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为了更早地发现疾病,我们来谈谈细菌的秘密语言 – 译学馆
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为了更早地发现疾病,我们来谈谈细菌的秘密语言

To detect diseases earlier, let's speak bacteria's secret language | Fatima AlZahra'a Alatraktchi

你不了解它们
You don’t know them.
你看不见它们
You don’t see them.
但它们就在身边
But they’re always around,
窃窃私语 制定秘密计划 组建数百万士兵的军队
whispering,making secret plans, building armies with millions of soldiers.
并且一旦决定进攻 它们就会同时发动攻击
And when they decide to attack, they all attack at the same time.
我说的是细菌
I’m talking about bacteria.
你们以为我在说什么?
Who did you think I was talking about?
细菌像人类一样群居
Bacteria live in communitiesjust like humans.
它们有家庭 它们会交谈 计划它们的活动
They have families, they talk, and they plan their activities.
就像人类一样 它们耍小聪明 行骗
And just like humans, they trick, deceive,
有些甚至坑害彼此
and some might even cheat on each other.
如果我告诉你 我们能听到细菌的对话
What if I tell you that we can listen to bacterial conversations
能把它们的机密信息翻译成人类语言 会怎样?
and translate their confidentialinformation into human language?
如果我告诉你 翻译细菌对话能拯救生命会怎样
And what if I tell you that translating bacterial conversations can save lives?
我是一名纳米物理学博士
I hold a PHD in nanophysics,
我用纳米技术研发了可用于监控细菌群落
and I’ve used nanotechnology to develop a real-time translation tool that can spy on bacterial communities
并为我们提供细菌活动记录的实时翻译工具
and give us recordingsof what bacteria are up to.
细菌无处不在 土壤中 家具里 我们的身体里都有
Bacteria live everywhere. They’re in the soil,on our furniture and inside our bodies.
事实上 这个剧院里90%的活细胞都是细菌
In fact, 90 percent of all the live cells in this theater are bacterial.
一些细菌对我们有益 它们帮助我们消化食物或产生抗生素
Some bacteria are good for us, they help us digest food or produce antibiotics.
一些细菌对我们有害 导致生病和死亡
And some bacteria are bad for us, they cause diseases and death.
为了协调好细菌的所有功能
To coordinate allthe functions bacteria have,
它们必须要有能力组织起来
they have to be able to organize,
它们像人类一样通过交流组织起来
and they do that just like us humans — by communicating.
但它们不是用语言
But instead of using words,
而是通过信号分子相互交流
they use signaling molecules to communicate with each other.
细菌很少时 信号分子就会流失
When bacteria are few, the signaling molecules just flow away,
就像沙漠中孤身一人的尖叫声
like the screams of a manalone in the desert.
但有许多细菌时 信号分子会聚集起来
But when there are many bacteria,the signaling molecules accumulate,
细菌开始感到它们并不孤单
and the bacteria start sensingthat they’re not alone.
它们倾听彼此
They listen to each other.
通过这种方式 它们能知晓它们的数量
In this way, they keep trackof how many they are
以及何时有足够多的数量采取行动
and when they’re many enoughto initiate a new action.
并且 当信号分子达到一定的阈值时
And when the signaling moleculeshave reached a certain threshold,
所有的细菌都立刻感到它们必须要一致行动
all the bacteria sense at oncethat they need to act with the same action.
细菌的对话包括主动行为和反应行为
So bacterial conversation consistsof an initiative and a reaction,
分子的产生以及对它的回应
a production of a moleculeand the response to it.
在我的研究中 我专注于监视人体内的细菌群落
In my research, I focused on spyingon bacterial communities inside the human body.
它是如何运作的呢?
How does it work?
我们从一位患者处得到样本
We have a sample from a patient.
这可能是血液或唾液样本
It could be a blood or spit sample.
我们将电子发射进样本中
We shoot electrons into the sample,
电子会与任何存在的通讯分子相互作用
