受训小鼠嗅得出肺结核病

作者:未知 来源:未知 2013-03-30

Rats have long been guilty of spreading disease. But now they’ve gone into the diagnosis side. Because rats can be trained to spot tuberculosis —and to do it better than conventional techniques. The finding is in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. [Alan Poling et al., "Using Giant African Pouched Rats to Detect Tuberculosis in Human Sputum Samples: 2009 Findings"]
老鼠背负传播疾病的恶名,但现在他们成为诊断疾病的手段。由于老鼠可以被训练定位肺结核,而且比常规技术做的更好。这一发现刊登在<美国热带医学和卫生杂志>上。 [Alan Poling等著<利用非洲巨鼠检测结核病人的痰液标本:2009年研究成果>]

TB is the number-one infectious disease killer in the world. Early detection saves lives. But the most common way to diagnose TB, visually checking sputum samples for the microbe that causes the disease, requires sophisticated equipment and trained personnel. And it’s not all that accurate.
结核病是全世界传染病中的头号杀手。早期探测可以挽救生命。但用来来诊断结核病的最常规方法是视力检查含有致病微生物的痰液标本,这需要精良的设备和训练有素的人员,而且即便如此结果也非完全准确。

That’s where the rats come in. The critters are easy to train and can smell chemicals present with a TB infection. So scientists sent more than 20,000 sputum samples from 10,000 patients in Tanzania to be analyzed microscopically . They then presented the same samples to the rats. The results: the fancy microscopes found about 13 percent of the patients to be TB-positive. The rats identified an additional 620 cases, boosting the detection rate by 44 percent.
这就是后来请老鼠加入的原因。这种小动物很容易训练,可以闻出带有结核病感染的化学物质。因此科学家收集了10000名坦桑尼亚的患者共计超过20,000例痰液标本送去显微镜分析。然后他们把同样的标本给老鼠们识别。结果是花式显微镜发现了约13%的患者呈结核病阳性。而老鼠确定的则比他们多620例,检出率增加为44%。

That may not sound like much, but remember a person with TB can infect another dozen or so people over the course of a year. So that’s more than 7000 people that could be saved by a rat.
听上去可能并不多,但要记住一个患有肺结核病的人一年可以使另外十几个人受到感染。那么,一只小鼠可以让7000多人得救。

词汇解释

1. diagnosis n.诊断, 调查分析

2. tuberculosis n.结核病;肺结核

3. sputum n. 唾液, 痰, 喀痰

4. microscopically adv. 用显微镜

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