromosomes
我敢打赌 它们是全美国最出名的染色体
for one simple fact:
因为显而易见:
that we say X equals “girl,”
我们觉得X代表“女孩”
and Y equals “boy” —
而Y代表“男孩”
that they are responsible for sex.
它们与性相关
And — and I had to learn this —
我必须要申明
but when I’m talking about “sex” here,
当我在这说到性的时候
I’m talking about the way biology gives us gonads,
我指的是生理性别 取决于性腺
which are our ovaries and our testes —
指的是卵巢和睾丸
I’m not talking about gender, which is how we identify.
而不是在谈论作为身份认定的社会性别
And so, as a reporter at the show — “Radiolab,”
作为一个在“Radiolab”工作的
the audio documentary program I work for —
有声记录节目的记者
I was like,
我对此很好奇
what’s up with these sex chromosomes?
性染色体 究竟是怎么回事?
You know, that’s kind of my job,
你懂的 这是我工作的一部分
I think things are weird,
当我发现怪事的时候
and then I get to call people about them and ask questions,
我就会去咨询相关领域的专家
and then hopefully they answer.
并希望能得到答案
And in this case, a lot of people answered.
而这次 很多人都给出了自己的回答
And in the two years
这两年
I had of reporting on X and Y, as part of “Gonads,”
我一直在报道作为“性腺”要素的X和Y染色体
the series on sex and gender I ended up doing for “Radiolab,”
最后为“Raodiolab” 做了档关于性与性别系列节目
I found out that these two chromosomes live in a world
我发现 这两条染色体生活的世界
that is unexpected, a little unsettling;
有点出人意料 还有点混乱
where things that I thought were facts
那些我认为是事实的事情
were, like, twisted in ways I hadn’t seen before.
却像是 以我从未见过的方式扭曲在一起了似的
And the world goes so far beyond the boundaries of sex,
而这个世界 已远远超越性的边界
I was like,
我想着
“Maybe we should all talk about this.”
“也许我们都应该讨论一下这件事”
So, you’re you all,
所以 既然你们都在这儿
we’re all going to talk about it.
我们不妨一起讨论一下
And for me,
对我来说
the true story of X and Y starts with their name.
关于真实的X和Y故事 始于它们的名字
So within years of being discovered,
它们刚被发现的那几年
these two little chromosomes had acquired
这两条小小的染色体
more than 10 different names.
起码被取了10个不同的名字
There was diplosome and heterochromosome
有双质体和异染色体
and idiochromosome,
还有副染色体
and most of the names had to do with their structure, their shape, their size.
而大部分的名字都与它们的结构 形状以及大小有关
And then there was “sex chromosome,”
之后又有了“性染色体”之称
which they had been given because of the fact
这是基于这样的事实
that we had started seeing
即我们开始意识到
that the X would go with the females,
女性携带X染色体
and the Y would often go with the males.
而男性携带Y染色体
But scientists were like,
但是科学家们会考虑
“Do we really want to call them sex chromosomes?”
“我们真的要叫它们性染色体吗?”
And science historian Sarah Richardson is the one
科学历史学家莎拉·理查森
who told me this story.
告诉了我这个故事
(Audio) Sarah Richardson: For three decades, scientists were like,
三十年来 科学家们认为
“You should not call them the sex chromosomes.
它们不该被称为性染色体
The X and Y have many functions,
X和Y还有许多功能
and you wouldn’t assume that a single chromosome controls a single trait.
而你应该不会认为 一条染色体只控制一个特征
Imagine calling one chromosome the ‘urogenital chromosome,’
想想如果我们称一个染色体为“泌尿生殖染色体”
or the ‘liver chromosome.'”
或者“肝脏染色体”会怎样
MW:Scientists,
科学家们
if you dig into the history —
如果你去挖掘历史
it’s really cool, you should —
这事很酷 你该试试
were hesitant to, like,
对此很犹豫
commit to such a specific name
是否要去使用这样特定的
and such a powerfully connotated name.
具有强烈暗示意味的名字
There was a fear that it would actually be really limiting —
因为他们担心 这个名字可能会限制
maybe to science, maybe to society —
科学或者社会的发展
but the fear was in the room.
在当时这种担忧确实是存在的
And you can see
就像我们都知道
they ended up getting “sex chromosome” —
他们最后还是决定采用“性染色体”这个名字
it’s like a pretty juicy title,
一个十分形象生动的名字
it popularized genetics, you know?
向人们普及了遗传学 对吧?
