论文网首页|会计论文|管理论文|计算机论文|医药学|经济学论文|法学论文|社会学论文|文学论文|教育论文|理学论文|工学论文|艺术论文|哲学论文|文化论文|外语论文|论文格式
中国论文网

用户注册

设为首页

您现在的位置: 中国论文网 >> 外语论文 >> 英语教学 >> 正文 会员中心
 外语翻译论文   语言文化论文   英美文学论文   其他相关论文   学术英语   商务英语   英语教学
The Lives of a Cell《细胞生命的礼赞》——如此渺小,如此伟大

原文作者:lewis thomas

 刘易斯·托马斯(lewis thomas, 1913~1994),美国医学家、生物学家,生于美国纽约,就读于普林斯顿大学和哈佛医学院,历任明尼苏达大学儿科研究所教授、纽约大学贝尔维尤医疗中心病理学系和内科系主任、耶鲁医学院病理学系主任。其代表作有《细胞生命的礼赞》(the lives of a cell)、《水母与蜗牛》(the medusa and the snail)、《最年轻的科学》(the youngest science)、《脆弱的物种》(the fragile species)等。
   《细胞生命的礼赞》是托马斯最著名的代表作,1974年出版后立即引起美国读书界和评论界的巨大反响和热烈欢呼,并荣获了当年的“美国国家图书奖”。该书收文29篇,展示了一位医学家、生物学家对生命、人生、社会乃至宇宙的思考。
   下文选自该书第一章《细胞生命的礼赞》。
  精彩片段
  we are told that the trouble with modern man is that he has been trying to detach1) himself from nature. he sits in the topmost tiers2) of polymer3), glass, and steel, dangling his pulsing legs, surveying at a distance the writhing4) life of the planet. in this scenario, man comes on as a stupendous5) lethal6) force, and the earth is pictured as something delicate, like rising bubbles at the surface of a country pond, or flights of fragile birds. [论文网]
   but it is illusion to think that there is anything fragile about the life of the earth; surely this is the toughest membrane7) imaginable in the universe, opaque8) to probability, impermeable9) to death. we are the delicate part, transient and vulnerable as cilia10). nor is it a new thing for man to invent an existence that he imagines to be above the rest of life; this has been his most consistent intellectual exertion11) down the millennia12). as illusion, it has never worked out to his satisfaction in the past, any more than it does today. man is embedded in nature.
   the biologic science of recent years has been making this a more urgent fact of life. the new, hard problem will be to cope with the dawning, intensifying realization of just how interlocked we are. the old, clung-to notions most of us have held about our special lordship are being deeply undermined.
   item. a good case can be made for our nonexistence as entities. we are not made up, as we had always supposed, of successively enriched packets of our own parts. we are shared, rented, occupied. at the interior of our cells, driving them, providing the oxidative13) energy that sends us out for the improvement of each shining day, are the mitochondria14), and in a strict sense they are not ours. they turn out to be little separate creatures, the colonial posterity15) of migrant prokaryocytes16), probably primitive bacteria that swam into ancestral17) precursors18) of our eukaryotic19) cells and stayed there. ever since, they have maintained themselves and their ways, replicating in their own fashion, privately, with their own dna and rna quite different from ours. they are as much symbionts20) as the rhizobial21) bacteria in the roots of beans. without them, we would not move a muscle, drum a finger, think a thought.

mitochondria are stable and responsible lodgers, and i choose to trust them. but what of the other little animals, similarly established in my cells, sorting and ba

lancing me, clustering me together? my centrioles22), basal bodies, and probably a good many other more obscure tiny beings at work inside my cells, each with its own special genome23), are as foreign, and as essential, as aphids in anthills24). my cells are no longer the pure line25) entities i was raised with; they are ecosystems more complex than jamaica bay.
   i like to think that they work in my interest, that each breath they draw for me, but perhaps it is they who walk through the local park in the early morning, sensing my senses, listening to my music, thinking my thoughts.
   i am consoled, somewhat, by the thought that the green plants are in the same fix. they could not be plants, or green, without their chloroplasts26), which run the photosynthetic27) enterprise and generate oxygen for the rest of us. as it turns out, chloroplasts are also separate creatures with their own genomes, speaking their own language.
   we carry stores of dna in our nuclei28) that may have come in, at one time or another, from the fusion of ancestral cells and the linking of ancestral organisms in symbiosis29). our genomes are catalogues of instructions from all kinds of sources in nature, filed for all kinds of contingencies. as for me, i am grateful for differentiation and speciation, but i cannot feel as separate an entity as i did a few years ago, before i was told these things, nor, i should think, can anyone else.
   item. the uniformity of the earth's life, more astonishing than its diversity, is accountable by the high probability that we derived, originally, from some single cell, fertilized in a bolt of lightning as the earth cooled. it is from the progeny30) of this parent cell that we take our looks; we still share genes around, and the resemblance of the enzymes31) of grasses to those of whales is a family resemblance.
   the viruses, instead of being single-minded agents of disease and death, now begin to look more like mobile genes. evolution is still an infinitely long and tedious biologic game, with only the winners staying at the table, but the rules are beginning to look more flexible. we live in a dancing matrix32) of viruses; they dart, rather like bees, from organism to organism, from plant to insect to mammal to me and back again, and into the sea, tugging along pieces of this genome, strings of genes from that, transplanting grafts33) of dna, passing around heredity34) as though at a great party. they may be a mechanism for keeping new, mutant35) kinds of dna in the widest circulation among us. if this is true, the odd virus disease, on which we must focus so much of our attention in medicine, may be looked on as an accident, something dropped.

