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Voa02 lesson 31-60, (36) Russia's Permafrost Provides Buried Treasure

(36) Russia's Permafrost Provides Buried Treasure

Russia's Permafrost Provides Buried Treasure

Call it buried biological treasure.

Remains of animals that lived thousands of years ago are being recovered from Russia's far north.

Russian researchers released images of an 18,000-year-old dog last month. The dog had many yellow teeth, and appeared to be young when it died.

Scientists named the ancient creature Dogor. But they cannot say whether it was closer genetically to modern dogs or wolves. They add that Dogor was alive during a period of time when human beings first appeared on Earth.

It is the latest buried treasure from Siberia — the traditionally frozen part of northern Russia. The icy climate has kept large stretches of land frozen for thousands of years.

Now the deep freeze has eased as rising temperatures and other developments combine to bring these long buried secrets to light.

Russia's frozen underground — known as permafrost — covers nearly two-thirds of the nation's 17 million square kilometers. The permafrost protected the bodies of prehistoric animals — ones that walked before the end of Earth's last Ice Age.

For about 10 years, the permafrost has melted, broken down or is being dug up for people searching for valuable treasures like ivory.

What is turning up?

Well-preserved woolly mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, dog-wolves, long-gone big cats and other biological wonders and surprises.

They are giving researchers a better idea of evolutionary and natural history. They provide behavioral, physical and genetic information that might have been lost without them.

Some of the biological material and frozen cells contain DNA, the carrier of genetic information. Now there is controversy over whether DNA from these animals could be used to clone — or bring back to life — creatures from long ago. The process would involve putting their DNA into living animals.

In at least one case, Siberia has provided the seeds of an experiment that returned plants to life after tens of thousands of years in a deep freeze.

The Siberian ice is disappearing, with warmer weather melting parts of the permafrost. This provides a gold mine to the scientists as they come across these well-preserved animals.

In 2010, scientists discovered “Yuka,” the best-preserved woolly mammoth ever found. She died almost 40,000 years ago. Yuka was young, between 6 and 12 years of age, when she died.

Cloning controversy

With each mammoth find, comes more controversy. The discovery of such well-preserved biological material started the talk of an effort to use DNA from Yuka's remains, or that of another mammoth, to clone them. Many people believe cloning methods are developed enough to successfully bring back an extinct species like the woolly mammoth with complete DNA.

One problem has been that radiation from outside Earth's atmosphere most likely damaged any DNA and makes it unusable for cloning. This year, however, researchers announced they had taken "less-damaged nucleus-like structures from the remains" of Yuka. They said they saw "signs of biological activities" in them after placing them into mouse cells capable of forming eggs.

"Our work provides a platform to evaluate the biological activities of nuclei in extinct animal species," they declared in a study published last March in the publication Scientific Reports.

Other prehistoric finds in recent years include:

The first complete body of a young woolly rhino, including its hair, was found near a Siberian river in 2015. Named Sasha and nearly a meter tall and 2 meters long at just 7 months of age, she would be much taller than modern rhinoceros. Early estimates put the age of Sasha's remains at between 10,000 and 34,000 years old.

The partial head of a woolly rhino was found in Germany in 2008. The creature lived nearly 500,000 years ago, making it Europe's oldest such find.

A prehistoric young horse was found in 2018 in eastern Russia. The animal was thought to be about 2 months old when it died, some 40,000 years ago. Its internal organs, tail, and hooves are whole, and even eyelashes and nostril hairs are clearly recognizable. The extinct species is known as a Lena horse.The prospect of harvesting useful DNA from the animal was high. The famous South Korean cloning researcher, Hwang Woo-suk, was part of team that examined the horse earlier this year. Hwang supports cloning techniques to revive woolly mammoths. He reportedly took samples of biological fluids like blood from the horse.

The head of an ancient subspecies of wolf was also found last year. Its fur, brain and other body parts were said to be the best-preserved of any specimen. Scientists said it is about 25 percent larger than many modern wolves. The ancient animals are thought to have died off in the past 10,000 years or so.


(36) Russia's Permafrost Provides Buried Treasure (36) El permafrost de Rusia proporciona un tesoro enterrado

Russia's Permafrost Provides Buried Treasure 俄罗斯的永久冻土提供了埋藏的宝藏

Call it buried biological treasure. 称之为埋藏的生物宝藏。

Remains of animals that lived thousands of years ago are being recovered from Russia's far north.

Russian researchers released images of an 18,000-year-old dog last month. The dog had many yellow teeth, and appeared to be young when it died.

Scientists named the ancient creature Dogor. But they cannot say whether it was closer genetically to modern dogs or wolves. They add that Dogor was alive during a period of time when human beings first appeared on Earth. 他们补充说,Dogor 在人类首次出现在地球上的时期还活着。

It is the latest buried treasure from Siberia — the traditionally frozen part of northern Russia. The icy climate has kept large stretches of land frozen for thousands of years.

Now the deep freeze has eased as rising temperatures and other developments combine to bring these long buried secrets to light. 现在,随着气温上升和其他发展结合起来,这些长期被埋藏的秘密被曝光,深度冻结已经缓解。

Russia's frozen underground — known as permafrost — covers nearly two-thirds of the nation's 17 million square kilometers. The permafrost protected the bodies of prehistoric animals — ones that walked before the end of Earth's last Ice Age. 永久冻土保护了史前动物的尸体——那些在地球上一个冰河时代结束之前行走的动物。

For about 10 years, the permafrost has melted, broken down or is being dug up for people searching for valuable treasures like ivory. 大约 10 年来,永久冻土已经融化、分解或被挖掘出来,供人们寻找象牙等珍贵宝藏。

What is turning up? 什么出现了?

