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VOA慢速:治疗非洲昏睡病新方法

上传时间:2010-07-19 22:41   录音时长:3分9秒

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资料原文 |

This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Sleeping sickness is a deadly disease that infects about sixty thousand people in Africa each year.
Now scientists in Scotland say they may have found a new treatment. Their findings are in the journal Science.
Sleeping sickness is spread by the bite of the tsetse fly.
The insect can carry a parasite that infects the central nervous system.
First the infection causes fever, headache, itchy skin and weakness.
Then, when the parasite enters the brain, it causes more serious problems.
People suffer seizures and thinking problems, and they sleep for extended periods.
If the disease is not treated, it almost always kills the victim.
Paul Wyatt at the Drug Discovery for Tropical Diseases program at the University of Dundee led the study.
He says the research identified a weakness in the parasite. The weakness is an enzyme called N-myristoyl transferase, or NMT.
The parasite needs NMT to survive.
The researchers developed a mixture of chemicals that interfered with the performance of the enzyme.
They tried it in test tubes containing the parasites. As a result, the parasites stopped reproducing.
The scientists also tested the treatment on laboratory mice with sleeping sickness.
They gave them the chemical compound by mouth and say the infection disappeared.
Now, Paul Wyatt says a drug based on the research could be ready for testing in humans within eighteen months.
Currently, medicine for sleeping sickness requires a series of injections that are costly and painful.
Hospital stays are also needed. And the side effects of the treatment can be serious, sometimes even causing death.
Francois Chappuis is a specialist in neglected tropical diseases with the international group Doctors Without Borders.
He says a less costly, easy-to-use medicine for sleeping sickness is badly needed.
"In areas where the sleeping sickness is still very prevalent,
such as remote areas of some central African countries which are by the way very unstable areas it will be also crucial to have simpler treatment and obviously oral treatment would be the best."

[参考译文]
这里是VOA 特别英语健康报道。
昏睡病是一种致命疾病,每年,非洲大约6万人感染这种疾病。
现在,苏格兰科学家称,他们可能发现了一种新的治疗方法。他们的发现发表在《科学》期刊上。
昏睡病通过采采蝇叮咬传播。
这种昆虫可以携带一种寄生虫,使中枢神经系统受到感染。
感染这种寄生虫之后,首先会导致发烧,头痛,皮肤瘙痒,身体微弱。
随后,寄生虫进入大脑之后,会导致更加严重的问题。
病人会抽搐,思维出现问题,睡眠时间延长。
如果不对这种疾病进行治疗,病人通常会死亡。
邓迪大学热带疾病药物开发项目的PaulWyatt 领导了这项研究。
他表示,研究发现了这种寄生虫的一种弱点,就是N-肉豆蔻酰基转移酶(NMT),
寄生虫需要NMT 来生存。
研究人员研制了一种化学物质混合物,可以干扰这种酶的作用。
他们在含有这种寄生虫的试管内进行了实验。结果表明,寄生虫停止了复制。
科学家还利用这种治疗方法对实验室感染了昏睡病的小老鼠进行了试验。
他们给小老鼠喂食这种化学混合物,结果表明,疾病感染消失。
Paul Wyatt 表示,18 个月之内,根据研究结果研制的药物将用于人类实验。
目前,治疗昏睡病的药物需要一系列的注射过程,成本高昂,非常痛苦,
而且需要住院。而这种治疗的副作用也非常严重,有时甚至导致死亡。
Francois Chappuis 是医生无国界国际组织被忽视的热带疾病项目的专家。
他说,现在亟需成本较低,使用简便的药物。
“在昏睡病仍然非常流行的地区,
例如一些中非国家的偏远地区而且也是非常动乱的地区,拥有更简单的治疗方法也是非常关键的,当然,最好是口服治疗。”

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