the electrons will interact with anycommunication molecules present,
这种相互作用将给我们提供关于细菌身份
and this interaction will give us information on the identity of the bacteria,
通讯类型以及正在交流细菌的数量的信息
the type of communication and how much the bacteria are talking.
但细菌交流的时候是什么样的呢?
But what is it likewhen bacteria communicate?
在我开发这个翻译工具以前
Before I developed the translation tool,
我的第一个假设是细菌有一种简单的语言
my first assumption was that bacteria would have a primitive language,
就像还不会使用单词和句子的婴儿一样
like infants that haven’t developed words and sentences yet.
笑时 代表快乐 哭时 代表悲伤
When they laugh, they’re happy;when they cry, they’re sad.
就那样简单
Simple as that.
但事实证明 细菌并不像我想的那么简单
But bacteria turned out to be nowhere as primitive as I thought they would be.
一个信号分子不仅仅是一个分子
A molecule is not just a molecule.
根据语境 它可以有不同的含义
It can mean different thingsdepending on the context,
就像婴儿的哭泣有不同的含义:
just like the crying of babiescan mean different things:
有时是婴儿饿了 有时是尿湿了
sometimes the baby is hungry, sometimes it’s wet,
有时是他受伤了或害怕了
sometimes it’s hurt or afraid.
父母知道如何去解读这些哭声
Parents know how to decode those cries.
作为真正的翻译工具 必须能够解码信号分子
And to be a real translation tool, it had to be able to decode the signaling molecules
并根据上下文翻译它们
and translate themdepending on the context.
谁知道呢?
And who knows?
也许谷歌翻译不久后会开展这项业务
Maybe Google Translatewill adopt this soon.
我给你举个例子
Let me give you an example.
我带来了一些 如果你没受过培训的话 可能有点难以理解的细菌数据
I’ve brought some bacterial data that can be a bit tricky to understand if you’re not trained.
但请试着看一看
But try to take a look.
这是感染了病人的幸福的细菌家族
Here’s a happy bacterial familythat has infected a patient.
我们就叫它们蒙塔古家族吧
Let’s call them the Montague family.
它们共享资源 繁殖和成长
They share resources,they reproduce, and they grow.
一天 它们有了新邻居 凯普莱特细菌家族
One day, they get a new neighbor, bacterial family Capulet.
只要它们共同工作 一切都很好
Everything is fine,as long as they’re working together.
但随后意外发生了
But then something unplanned happens.
蒙塔古家族的罗密欧与凯普莱特家族的朱丽叶恋爱了
Romeo from Montague has a relationshipwith Juliet from Capulet.
并且是的 它们在一起了
And yes, they share genetic material.
现在 这种基因转移对于致力于成为
Now, this gene transfer can be dangerous to the Montagues that have the ambition to
感染病人的唯一家族的蒙塔古家族而言是危险的
be the only family in the patient they have infected,
并且共享基因导致凯普莱特家族对抗生素产生了抗药性
and sharing genes contributes to the Capulets developing resistance to antibiotics.
于是蒙塔古家族开始密谈通过释放这种分子来除掉对方
So the Montagues start talking internally to get rid of this other family by releasing this molecule.
字幕: [大家开始进攻]
And with subtitles: [Let us coordinate an attack.]
大家开始进攻
Let’s coordinate an attack.
然后每位成员立即释放足以杀死另一家族的毒药来作出反应
And then everybody at once responds by releasing a poison that will kill the other family.
[斩草除根!]
[Eliminate!]
凯普莱特家族呼吁反攻作为回应
The Capulets respondby calling for a counterattack.
[反攻!]
[Counterattack!]
然后 它们进行了一场战争
And they have a battle.
这是真正的细菌与剑状细胞器作战的视频
This is a video of real bacteriadueling with swordlike organelles,
它们试图通过刺或穿破彼此来杀死对方
where they try to kill each other by literally stabbing and rupturing each other.
不论哪个家族赢得战斗 都会成为统治细菌
Whoever’s family wins this battlebecomes the dominant bacteria.
所以 我能做的就是发现那些导致诸如你方才所见那场战争的
So what I can do is to detect bacterial conversations that lead to different collective behaviors