But in the 100-year history since we settled on that name,
但回首这个名字被确定后的100年的历史
you can see it starts to get a little complicated.
你会发现 事情开始变得有点复杂
So around 1960 —
大概是在1960年
this is going to be our first stop on the complicated world of the sex chromosomes —
这将是我们在复杂的性染色体世界的第一站
so around 1960,
大约在1960年
we had discovered that you could be XYY.
人们发现了人类性染色体可以是XYY
They discovered an XYY man.
他们发现了一个有XYY染色体组合的男性
And to digress a little here,
在这里偏题一下
it turns out that the model of “X equals girl and Y equals boy”
这表明 原来认为的“X等于女孩 Y等于男孩”的模型
is really simplistic.
过于简单了
You can actually be a whole bunch of different combinations of X and Y,
实际上可以是一堆不同的X和Y的组合体
giving you, like, different types of biological sex.
来赋予你生物学上的不同性别
You could be two Xs and two Ys together.
你可以是两个X和两个Y组合在一起
You could be four Xs, you could be five Xs,
也可以是四个X或者五个X
you could be XO.
你也可以是XO
And so I thought that was pretty crazy,
我觉得这真是太疯狂了
because I was like,
因为我想
“Wow, this really upends a model of biological sex
“哇哦 这真是颠覆了这里大多数人
I think most of us in this room have been taught.”
学过的关于性的生理知识”
So a few years after they realized that you can be XYY,
当人们认识到性别可以是XYY的几年后
researchers go to a prison in Scotland,
有研究者去了一间位于苏格兰的监狱
and they do genetic analysis of a bunch of the male prisoners.
他们对一群男性囚犯进行了基因分析
And they find a number of people who are XYY.
他们发现有很多的人是XYY的组合
And according to Sarah:
根据莎拉所说
(Audio) SR: They just rushed to publish a theory
他们急于发表一套理论
suggesting that this extra Y chromosome
表明那个多余的Y染色体
could explain criminality in some men.
可能与部分男性的暴力行为相关
MW: Yeah.
好的
So the logic goes like this:
所以逻辑是这样的:
By this point, we’re thinking Y is male.
此时 我们认为Y代表男性
We think male is aggressive,
而我们又觉得男性是具有侵略性的
so Y must be aggression.
所以Y一定是有侵略性的
If you’ve got an extra Y,
如果你有一个额外的Y
you must be crazy.
你肯定很狂躁
And like, we went nuts with this theory.
然后 人们就疯了似的相信了这个理论
We called it the supermale,
并称拥有这类基因的人为超级男性
they started scanning more prisoners, serial killers, boys.
研究者们开始研究更多的犯人 杀人狂魔 和男孩们
And in all seriousness,
而这件事情甚至严重到
there was actually a suggestion
当时有人建议
that we consider aborting XYY fetuses.
孕妇打掉基因组合为XYY的胎儿
So in 1980,
在1980年
this theory pretty much toppled, for a number of reasons.
这个理论因为一系列原因几乎被推翻了
One,
原因之一是
there had been this really large study
当时进行了一个大型研究
that basically showed there was no connection
它的结果大体表明
between Y and violence,
Y和暴力没有联系
I think we all saw that coming.
我想我们都预料到了这点
And then, there was one other thing.
此外还有件事
Going back and looking at those original findings in that high-security psychiatric institution,
当回顾那些在高戒严精神病院获得的原始数据时
they had also found
能看到当时研究者也发现了
a high number of individuals with an extra X chromosome.
有许多人拥有额外的X染色体
So these are XXY, as opposed to XYY.
就像XYY一样 也存在对应的XXY
MW:Really?
真的吗?
Yeah. Now, they never claimed
是 但他们从未声称
that the individuals with an extra X chromosome were superfemales.
拥有额外X染色体的个体为超级女性
They never investigated
他们也从未调查过
whether they had higher rates of violence.
他们是否有更高的暴力比例
MW:Seems like kind of an oversight.
看起来像是一种疏忽
I don’t know.
我也不知道
But I think it’s interesting,
但我觉得这很有趣
because what you see is
因为你会发现
if you start looking at these chromosomes through the lens of sex,
一旦你开始从性的角度观察这些染色体
what naturally falls in place behind
随后就会自然而然的
is we look at them through the lens of gender,
透过社会性别的镜头去观察它们
and the traits that we associate with gender.
并将它们与性别相关的特征联系起来
So men were violent,
我们认为男人就是暴力的
and Y explained why they were in prison.
