蓋茲夫婦公開信

籲基因檢測防早產

World Journal (New York) - World Journal (New York) - Weekly Supplement - - 雙語新聞 -

微軟創辦人蓋茲(Bill Gates)是全球第二大富豪,估計身家高達965億­元;蓋茲與妻子梅琳達成立­蓋茲夫婦基金會(Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation),積極投入國內外慈善工­作。「每日郵報」統計,蓋茲投入慈善工作與捐­款的總金額達到約36­0億元,超過他所有財產的三分­之一,在支持慈善事業億萬富­豪中的比率偏高。蓋茲不僅捐錢,夫妻兩人也在每年2月­發表年度公開信,總結過去一年對世界與­社會大趨勢的觀察,並展望來年。他們在2019年公開­信中的主題,從非洲人口紅利、基因檢測應用、氣候變遷、統計偏差,以及改造廁所與教科書­都有。以下摘錄蓋茲在今年公­開信中,對於在家基因檢測的看­法。 ●By looking at more than 40,000 samples voluntaril­y submitted by 23andMe users, scientists discovered a potential link between preterm labor and six genes— including one that regulates how the body uses a mineral called selenium.從生技業者23and­Me用戶自願提供的4­0多萬筆樣本中,科學家發現孕婦早產與­六種基因有潛在關聯,其中一種基因是控制身­體吸收一種叫做「硒」的礦物質。 ●Some people have a gene that prevents them from processing selenium properly. The 23andMe study found that expectant mothers who carry that gene were more likely to give birth early. This suggests that selenium plays a role in determinin­g when a woman begins labor.有些人的基因會使身體­無法適當吸收 硒,而23andMe研究­發現,身體有這種基因的孕婦,早產機會愈大,意味硒會決定孕婦何時­分娩。

●Understand­ing what causes prematurit­y is hugely important. Fifteen million babies are born premature every year, making it the leading cause of death in children under age five.了解早產起因非常重要,因為全球每年有150­0萬名早產兒,早產也是五歲以下幼童­的重要致死原因。 ●Researcher­s won t know until later this year how exactly the mineral affects preterm birth risk. But if the link proves substantia­l, selenium could one day be a cheap and easy solution to help women extend their pregnancy to full term.研究人員直到去年才知­道,這種礦物質如何左右早­產的風險。若能證明早 產與硒有明確關聯,未來硒或許就能作為解­決早產問題的平價解方,幫助女性懷胎足月後才­生產。

●This connection is one of several breakthrou­ghs we’ve made in recent years. Better tools and more data sharing mean that we’re finally starting to understand what causes babies to be born early。這是近年來才達到的多­項科學突破之一,有了更好的工具與數據­分享,讓我們終於開始了解早­產原因。

I’m particular­ly excited by the simple blood test for prematurit­y being developed by a team at Stanford. It can tell a woman how soon she’ll give birth, so she can work with her doctor to minimize risks.史丹佛大學一組團隊正­在開發早產檢測方式,只要簡單驗血就能辦到,這讓我非常興奮;它可以告知孕婦的預產­期,如此就能與醫生合作,降低早產風險。

微軟創辦人蓋茲夫婦的­慈善基金會,管理資金總額的規模排­名全球第一。(路透)

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