Well-preserved woolly mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, dog-wolves, long-gone big cats and other biological wonders and surprises. 保存完好的长毛猛犸象、长毛犀牛、狗狼、早已消失的大型猫科动物和其他生物奇观和惊喜。

They are giving researchers a better idea of evolutionary and natural history. 他们让研究人员更好地了解进化和自然历史。 They provide behavioral, physical and genetic information that might have been lost without them. 它们提供了没有它们可能会丢失的行为、身体和遗传信息。

Some of the biological material and frozen cells contain DNA, the carrier of genetic information. 一些生物材料和冷冻细胞含有DNA,即遗传信息的载体。 Now there is controversy over whether DNA from these animals could be used to clone — or bring back to life — creatures from long ago. 现在,关于这些动物的 DNA 是否可以用来克隆或复活很久以前的生物存在争议。 The process would involve putting their DNA into living animals. 该过程将涉及将他们的DNA放入活体动物中。

In at least one case, Siberia has provided the seeds of an experiment that returned plants to life after tens of thousands of years in a deep freeze. 至少在一个案例中,西伯利亚提供了一项实验的种子,该实验使植物在数万年的深度冰冻后恢复生机。

The Siberian ice is disappearing, with warmer weather melting parts of the permafrost. 西伯利亚冰层正在消失,温暖的天气正在融化部分永久冻土。 This provides a gold mine to the scientists as they come across these well-preserved animals. 这为科学家们提供了一个金矿,因为他们遇到了这些保存完好的动物。

In 2010, scientists discovered “Yuka,” the best-preserved woolly mammoth ever found. She died almost 40,000 years ago. Yuka was young, between 6 and 12 years of age, when she died.

Cloning controversy

With each mammoth find, comes more controversy. 每发现一个猛犸象,都会带来更多的争议。 The discovery of such well-preserved biological material started the talk of an effort to use DNA from Yuka's remains, or that of another mammoth, to clone them. 这种保存完好的生物材料的发现引发了关于使用尤卡遗体或另一只猛犸象遗骸的 DNA 克隆它们的讨论。 Many people believe cloning methods are developed enough to successfully bring back an extinct species like the woolly mammoth with complete DNA.

One problem has been that radiation from outside Earth's atmosphere most likely damaged any DNA and makes it unusable for cloning. 一个问题是,来自地球大气层外的辐射很可能会破坏任何 DNA,使其无法用于克隆。 This year, however, researchers announced they had taken "less-damaged nucleus-like structures from the remains" of Yuka. 然而,今年,研究人员宣布他们已经从 Yuka 的遗骸中提取了“受损较小的核状结构”。 They said they saw "signs of biological activities" in them after placing them into mouse cells capable of forming eggs. 他们说,在将它们放入能够形成卵子的小鼠细胞中后,他们在它们身上看到了“生物活动的迹象”。

"Our work provides a platform to evaluate the biological activities of nuclei in extinct animal species," they declared in a study published last March in the publication Scientific Reports. “我们的工作为评估已灭绝动物物种细胞核的生物活性提供了一个平台,”他们在去年 3 月发表在《科学报告》杂志上的一项研究中宣称。

Other prehistoric finds in recent years include:

The first complete body of a young woolly rhino, including its hair, was found near a Siberian river in 2015. 2015 年,在西伯利亚河流附近发现了第一只幼年长毛犀牛的完整身体,包括它的毛发。 Named Sasha and nearly a meter tall and 2 meters long at just 7 months of age, she would be much taller than modern rhinoceros. Early estimates put the age of Sasha's remains at between 10,000 and 34,000 years old.

The partial head of a woolly rhino was found in Germany in 2008. 2008年在德国发现了一头长毛犀牛的部分头部。 The creature lived nearly 500,000 years ago, making it Europe's oldest such find. 这种生物生活在近 50 万年前,是欧洲最古老的此类发现。

A prehistoric young horse was found in 2018 in eastern Russia. The animal was thought to be about 2 months old when it died, some 40,000 years ago. Its internal organs, tail, and hooves are whole, and even eyelashes and nostril hairs are clearly recognizable. The extinct species is known as a Lena horse.The prospect of harvesting useful DNA from the animal was high. 灭绝的物种被称为莉娜马。从动物身上收获有用的 DNA 的前景很高。 The famous South Korean cloning researcher, Hwang Woo-suk, was part of team that examined the horse earlier this year. 今年早些时候,韩国著名的克隆研究人员 Hwang Woo-suk 是研究这匹马的团队的一员。 Hwang supports cloning techniques to revive woolly mammoths. He reportedly took samples of biological fluids like blood from the horse. 据报道,他从马身上采集了生物体液样本,如血液。

The head of an ancient subspecies of wolf was also found last year. Its fur, brain and other body parts were said to be the best-preserved of any specimen. 它的皮毛、大脑和其他身体部位据说是所有标本中保存最完好的。 Scientists said it is about 25 percent larger than many modern wolves. 科学家说,它比许多现代狼大约 25%。 The ancient animals are thought to have died off in the past 10,000 years or so. 古代动物被认为是在过去一万年左右的时间里灭绝的。