item. i have been trying to think of the earth as a kind of organism, but it is no go. i cannot think of it this way. it is too big, too complex, with too many working parts lacking visible connections. the other night, driving through a hilly,

wooded part of southern new england, i wondered about this. if not like an organism, what is it like, what is it most like? then, satisfactorily for that moment, it came to me: it is most like a single cell.
   有人告诉我们说,现代人的困境在于他一直试图让自己脱离大自然。wwW.11665.cOM他高高地坐在由聚合物、玻璃和钢铁构成的层层堆积物的顶端,晃悠着充满活力的双腿,遥看着这个星球上苦苦挣扎的生命。在这种场景下,人类以一种超级力量的姿态出现,掌握生杀大权,而地球则被描绘成某种脆弱的东西,犹如乡村池塘中冒到水面上的气泡,或者像一群群娇弱的飞鸟。
   然而,认为地球的生命很脆弱这一想法是一种错误观念。毫无疑问,这是宇宙中你所能想象到的最顽强的细胞膜,它不受随机事件的影响,死亡也对其无可奈何。我们是其中脆弱的一分子,如纤纤绒毛,弱不禁风,倏忽即逝。人类幻想创造一种凌驾于万物之上的存在已非一朝一夕,千百年来,人类一直利用自己的聪明才智,孜孜以求。但幻想终是幻想,人类过去从未如愿以偿,今天也不会梦想成真。人类是自然密不可分的一部分。
   最近几年的生物科学一直在使这个观点成为一个越来越紧迫地需要人们正确认识的事实。一个棘手的新问题将是如何面对这一新兴的、人们强烈意识到的观点——我们和自然究竟是如何紧密相连的。大多数人所固守的、认为人类乃万物主宰的传统观念正受到极大的挑战。
   实例。一个典型例子是我们所谓的人的实体是不存在的。我们一直认为,我们是由一个个内容丰富的人体部件包依次构建而成,但事实并非如此。我们被分享,被租借,被占用。在我们细胞的内部,有一种叫线粒体的生物,它们驱动着细胞,为我们提供氧化能量,使我们能外出去迎接每一个更加美好的日子。严格说来,线粒体并不属于我们。它们原来是独立的微生物,是迁徙的原核细胞的殖民后代。它们很可能是一种原始细菌,当年游入我们真核细胞最原始的母体中并留在了那里。从此,它们一直保持着自身的样子和生存方式,以它们自己的方式独自繁衍生息,并且有着与我们完全不同的dna和rna。它们就像豆科植物根部的根瘤菌一样,是一种共生生物。没有它们,我们就无法活动一块肌肉,弹动一根手指,开动一下脑筋。
   线粒体是稳定的、有责任心的寄宿者,我选择信任它们。但其他那些小生物呢?它们以类似的方式寄居在我的细胞中,把我打理得井井有条、平衡有度,使我成为一个整体。我的那些中心粒、基体,或许还有许多别的更为默默无闻的微小生灵栖息在我的细胞中工作着,它们都有自己特殊的基因组,就像蚁丘中的蚜虫一样,既是外来体,又必不可少。我的细胞不再是伴我成长的那种纯系实体,它们是比牙买加海湾还要复杂的生态系统。
   我乐于认为它们是为我而工作,它们的每一个气息都是为我而呼吸,但也可能是它们在清晨漫步在当地的公园里,感受着我的感觉,聆听着我的音乐,思考着我的思想。
  一想到绿色植物也和我有着同样的境遇,我就多少有些释怀了。如果没有叶绿体,植物就不可能成为植物,或者说不可能是绿色的。叶绿体经营着光合工厂,为我们生产氧气。事实上,叶绿体也是独立的生物体,有着它们自己的基因组,编织着它们自己的遗传编码。
   我们的细胞核里储存着大量的dna,它们可能是在某个时候,通过原始细胞的融合和共生的原始生物体的结合而形成的。我们的基因组是形形色色的自然之源发出的指令的集合,是为应对形形色色的突发状况编码而成。对于我来说,我对于生物分化和物种形成充满感激,但在几年前,在没有人告诉我这些的时候,我还认为自己是一个独立的实体,然而我现在不能再这么认为了,我觉得其他任何人都不应这么认为。
   实例。地球生命的同一性远比其多样性更加令人称奇,究其原因很有可能是因为我们最初都是从某一单细胞进化而来,这一单细胞伴随着地球的冷却在闪电中孕育而成。正是由于这一母细胞繁衍的后代,我们才有了现在的样子。我们至今仍与周围的其他物种有着共同的基因,而草类的酶和鲸类的酶之间的相似就是一种种群相似性。
   曾几何时,病毒就是疾病和死亡一心一意的代理人,而现在却开始看起来更像是迁移的基因。物种进化依然是一种极其漫长而单调的生物游戏,只有那些赢家才能留在桌边继续玩下去,但现在游戏规则开始变得更加灵活。我们生活在病毒编织的舞蹈矩阵中,它们就像蜜蜂采蜜一样穿梭奔忙,从一个有机体跳到另一个有机体,从植物跳到昆虫跳到哺乳动物再跳到我身上,然后再跳回去,进入大海,一路上拖着这个基因组的某些片段,拉着那个基因的某些序列,移植着dna的链条,传递着遗传特征,就像在大型聚会上一样忙个不停。它们也许就是一种机制,使这种新型的突变dna在我们当中广泛传播。若果真如此,那么我们在医学上必须给予足够重视的那种奇怪的病毒性疾病或许就能被看做是一种意外,是传播中出现了某种疏漏。
   实例。我一直尝试着把地球看做是某种有机物,但总是行不通。我没办法把它当做有机物。它太大,太复杂,有着太多的运转零部件而又缺乏可见的关联。不久前的一个夜晚,我驾车穿过新英格兰南部一个林木茂密的山地时,又想到了这件事。如果说它不像是一个有机物,那它又像什么呢?它最像什么呢?就在那时,我想到了那一刻令我满意的一个答案:它最像一个单细胞。

