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科学60秒:肺也能“尝”到气味

时间: 2020年05月29日 | 作者: Admin | 来源: 领研网(linkresearcher.com)


 [听力全文]


Take a deep breath. Taste anything? Actually, your lungs may. Because scientists have discovered that the same receptors that exist on the tongue to taste bitter substances are also found on the smooth muscle of the lungs.


Researchers were studying the receptors on smooth lung muscles that regulate contraction and relaxation of the airways. That’s when they made the discovery—which was so unexpected that the researchers themselves were skeptical.


Finally, they became convinced that the receptors were really there, though not clustered in taste buds as they are on the tongue. The scientists then exposed human and mouse airways to various bitter compounds to gauge the effects.


Many toxic compounds are bitter, so the researchers expected the lung muscle to tense up and contract—to compel the breather to move away from whatever was bitter and perhaps toxic. But, in a second surprise, bitter compounds relaxed and opened airways better than any existing asthma drug. The study is in the journal Nature Medicine. [Deepak Deshpande et al., "Bitter taste receptors on airway smooth muscle bronchodilate by localized calcium signaling and reverse obstruction"]


Researchers will continue to search for the role of the receptors. Meanwhile, the work represents a surprising new lead in the search for drugs to treat asthma, emphysema or chronic bronchitis.


—Cynthia Graber



 [重难点词汇、短语]


gauge: v. 估计,判断;精确测量

emphysema: n. [临床] 气肿;肺气肿

bronchitis: 慢性支气管炎 



 [参考译文]


深吸一口气,有没有尝出什么味道?事实上,你的肺可能尝到了些味道。因为科学家发现,舌头上能尝出苦味物质的感受器也存在于肺部的平滑肌上。


研究人员当时正在研究肺部平滑肌上调节呼吸道收缩和舒张的受体,就在那时,他们有了这个意想不到的发现,连研究人员自己都对此表示怀疑。


他们最终确信这些受体真的存在于肺部,只是不像在舌头上那样聚集在味蕾上。然后,科学家将人类和老鼠的呼吸道暴露在各种苦味化合物中,以评估其影响。


许多有毒化合物都是苦的,因此研究人员原以为肺部肌肉会紧张并收缩,迫使呼吸者远离任何苦的、可能有毒的东西。但令他们再次惊讶的是,对比所有现有的哮喘药物,苦味化合物能更好地放松和打开气道。这项研究发表在《自然医学》(Nature Medicine)杂志上。 


研究人员将继续寻找这些受体的作用。与此同时,这项工作在寻找治疗哮喘、肺气肿或慢性支气管炎的药物方面,代表着一个意外的新方向。


翻译 页一