不同集体行为的细菌对话
like the fight you just saw.
我所做的就是在医院监视病人体内的细菌群落
And what I did was to spy on bacterial communities inside the human body in patients at a hospital.
一次实验中 我记录了62个病人
I followed 62 patients in an experiment,
在不知道传统诊断结果的情况下
where I tested the patient samplesfor one particular infection,
我检测了一种特殊传染病的病人样本
without knowing the resultsof the traditional diagnostic test.
在细菌诊断中 样本被涂抹在培养皿上
Now, in bacterial diagnostics, a sample is smeared out on a plate,
如果细菌在五天内生长 病人就被诊断为感染
and if the bacteria grow within five days, the patient is diagnosed as infected.
当我完成这项研究并将其结果
When I finished the studyand I compared the tool results
和传统诊断测试相及验证测试比较时 我震惊了
to the traditional diagnostic testand the validation test, I was shocked.
这比我想象的还令人吃惊
It was far more astonishingthan I had ever anticipated.
但在我告诉你这个设备的发现之前
But before I tell youwhat the tool revealed,
我想告诉你我记录的一位特殊病人
I would like to tell you about a specific patient I followed,
一个小女孩 她患有囊细胞纤维症
a young girl. She had cystic fibrosis,
这是一种使其肺部易受细菌感染的遗传病
a genetic disease that made her lungs susceptible to bacterial infections.
这个女孩不是临床试验的受试者
This girl wasn’t a partof the clinical trial.
我之所以记录她是因为我从她那儿获知 她之前从未感染过
I followed her because I knew from her medical record that she had never had an infection before.
每个月 这个女孩会来一次医院 在杯子里咳出唾液样本
Once a month, this girl went to the hospital to cough up a sputum sample that she spit in a cup.
样本被转移到中央实验室进行细菌分析
This sample was transferred for bacterial analysis at the central laboratory
一旦发现感染 医生们会马上采取行动
so the doctors could act quickly if they discovered an infection.
这也能让我用她的样本测试我的设备
And it allowed me to test my device on her samples as well.
前两个月我对她的样本进行了测量 没有问题
The first two months I measured on her samples, there was nothing.
但第三个月 我发现她的样本中有些细菌
But the third month, I discovered some bacterial chatter in her sample.
这些细菌正在共同破坏她的肺部组织
The bacteria were coordinatingto damage her lung tissue.
但传统诊断方法根本没有发现细菌
But the traditional diagnosticsshowed no bacteria at all.
第四个月我又测了一次
I measured again the next month,
我发现细菌的对话变得更具攻击性
and I could see that the bacterial conversations became even more aggressive.
然而 传统的诊断方法什么也显示不出来
Still, the traditionaldiagnostics showed nothing.
我的研究结束了 但半年后
My study ended, but a half a year later,
我记录了她的状态 想看看只有我知道的细菌在没有医疗干预情况下是不是消失了
I followed up on her status to see if the bacteria only I knew about had disappeared without medical intervention.
它们并没有消失
They hadn’t.
但这个女孩现在被诊断出患有严重的致命细菌传染病
But the girl was now diagnosedwith a severe infection of deadly bacteria.
那正是我的设备早些时候发现的那种细菌
It was the very same bacteriamy tool discovered earlier.
尽管进行了积极的抗生素治疗 但仍不可能根除感染
And despite aggressive antibiotic treatment, it was impossible to eradicate the infection.
医生认定她活不到30岁
Doctors deemed that she would notsurvive her 20s.
检测女孩的样本时 我的设备尚处于初级阶段
When I measured on this girl’s samples, my tool was still in the initial stage.
我甚至不知道自己的方法是否有效
I didn’t even knowif my method worked at all,
因此 我和医生达成协议
therefore I had an agreementwith the doctors
为了不影响他们的治疗 不告诉他们我的设备发现了什么
not to tell them what my tool revealed in order not to compromise their treatment.
所以 当看到这些被证实的结果时 我没敢说
