原文地址:https://www.theguardian.com

原创翻译:龙腾网  翻译:云海的鲸


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正文翻译:

Back from the dead … a clone of the Tasmanian tiger could walk the Earth again, 80 years after it was declaredextinct. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

死而复生…在被宣布灭绝后,一只克隆的塔斯马尼亚虎,时隔八十年再次行走了在这个星球上。(译注:即袋狼,刚开始我也懵圈了,原来这货有三个叫法,又叫狼又叫虎。)

照片来自:波普尔福特/盖蒂

It sounds like something from a sci-fiB-Movie: scientists have moved a step closer to bringing the Tasmanian tiger back from extinction.

这听起来像是科幻电影中的东西:在如何把已经灭绝的塔斯马尼亚虎复活这个问题上,科学家已经取得了重大的进展。

Also known as the thylacine, or Tasmanianwolf, the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial died out in its native landsometime during the 1930s. Despite almost 4,000 reports of “sightings” since,including tantalisingly inconclusive video footage as recently as 2008, mostregard the species as having gone for ever.

袋狼,也被称为塔斯马尼亚狼,作为世界上最大的肉食性有袋类动物,在20世纪30年代,它在它所栖息的土地上灭绝了。尽管自那以后有近4000条“目击”报道,其中还包括一段于2008年拍摄的吊人胃口的录像,但大多数人都认为这个物种永远地离开了我们。

So the mapping of the thylacine’s geneticsequence, which in theory makes cloning the living animal itself possible,raises tricky questions. How far should we go to reverse the tide of extinction?And what ecological and ethical issues might this raise?

在理论上,袋狼的基因测序图谱使对它进行活体克隆成为了可能,但这也引出了一连串棘手的问题。为了遏制自然界生物灭绝的浪潮,我们能做到什么程度?这又会引起怎样的生态和伦理问题?

Professor Andrew Pask of the University ofMelbourne, who led the team sequencing the thylacine’s DNA, has no doubts aboutbringing back lost species, seeing a clear moral obligation to do so. “We wereresponsible for hunting [the thylacine] to extinction – in thatcase, we almost owe it to the species to bring it back”.

墨尔本大学的安德鲁·帕斯克教授领导他的团队从事DNA测序工作,他们对复活已经灭绝的物种没有异议,因为他们清楚地看到了我们所负有的道德义务。“我们应该对人类狩猎活动导致的灭绝负责 – 在这种情况下,我们完全应该把灭绝的物种复活”。

Others are less sure. Some have accusedscientists of “playing God”, while even National Geographic ran the coverheadline “Reviving Extinct Species. We Can. But Should We?

然而还有一群人对此不以为然。有人指责科学家是在“扮演上帝”,甚至连《国家地理》杂志都在其封面刊登了这样的标题“恢复灭绝的物种。我们做得到。但是,我们应该做吗?”

But such concerns may be too late, as thegenie is already out of the bottle. Scientists in Cape Town recently announcedthat the quagga, a dark subspecies of the familiar zebra that went extinct morethan a century earlier, had been revived. The team used selective breeding ofzebras, which showed characteristics of their lost cousin, to “reverseengineer” the quagga into existence.

但是这样的担心可能来的太晚了,因为潘多拉的魔盒已经被打开了。开普敦的科学家们最近宣布,早在一个多世纪前就已经灭绝的斑驴已经被他们复活。该团队对具有斑驴特征的斑马进行了选择性育种,借助“逆向工程”使斑驴重现于世。

The resulting creature certainly looks likea quagga, even if it is not an exact genetic match. Critics claim that althoughyou can breed for similar appearance, you cannot recreate the animal’sbehaviour and ecology. The same may be true of a project to revive the woollymammoth, which has yet to progress beyond the early stages.

即便基因配对得可能没那么准确,但借助这种手段创造的生物外表看起来一定会像斑驴,。批评者声称,虽然你可以创造出与之相似的外观,但是你无法重塑这些动物的行为方式,也无法复原他们所处的生态系统。同样的情况也适用于一直停留在起步阶段没有取得进展的复活长毛猛犸的项目。

So what next? I’d personally love to seegreat auks swimming around St Kilda, or a dodo back on Mauritius. But I’m notholding my breath.

那么接着呢?就我个人而言是很乐意看到大海雀(译注:一种生活在北极圈附近的鸟类,由于人类的捕杀而灭绝)在圣基尔达附近来回游泳,或者渡渡鸟重新回到毛里求斯。但我并没有因此感到兴奋不已。

As for the thylacine itself, even ifscience could make cloning possible, the discovery that the animal’s genetichealth was compromised, at some point in its long history, means that anycloned animals are unlikely to survive, especially back in the wild.

就拿袋狼来说,我们发现在历史的长河中这些动物的基因健康已经受损,即使科学使得克隆技术成为了现实,通过克隆复活的史前动物也将难以存活,尤其是在他们被放归野外后。

评论翻译:

There are circumstances where benefit toecology and the environment in general can be achieved by this science, thereintroduction of the wolf in Scotland for example.

在某些情况下,这项科技对生态和环境大体上是有好处的,例如重新引进苏格兰狼。(译注:1000年前,狼皮在英国是献给国王和贵族的贡品。国王的骑士们为了嬴得土地,要把那块土地上的狼赶尽杀绝。到16世纪,狼在英格兰和威尔士灭绝了。到1760年,不列颠群岛上的狼被完全灭绝。)

I have ethical objections to building andstockpiling nuclear weapons, and to war.

Reviving lost species? No ethicalobjections whatsoever. Don’t be ridiculous.

我对建造和使用核武器、发动战争的行为表示道德上的反对。复活已经灭绝的动物?完全没有意见。别那么可笑好吗?(译注:嘲讽文中一些人对复活已灭绝动物的反对态度。)

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