而Y染色体可以解释他们进监狱的原因
The X did not do that,
但X染色体不会这样
because like, you know, what’s X?
因为 你懂的 X代表什么?
We don’t associate it with violence.
我们不会把暴力和女性联系在一起
And while we don’t believe in supermales today —
虽然今天我们不相信有超级男性
God, I hope we don’t —
上帝 我希望我们不会
we don’t believe in supermales today,
不会相信现在有超级男性
there is a very similar conversation that’s still happening
但关于男孩天生的暴力倾向和其背后的生物学
around inherent violence in boys and biology.
这种类似的讨论仍不绝于耳
So my next stop on the weird world of X and Y,
所以我在这个X和Y组成的诡异世界
or things feeling a little topsy-turvy, is 1985.
或者说 这个混乱事件的下一站是1985年
The World University Games were set to happen in Japan,
那一年 世界大学生运动会在日本如期举行
and the Spanish hurdler María José Martínez-Patiño
西班牙跨栏运动员 玛利亚·何塞·马丁内斯-帕蒂诺
was scheduled to run.
计划参加比赛
She was like a hot shot, a rising superstar.
她当时是一个冉冉升起的新星
And the night before her race,
但在比赛前夜
they had her DNA scanned.
他们检测了她的DNA
Now at the time,
在当时
this was a thing that they were doing,
他们之所以会这样做
because they were like,
是因为他们觉得
“OK, we don’t want men covertly racing as women,
“我们不能让男人伪装成女性去比赛
so we’re going to scan the women
所以我们要对女性运动员进行基因检测
and make sure all their Xs line up.”
以确保她们都是X染色体”
And so I heard this story from Ruth Padawer
我在Ruth Padawer那里听说了这个故事
who was a New York Times Magazine reporter
她曾经是《纽约时报》的记者
and she reported on María.
而她当时报道了玛利亚的故事
(Audio) RP: So they tell her the chromosome test results were abnormal.
工作人员告诉玛利亚 她的染色体检测结果不正常
Although on the outside, she was fully female,
虽然从外表看 她完全就是个女人
she had XY chromosomes and these internal testes.
但是她有XY染色体和隐性睾丸
MW:They were like, “We hate to break it to you, María,
他们说 “我们不想告诉你这件事 玛利亚
but you’re actually a dude.
但你的确是个男人
You can’t race with the ladies.”
你不可以和女性一起比赛”
(Audio) RP: And so she’s thrown off the national team,
因此 她退出了国家队
she’s expelled from the athletics residence,
在体育竞技中失去了自己的席位
she’s denied her scholarship,
奖学金被取消了
a bunch of her friends dump her,
一些朋友离她远去
fellow athletes abandon her,
运动员同行放弃了她
she loses her medals,
她失去了她的奖牌
her records are revoked.
比赛记录被取消了
MW:So it turns out — remember when I told you
而实际上 就像我之前说过的
you can be a bunch of different combinations of X and Y —
你可以是一堆不同的X和Y的组合
you can also be XY and be female.
作为女性 你可以是XY
You can be XX and male.
作为男性 你也可以是XX
In María’s case, she was something called androgen insensitive.
玛利亚属于对雄激素不敏感的情况
Which means that she did have some sort of internal testes —
这意味着她确实有隐性睾丸
they were making testosterone —
这些睾丸会产生睾酮
but her body couldn’t use it.
但是她的身体用不了它们
And so if you thought of testosterone as, like, a superpower,
所以如果你认为睾酮类似大力菠菜
she was not benefiting from it.
玛利亚并没有从中得到什么好处
And so eventually,
所以到最后
sports authorities, like, let her back in,
体育当局同意她归队
but her career was done.
但她的职业生涯已经结束了
And in this instance you see how,
在这个案例 你可以看到
if you assign sex to a specific place in the body,
如果你把性别归属于身体的某个部分
or at least, like, this is what I saw, right?
至少 这是我所了解的 对吧?
If you assign sex to a specific place in the body,
如果你把性别这个概念 具体化为身体的某个部分
it somehow makes us think that we can go into a body ,
某种程度上 它让我们认为可以进入一具身体
look at a specific place
观察特定的部位
and tell someone
然后去告诉别人
we know something more about them than they know about themselves.
我们比他们自己更了解他们
And that feels terrifying to me.
这点让我感觉很可怕
And we don’t genetically test female athletes anymore,
我们已经不再对女运动员进行基因检测了
but you can see very similar conversations happening
但当我们在讨论睾酮对体育运动的影响时
when we talk about testosterone in sports,
你仍然可以听到类似的对话
you can also see it in suggestions
你也会看到 有人建议
that we take transgender individuals and we genetically analyze them
我们应该给跨性别人群做基因检测
and we tell them who they are.
