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1萬年前就有口香糖? 但可能不是用來清新口氣的

kira86 于2019-05-31發布 l 已有人瀏覽
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考古學家對古老的口香糖中的DNA測序,提供了古代人的生活線索、飲食線索以及古人口腔中的細菌線索。
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Ancient Gum Gives Archaeologists Something to Chew On

古代口香糖給考古學家提供了值得深思的問題

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.

你可能對已被嚼過的口香糖——被某些人稱為ABC gum(ABC gum—already been chewed gum)的東西不感興趣。不過對于考古學家而言,只要被嚼過的口香糖年份夠古老,那它就是一個基因金礦。

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."

“與《侏羅紀世界》中的場景有些類似。”瑞典烏普薩拉大學的考古學研究生納塔利婭·卡舒巴表示到。她指的是電影中那個著名的片段——關于《侏羅紀世界》中的科學家是如何從一只被困在琥珀中的蚊子身上提取血液并研究恐龍的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."

但在這個例子中,涉及到的是人類的DNA,DNA也不是被困在琥珀中,而是被鎖定在瑞典西海岸一個古老漁獵村遺址上發現的異常古老的口香糖中。這些樣本看起來就像被嚼過的現代口香糖的那一團東西。但是,別以為是箭牌口香糖——這只是一種從樺樹皮中蒸餾出來的黑色粘性焦油。卡舒巴已經品嘗過現代版的口香糖,所以不急于再試試原始版的口香糖。“除非有人付錢給我,否則我是不會吃的。”

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.

那么為什么要嚼這么不好吃的東西呢?或許是因為他們的口香糖并不是用來清新口氣的。“口香糖可以用來封船或者用來封罐子,所以它是一種日常使用的物質。”許多口香糖塊上也有牙印,所以也許他們咀嚼口香糖是為了幫助重塑牙齒的形狀,繼而養成了一種習慣,盡管口香糖的味道不好,但如今嚼煙草的人可能會體會的。

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.

卡舒巴的團隊從古口香糖中提取并測序了DNA,他們發現了三名吃口香糖的人——兩名女性和一名男性的基因證據。這是在斯堪的納維亞發現的最古老的人類DNA,可以追溯到公元前8000年左右。因為DNA更類似西歐狩獵者的DNA而不是東歐狩獵者的DNA,所以它也提供了一種線索表明人們是如何來到如今的瑞典的。

The results are in the journal Communications Biology.

研究結果發表在《通訊生物學》雜志上。

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?

這種口香糖還能提供關于古代飲食的線索,或是這些人口中細菌的其它線索。既然我們可以從口香糖中了解到這么多信息,那么把它粘在桌椅底下真的有那么糟糕嗎?為了未來考古學家的考古需要,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.

“雖然我依然認為大家不該把口香糖隨便亂吐,我認為你絕對應該把嚼過的口香糖扔進垃圾桶,但我不會責怪這些一萬年前就把口香糖吐了出來的家伙。他們當時做得很好。”

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