 1. detach [d??t?t?] vt. 使分离(from)
  2. tier [t??(r)] n. (阶梯式的) (一)排;(一)层
  3. polymer [?p?l?m?(r)] n. 【化】聚合物
  4. writhe [ra??] vi. 感到极度痛苦
  5. stupendous [stju??pend?s] adj. 大得惊人的,巨大的
  6. lethal [?li?θl] adj. 致死的
  7. membrane [?membre?n] n. 【解】【生】细胞膜,是细胞表面的一层薄膜,能控制细胞与外界环境的物质交换,调节细胞的生命活动,使细胞能保持相对的稳定性。
   8. opaque [???pe?k] adj. 迟钝的
  9. impermeable [?m?p??mi?bl] adj. 不能透过的
  10. cilium [?s?l??m] n. (其复数形式为cilia)【植】纤毛,是细胞游离面伸出的能摆动的较长突起,比微绒毛粗且长,在光学显微镜下能看见。
   11. exertion [?ɡ?z???n] n. 努力;费力;运用
  12. millennium [m??leni?m] n. (其复数形式为millennia)一千年
  13. oxidative [??ks??de?t?v] adj. 【化】氧化的;具有

氧化特性的
  14. mitochondrion [?ma?t???k?ndri?n] n. (其复数形式为mitochondria)【生】线粒体,是真核细胞中的一种重要的细胞器,主要功能为通过呼吸作用将食物分解产物中贮存的能量逐渐释放出来,供应细胞活动的需要。
   15. posterity [p??ster?ti] n. 后裔;后代
  16. prokaryocyte [pr?u'k?ri?sa?t] n. 【生】原核细胞,是组成原核生物的细胞,没有明显可见的细胞核,同时也没有核膜和核仁,进化地位较低。
   17. ancestral [?n?sestr?l] adj. 祖先的,原始的
  18. precursor [pri??k??s?(r)] n. (从中产生变化的)产物母体,前身
  19. eukaryotic [ju??k?r?'?t?k] adj. 真核生物的。真核生物是其细胞具有细胞核的单细胞生物和多细胞生物的总称。
  20. symbiont [?s?mb???nt] n. (= symbion)【生】共生生物
  21. rhizobial [ra?'z?ub??l] adj. 根瘤菌的
  22. centriole ['sentr??ul] n. 【生】中心粒,是动物、某些藻类和菌类细胞中的圆筒状细胞器。
  23. genome [?d?i?n??m] n. 【生】基因组,是指包含在生物dna (部分病毒是rna)中的全部遗传信息。
  24. aphids in anthills: 蚁丘中的蚜虫。蚂蚁喜欢食用蚜虫的分泌物,同时又保护蚜虫不受天敌侵害,二者是一种共生关系。aphid [?e?f?d] n. 【昆】蚜虫。anthill [??nth?l] n. 蚁丘
   25. pure line: 【生】纯系
  26. chloroplast [?kl?r?plɑ?st] n. 【生】叶绿体,是绿色植物细胞内进行光合作用的一种质体。
  27. photosynthetic [?f?ut?s?n'θet?k] adj. 【生化】光合的;促进光合作用的
  28. nucleus [?nju?kli?s] n. (其复数形式为nuclei)【生】细胞核,是细胞内遗传信息储存、复制、转录的主要场所,多为球形或椭圆形。
