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雅思考试:读外刊来了解native speaker 的文章逻辑(一)

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发布时间:2019-11-29 成都澎博英语

This Fungus Could Help Cure Cancer Scientists are mining the DNA-sequence data from mushrooms and mold to find new drugs


This Fungus Could Help Cure Cancer

Scientists are mining the DNA-sequence data from mushrooms and mold to find new drugs

雅思考试:读外刊来了解native speaker 的文章逻辑(一)_图1

Maureen Hillenmeyer doesn’t know exactly what’s growing in her incubators, but she has high hopes. The rectangular plates in the backroom of Hexagon Bio are heated to 86F and filled with yeasts unlike any other. The fungal microorganisms have been painstakingly outfitted with custom-printed DNA parts that give ordinary baker’s yeast the capacity to make new compounds that could potentially cure disease. “When we know it’s making a molecule, then we go in and say, ‘Is that molecule doing something interesting to cancer cells?’ ” says Hillenmeyer, co-founder and chief executive officer of Hexagon, based in Menlo Park, Calif. “That’s the real field testing.”

Incubator (n):孵化器 

rectangular (adj):矩形的 

yeast (n):酵母 

fungal (adj):真菌的 

microorganism (n):微生物 

painstakingly (adv):精心地,仔细地 

outfit (vt): 覆盖 

custom-printed (adj): 定制的 

compound (n):化合物 

potentially (adv):可能 

molecule (n):分子

首段介绍了一种酵母菌实验。科学家在酵母菌外表上覆盖一层特定DNA, 同时将其放入加热后的培养皿中观察。经发现,真菌产生了许多化合物。科学家猜测这些化合物可治疗疾病,但真正让他们感兴趣的是这些化合物分子能否杀死癌细胞,而这也是主要实验目的。

The company’s approach to drug discovery is half computation, half biology. A team of data scientists uses proprietary algorithms to mine a trove of data extracted from the DNA sequences of more than 2,000 species of mushrooms and molds, known as the fungal genome. Hexagon then predicts which strings of DNA, or gene clusters, are most likely to produce specific types of chemical compounds. If all goes according to plan, the yeasts will generate about 100 compounds that are particularly lethal to certain types of cells and proteins, making them the sturdy foundations of new treatments for infectious diseases and cancer. As Hillenmeyer walks through an adjacent lab, she leans over to check on Anton—the robot that handles the liquid DNA—and notices an acrid aroma, one of the few signs of the process. “It’s a little fragrant today,” she says.

approach (n):方法 

proprietary algorithms:专用算法 

mine (vt):探索 

a trove of: 许多(有价值的东西)

sequence (n):序列 

mold (n):霉菌 

fungal genome: 真菌基因组 

cluster (n): 组,串 

lethal (adj): 致命的 

sturdy (adj):坚固的 

adjacent (adj):附近的 

acrid (adj):刺鼻的 

aroma (n): 气味 

fragrant (adj): (味道)香的


雅思考试:读外刊来了解native speaker 的文章逻辑(一)_图2

The chemical ingenuity of fungi often goes unsung, though almost three-quarters of all antibiotics and 49 percent of all anticancer compounds approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration originated with living organisms such as mushrooms and mold. Blockbusters including penicillin and statins, which lower cholesterol, came from fungi. Hillenmeyer began experimenting with yeasts at Stanford 15 years ago. She co-founded Hexagon with Brian Naughton, formerly of genetic-testing company 23andMe Inc., and biochemists Colin Harvey and Yi Tang in late 2016, not long after her team discovered 22 compounds that showed pharmaceutical promise.

unsung (adj): 不被称颂的 

ingenuity (n): 创新 

antibiotic (n): 抗生素 

blockbuster (n): 著名的东西,事物 

penicillin (n):青霉素 

statin (n):降脂药 

biochemist (n):生化学家 

promise (n):好的前景


So far, Hexagon has raised $8 million from private investors; it’s looking to hire more biologists and data scientists. “We have a computational approach that allows us to identify what these compounds evolved to do,” she says. “The statins, in particular, are drugs that we would have discovered if they hadn’t been found.” Those now yield about $10 billion in sales a year, but Hillenmeyer is looking elsewhere. “We want to move into new chemical space and disease space,” she says.

Identify (vt): 辨认,识别 

evolve (vi):进化 

yield (vt): 产生 

billion (n):十亿

雅思考试:读外刊来了解native speaker 的文章逻辑(一)_图3


1. 通过对每一段落翻译理解,我们能清晰地看出作者行文思路。虽然标题为This Fungus Could Help Cure Cancer,但文章重点却放在制药公司在真菌抗癌基因的研究上。cure cancer只是一个噱头,吸引读者眼球罢了,真正找到真菌中抗癌DNA序列还需要进一步研究。

2. 文中生词虽然已在每段下方标出,但通过翻译对比不难发现,单词用法远远超出本意范围,简言之,只背英语单词无法考好雅思托福,真正需要做的,是大量阅读,大量段落理解(paraphrase),大量写作练习。最复杂的单词绝不是最地道的表达,因为领域不同,即便意思相同,用词也不一样。哪些地道?阅读外刊就能知道。

3. 科普类文章经常在雅思,托福以及SAT考试中出现,因此读懂此类文章的重要性不言而喻。为何有同学总是抱怨做题很难找到证据关键点?原因很简单:文章理解程度只有五分熟,甚至不到。只有读懂全文,分析作者写作意图甚至批判作者行文方式才会对全文印象深刻。对文章的理解不仅仅停留在字面理解,更重要的是去揣摩段与段之间的关系,作者每句话的目的,甚至“过分”点,心里思考该如何修改文章。达到以上阅读策略需要平时多阅读原版外刊,积累单词,关注不同学科的新闻等等。