On Jan. 20, the Web site of the international academic journal Cell announced a significant breakthrough by Chinese scientists, who successfully cloned monkeys using the somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technique. This represents the first time monkeys have ever been cloned using this technique.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience research team, led by Sun Qiang, was able to overcome difficulties surrounding the cloning of the animals with somatic cells, a method similar to the one that created the famous Dolly the Sheep.
According to Sun, since the birth of Dolly, scientists have successfully applied the SCNT technique to clone other mammals such as horses, cattle, rabbits, cats, dogs and camels, among others, but the cloning of primates, which are genetically similar to human beings, has always presented problems. The significance of the successful cloning of the monkeys lies in being able to produce “a large number of monkeys with the same genetic background within one year to serve as models in which human diseases can be simulated.”
Sun says that the production of monkeys as models for simulating human neurological diseases will bring new possibilities for research into the mechanisms, interventions and treatments of brain diseases, especially with promoting R&D for new drugs targeting neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and autism, as well as immunodeficiencies, tumors and metabolic disorders.
The mice normally used as models in medical drug R&D are genetically very different from humans, and candidate drugs derived from testing on mice at huge costs in terms of effort and research funding are often found to be ineffective in human patients, or lead to unacceptable side effects.
The Vatican responded cautiously to this scientific and medical breakthrough. Msgr Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, was critical of the development, saying “Not everything that is possible is right.”
The research was an important scientific development, the Vatican’s top bioethics official said, but “we must always consider the effects of our interventions on the ecosystem and weigh the risk of making mistakes in the management of new know-how which may in the future lead us to interventions on the human body.” According to Paglia, animal rights also deserve to be protected, and such experiments should only be employed “in the absence of alternative methods in acquiring knowledge and therapeutic tools.”
(CNA, Translated by Chang Ho-ming)
(bu2 ru3 dong4 wu4)
(yi2 chuan2 de5)
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (4/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（四） A: So what do you think of my Mini? B: Well. . . apart from the fact it’s absolutely boiling inside without any air conditioning — and the wind noise is quite loud compared to a modern car — it’s actually pretty cool! It feels a bit like I’m in a go-kart. A: That’s because of the Mini’s ultra-wide wheelbase, which means it handles corners really well. Modified Mini Coopers won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. B: Wow! It feels like we’re driving in a piece of automobile history. A: 那麼，你覺得我的迷你車怎麼樣？ B: 嗯……除了車內沒有空調，感覺快被煮熟以外──而且風切聲跟現代汽車比起來有夠大聲──其實真的很酷！有一點感覺像是在卡丁車裡面。 A:
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (5/5)
坐我的新車去兜風吧（五） A: Can you hear a strange noise? B: Now you mention it, I can hear a faint whirring sound. Also, there’s a slight whiff of burnt rubber. A: Uh-oh! I’d better pull over and take a look... OK, sit tight. I’ll pop the hood and take a look at the engine. B: What’s the prognosis? A: I think the fan belt has worn out and caused the engine to overheat. I’d better call a mechanic... A: 你有聽到一種奇怪的噪音嗎？ B: 既然你說了，我確實有聽到微弱的低沉呼呼聲。另外，我還聞到一點點燒焦的橡膠味。 A: 哦哦！我最好停車檢查一下……。好，你坐穩，我要把引擎蓋打開，看看引擎有沒有問題。 B: 你推斷的病情是什麼？ A: 我想應該是風扇的皮帶破損了，導致引擎過熱。我最好打個電話給維修人員……。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,