从而告诉他们 自己究竟是什么性别
That is real,
这是真实事件
that is a conversation that has happened recently.
就在最近的一个谈话中
The last place that I’ll share with you
我要和你们分享的最后一点是
where these chromosomes got complicated for me
对我个人而言 这些染色体的复杂之处
is this one thing that Melissa told me.
而这点是梅丽莎告诉我的
(Audio) MR: You can’t survive without an X chromosome.
离开了X染色体 你将无法存活
No matter your gonads, no matter your identity,
无论你拥有的性腺和身份是怎么样的
every single human being has to have an X chromosome,
每一个人都必须有一个X染色体
because without one,
如果没有的话
the rest of your body doesn’t develop.
你身体的其他部分将无法发育
MW: Why do we call this the female chromosome?
那为什么我们将X称呼为女性染色体?
OK, this is something I had never though about,
我承认 这是我从没想过的事情
but literally, every single person in this audience has an X chromosome,
但实际上 在场的每位观众都有X染色体
I’m not lying.
我没有骗你们
Every single person on the planet has an X chromosome,
这个星球上的每个人 都有一条X染色体
but no one is going around like,
但却没有人说
“This is the every-person chromosome.”
“这是全人类染色体”
You know? Like, somehow it’s over here, the Y is over there,
对吧?毕竟 X在这边 Y在那边
and they must be really different,
而它们肯定是不同的
and I’m just like, it would be so much better if it was the every-person chromosome.
但在我看来 如果称它们为全人类染色体会更好
And not just because I’m like,
不仅仅是因为 怎么说
love you all and I want you all in,
博爱众人 希望大家都有这个染色体
but because of what we’re overlooking
而是因为 人们认为它是女性染色体的想法
by the fact that we consider it female.
使我们忽略了其实每个人都拥有它的事实
Because I’m going to tell you one of the craziest things I found out.
我要告诉大家 我所发现的最玄幻的事之一
Which is, when you think about the X chromosome,
当你想到X染色体
of the almost 1,100 genes on the X chromosome,
它大概拥有1100个基因
how many do you think have to do with sex and reproduction?
你觉得有多少基因与性和繁殖有关?
Like, get a number in your head.
现在 你可以在脑海里猜一个数字
Four percent.
4%
That means 96 percent of the rest of that chromosome
这意味着 剩下的96%的染色体
is doing something that has nothing to do with your gonads.
和你的性腺一点关系都没有
And I guess as all of these,
而所有的这些因素
sort of, some of them social stories,
有些是社会因素
some of them scientific stories,
有些是科学因素
some of these facts,
有些是事实
started to add up,
层层叠加起来
I just thought, like,
不禁让我思考
why are we calling these the sex chromosomes?
我们为什么要叫它们性染色体?
Or if we are, like, maybe we all like that name,
或者说 也许我们就是喜欢这个名字
should we just allow ourselves to think about them
但难道我们不应该从更广泛的视角
a little more broadly?
来看待它们吗?
Because if we do,
因为如果我们这样做的话
like, what insights would we gain,
比如说 作为群众 作为科学家
as people, as scientists?
我们能从中得到什么启示?
And we’re at this point where we’re thinking about, like,
而我们现在思考却是 比如
how do we want to teach science, what do we want to fund,
我们要怎样教授科学 要资助什么项目
like, who do we want to be as a society, you know?
又或者 我们想塑造一个什么样的社会?
And I just wondered
我只是想到
if it wasn’t a moment to rethink the biology of X and Y,
即使我们不曾重新思考X和Y的生物学意义
and at the very least,
那么至少
to remember, like, the footnotes of history,
要记住历史的注脚
which is that the dude who came up with the phrase “sex chromosome,”
也就是那个 创造了“性染色体”这个词的人
actually was like,
实际上想表达的是
“Hey, everyone, just remember, this is just,”
“嘿 伙计们 记住 这只是”
and I quote, “a form of shorthand.”
在这我引用了原文 “一种简化的表述”
We should not take it literally.
我们不应该只从字面上理解它们
Thank you.
谢谢
(Applause)
[掌声]

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视频概述

对大众传统染色体观念的颠覆,走进“性染色体”的历史并了解它的真正内核。以及,我们该以什么方式去看待它们。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

玄同

审核员

审核员LJ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2y7osVtIX8

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