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1万年前就有口香糖? 但可能不是用来清新口气的

kira86 于2019-05-31发布 l 已有人浏览
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考古学家对古老的口香糖中的DNA测序,提供了古代人的生活线索、饮食线索以及古人口腔中的细菌线索。
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Ancient Gum Gives Archaeologists Something to Chew On

古代口香糖给考古学家提供了值得深思的问题

You're probably not too interested in what some people call ABC gum - already been chewed. But for archaeologists, such gum - as long as it's really old - is a genetic gold mine.

你可能对已被嚼过的口香糖——被某些人称为ABC gum(ABC gum—already been chewed gum)的东西不感兴趣。不过对于考古学家而言,只要被嚼过的口香糖年份够古老,那它就是一个基因金矿。

It's a bit like Jurassic Park. Natalija Kashuba, a graduate student in archaeology at Uppsala University in Sweden. She's referring to that famous clip from the movie, about how Jurassic Park scientists extract blood from a mosquito trapped in amber, "and bingo, dino DNA."

“与《侏罗纪世界》中的场景有些类似。”瑞典乌普萨拉大学的考古学研究生纳塔利娅·卡舒巴表示到。她指的是电影中那个著名的片段——关于《侏罗纪世界》中的科学家是如何从一只被困在琥珀中的蚊子身上提取血液并研究恐龙的DNA的片段。

Except in this case it's human DNA, and it's trapped not in amber, but in exceptionally old chewing gums found at the site of an ancient hunting and fishing village on the west coast of Sweden. The samples look just like chewed-up wads of modern-day gum. But don't think Wrigley's - this detritus is black, sticky tar distilled from birch bark. Kashuba has tasted modern-day versions and isn't eager to try it again. "Not unless I'm paid for it."

但在这个例子中,涉及到的是人类的DNA,DNA也不是被困在琥珀中,而是被锁定在瑞典西海岸一个古老渔猎村遗址上发现的异常古老的口香糖中。这些样本看起来就像被嚼过的现代口香糖的那一团东西。但是,别以为是箭牌口香糖——这只是一种从桦树皮中蒸馏出来的黑色粘性焦油。卡舒巴已经品尝过现代版的口香糖,所以不急于再试试原始版的口香糖。“除非有人付钱给我,否则我是不会吃的。”

So why chew something so unpleasant? Maybe because their gum wasn't for fresh breath. ”You could use it to seal your boat, or like seal your pots ... so it's an everyday-use type of substance." Many of the gums have teeth marks, too - so perhaps they chewed it to help shape it and in turn developed a habit, despite the taste, that today's tobacco chewers might relate to.

那么为什么要嚼这么不好吃的东西呢?或许是因为他们的口香糖并不是用来清新口气的。“口香糖可以用来封船或者用来封罐子,所以它是一种日常使用的物质。”许多口香糖块上也有牙印,所以也许他们咀嚼口香糖是为了帮助重塑牙齿的形状,继而养成了一种习惯,尽管口香糖的味道不好,但如今嚼烟草的人可能会体会的。

Kashuba's team extracted and sequenced DNA from the ancient gum, and they found genetic evidence of three different gum chewers - two women and a man. It's the oldest human DNA found in Scandinavia, dating to about 8,000 B.C. And because it more closely resembles the DNA of hunter-gatherers from western Europe than from eastern Europe, it also provides hints about how people ended up in what's now Sweden.

卡舒巴的团队从古口香糖中提取并测序了DNA,他们发现了三名吃口香糖的人——两名女性和一名男性的基因证据。这是在斯堪的纳维亚发现的最古老的人类DNA,可以追溯到公元前8000年左右。因为DNA更类似西欧狩猎者的DNA而不是东欧狩猎者的DNA,所以它也提供了一种线索表明人们是如何来到如今的瑞典的。

The results are in the journal Communications Biology.

研究结果发表在《通讯生物学》杂志上。

The gum could still hold other clues about ancient diets or the bacteria these people had in their mouths. Given that we can learn so much from chewing gum, is it really so bad to stick it to the bottom of chairs and tables? You know, for the benefit of future archaeologists?

这种口香糖还能提供关于古代饮食的线索,或是这些人口中细菌的其它线索。既然我们可以从口香糖中了解到这么多信息,那么把它粘在桌椅底下真的有那么糟糕吗?为了未来考古学家的考古需要,你懂的?

Now I still think that one should not spit it out any places just like that. So I think you should definitely throw it in the bin. But I won't blame these guys ... who spat it out 10,000 years ago. They did a good job then.

“虽然我依然认为大家不该把口香糖随便乱吐,我认为你绝对应该把嚼过的口香糖扔进垃圾桶,但我不会责怪这些一万年前就把口香糖吐了出来的家伙。他们当时做得很好。”

小e英语Jewel翻译!

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