   29. symbiosis [?s?mba????s?s] n. 【生】共生(现象),是指两种不同生物之间所形成的紧密互利关系。
  30. progeny [?pr?d??ni] n. [用作单或复] (人或动、植物等的)后代,后裔
  31. enzyme [?enza?m] n. 【生化】酶,是生物体的细胞产生的有机胶状物质,能够加快生化反应的速度,但是不改变反应的方向和产物。
  32. matrix [?me?tr?ks] n. 阵,矩阵
  33. graft [ɡrɑ?ft] n. 移植物;移植片
  34. heredity [h??red?ti] n. 遗传
  35. mutant [?mju?t?nt] adj. 突变的;突变产生的
  赏析
  提起科学与文学,似乎很多人会下意识地将它们划归思维的两极,前者是理性的代表,后者是感性的代言。然而,刘易斯·托马斯却在《细胞生命的礼赞》中将两者巧妙而和谐地结合在一起。文章语言优美恣意,通俗却不失深刻,充满洒脱深邃的哲思,宛若无韵之诗,然又于不动声色之中流露出科学的冷静和严谨。作者致广大而尽精微,言科学而重人文,自然社会之理、天地运行之道无不有得于心。书中的文章单就题目来看似乎略显驳杂松散,但却不乏共同的基调。整本书都是对生命的礼赞,赞颂万物的坚忍,赞颂世界的奇妙:原来,生命如此渺小,却又如此伟大。
   刘易斯·托马斯以渊博的学识和深刻的洞察力对整个生物学界给予了广泛的关注和研究。虽然在书的副标题里他将自己戏称为“生物学观察者”,但他并未浅尝辄止,仅仅停留于“观察”阶段。他透过表面现象挖掘所有生命形式共同的存在特征,强调物种间内在的相似性和互相依存的共生关系,主张将生态系统视为有机联系的整体,反对过分强调物种独特性,从而超越了以“优胜劣汰”“适者生存”为基本主张的达尔文主义和社会达尔文主义。托马斯以温和却有力的方式刺穿了人类虚荣又自以为是的优越感,将我们把自身和自然界截然分离的虚妄暴露无遗,在对生命、人生、社会乃至宇宙的深刻反思中嘲讽和否定着人类中心主义的自大。
  • 上一篇外语论文:
  • 下一篇外语论文:
  •  更新时间:2013-09-08 10:05:24  作者:佚名 [标签: 爱的 始于 青春 ]
    姓 名: *
    E-mail:
    评 分: 1分 2分 3分 4分 5分
    评论内容:
    发表评论请遵守中国各项有关法律法规,评论内容只代表网友个人观点,与本网站立场无关。
    As is the case的用法分析
    Under the Dome穹顶之下
    As it happens的语义与用法分析
    The Power of Music
    The Circus
    Part 3 Eye on the Prize
    Tavi Gevinson: the Fashion Blogger Beco…
    Who Is the Wisest of All? 谁是最有智慧的…
    The Sparrow & the Hawk麻雀与老鹰
    Strange Things Banned by Governments各国…
    Famous Left—Handed Authors著名的左撇子作…
    The Smurfs 2 蓝精灵2
    | 设为首页 | 加入收藏 | 联系我们 | 网站地图 | 手机版 | 论文发表

    Copyright 2006-2013 © 毕业论文网 All rights reserved 

     [中国免费论文网]  版权所有