Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - Page 13 News List

How Skippy got his hop: kangaroo genome is sequenced
袋鼠基因測序完成 袋鼠「只跳不走」有譜

A kangaroo stands among iron ore boulders near the port of Dampier in the Pilbara region of Western Australia on April 19.
一隻袋鼠四月十九日,佇立在在澳洲西部皮爾巴拉地區丹皮爾港附近的鐵礦岩體之間。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

An international team of researchers last Friday said they had sequenced the first genome of a kangaroo, a project aimed at pinpointing the genes that give the marsupial its remarkable abilities to hop and smell.

The DNA code of the tammar wallaby is presented in Genome Biology, published by British-based open-access science publishers BioMed Central.

The pint-sized ‘roo measures only 45cm from head to tailtip and has long intrigued biologists.

It has a 12-month gestation of which 11 months is a period of suspended animation in the womb. At birth, the young weigh only half a gram, and spend nine months in the mother’s pouch for protection as they grow.

The wallaby joins more than 130 other organisms to have its genome unraveled.

They include humans, the chimpanzee, dog, rat, mouse and rabbit, as well as valuable crops, fungi and the fruit fly, a standard model for lab research.

(AFP)

一群國際研究團隊上週五表示,他們已完成測定袋鼠基因序列的一組基因,該計畫主要是要找出使有袋動物擁有卓越跳躍與嗅覺能力的基因。

關於塔馬爾沙袋鼠的DNA基因碼的研究報告,刊登於所在地在英國的生物醫學中心出版社出版的《基因生物學》期刊。該出版社以開放網路存取為主。

這種體型比標準小的袋鼠,從頭到尾雖僅四十五公分長,但長久以來一直激起生物學家對牠的好奇心。

袋鼠有十二個月的懷孕期,其中有十一個月呈子宮假死狀態。出生時,幼袋鼠只有半克重,並且有九個月的期間,被保護在媽媽的育兒袋內繼續發育。

沙袋鼠與其他一百三十種生物的基因組已被破解。

他們包括人類、黑猩猩、狗、鼠、鼷鼠、兔子,以及經濟作物、真菌與果蠅,這些都是實驗室研究的標準樣本。

(法新社/翻譯:林亞蒂)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. pinpoint v.

找出 (zhao3 chu1)

例: Researchers have yet to pinpoint a cure for the disease.

(研究員尚未找出該疾病的治療方法。)

2. -based adj.

所在地在…的 (suo3 zai4 di4 zai4 … de5)

例: The Hong Kong-based newspaper has local editions available in Vancouver, Toronto and New York.

(所在地在香港的這份報紙,也有在溫哥華、多倫多與紐約發行的地方版。)

3. unravel v.

破解 (po4 jie3)

例: They are still unraveling the mysteries of the human genome.

(他們仍努力破解人類基因組的未解之謎。)


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