So when I saw these resultsthat weren’t even validated,I didn’t dare to tell,
毕竟治疗一个没有真正感染的病人
because treating a patient without an actual infection
也会对病人产生不好的影响
also has negativeconsequences for the patient.
但现在我们更加了解 有许多年轻的男女仍有机会获救
But now we know better, and there are many young boys and girls that still can be saved,
因为不幸的是 这种情况经常发生
because unfortunately,this scenario happens very often.
病人受到感染 不知道什么原因 细菌在传统的诊断测试中没有显示出来
Patients get infected, the bacteria somehow don’t show on the traditional diagnostic test,
突然间 感染在有严重症状的病人体内爆发
and suddenly, the infection breaks out in the patient with severe symptoms.
在那时 就为时已晚了
And at that point, it’s already too late.
关于我记录的62个病人的令人惊讶的结果是
The surprising resultof the 62 patients I followed
我的设备获取了一半以上病人样本中的细菌对话
was that my device caught bacterial conversations in more than half of the patient samples
这些样本被传统方法诊断为阴性
that were diagnosed as negativeby traditional methods.
也就是说 这些病人中超过半数回家时认为自己没有感染
In other words, more than half of these patients went home thinking they were free from infection,
尽管实际上他们已经携带了危险的细菌
although they actually carried dangerous bacteria.
这些被误诊的病人体内 细菌正在协调一场同步攻击
Inside these wrongly diagnosed patients, bacteria were coordinating a synchronized attack.
它们彼此窃窃私语
They were whispering to each other.
我所说的“耳语的细菌”是无法用传统方法诊断的细菌
What I call”whispering bacteria” are bacteria that traditional methods cannot diagnose.
迄今为止 只有翻译工具能够捕捉到这些耳语
So far, it’s only the translation tool that can catch those whispers.
我认为 细菌秘语时是进行针对性治疗的机会
I believe that the time frame in which bacteria are still whispering is a window of opportunity for targeted treatment.
如果那个女孩在还有机会的时候接受治疗
If the girl had been treatedduring this window of opportunity,
就可能在最初阶段 传染病失控前 杀死细菌
it might have been possible to kill the bacteria in their initial stage, before the infection got out of hand.
和这个年轻女孩的经历 让我决定尽我所能将这项技术推广到医院
What I experienced with this young girl made me decide to do everything I can to push this technology into the hospital.
在医生们的共同帮助下 我已经开始在诊所用这个设备诊断早期感染
Together with doctors, I’m already working on implementing this tool in clinics to diagnose early infections.
虽然现在还不知道医生该如何治疗细菌秘语阶段的患者
Although it’s still not known how doctors should treat patients during the whispering phase,
这个设备还是可以帮助医生密切关注患者的风险
this tool can help doctors keep a closer eye on patients in risk.
它可以帮助他们确认 治疗是否有效
It could help them confirm if a treatment had worked or not,
并能回答一些简单的问题:
and it could help answer simple questions:
病人是否被感染了 这些细菌在做什么
Is the patient infected? And what are the bacteria up to?
细菌会说话 它们制定秘密计划 它们互相传递机密信息
Bacteria talk, they make secret plans, and they send confidential information to each other.
但是我们不仅能发现它们的私语
But not only can we catch them whispering,
我们还可以学习它们的秘密语言
we can all learn their secret language
并让它们成为我们自己的细菌语者
and become ourselves bacterial whisperers.
正如细菌会发射“3 氧代 碳12 苯胺”信号分子
As bacteria would say, “3-oxo-C12-aniline.”
谢谢大家
Thank you.

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视频概述

如何才能提前判断是否感染

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Zeitgeist

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiA41B9LbJI

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