科学美国人(翻译):COVID-19对安全实验室的需求——及其风险 2020.03.31

cathy0301 2020-04-07 834 阅读
分享

COVID-19: The Need for Secure Labs--and Their Risks

COVID-19:对安全实验室的需求——及其风险

SM:  This is Scientific American’s Science Talk, posted on April 3, 2020. I’m Steve Mirsky. The coronavirus now leaping across the globe made its first jump from wild animals—probably bats—to people. But now that virus is being cultivated in specially equipped biohazard labs, the same kind that are used to store and study other dangerous microbes, like anthrax and Ebola.

SM:这是科学美国人的科学谈话,发表于2020年4月3日。我是史蒂夫·米尔斯基。现在跨越全球的冠状病毒第一次从野生动物——可能是蝙蝠——跳到人类身上。但现在,这种病毒正在专门装备的生物危害实验室里培育,这种实验室也被用来储存和研究其他危险微生物,比如炭疽和埃博拉病毒。

In an article published recently by the New Yorker and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Elisabeth Eaves explores the proliferation of these high-containment labs, which now number in the hundreds in the U.S. She reports that some experts are concerned that the sheer number of such facilities are raising the likelihood of a catastrophic breach. Her story takes us to one federal lab on an island in Long Island Sound that works with highly contagious livestock diseases. In a highly controversial decision, she reports, that lab is now being relocated to a Kansas town in the heart of America’s cattle country.

在最近发表的一篇文章《纽约客》和《原子科学家,伊丽莎白屋檐探索这些高级别控制实验室的扩散,目前以数百计在美国她报告说,一些专家担心,此类设施的数量提高灾难性违约的可能性。她的故事把我们带到了长岛湾一个岛上的联邦实验室,那里研究高度传染性的牲畜疾病。她报告说,在一个极具争议的决定中,实验室现在被转移到美国养牛场中心的堪萨斯城。

Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs spoke with Eaves what she learned in the two years she spent reporting the story, which is titled “The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs.”

EE: “I’m Elisabeth Eaves. I’m an author and journalist based in Seattle, and I’m a contributing editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.”

《科学美国人》特约编辑w·韦特·吉布斯(W. Wayt Gibbs)采访了伊夫斯,她在报道这篇题为《建立过多生物实验室的风险》(the Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs)的文章中了解到的情况。我是伊丽莎白·伊夫斯。我是西雅图的一名作家兼记者,也是《原子科学家公报》的特约编辑。”

WWG: This reporting was a joint project between the New Yorker and the Bulletin, which we should explain is a non-profit media organization that was founded at the close of World War II by Albert Einstein and scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project. Having created nuclear weapons, they felt they needed to draw attention to the risks of a nuclear arms race and other man-made threats to humanity. Those threats include biological weapons and accidental releases of dangerous pathogens that are being studied for research in high-containment labs, also called biosafety level 3 or level 4 labs.

WWG:这篇报道是《纽约客》和《简报》的联合项目,我们应该解释一下,《简报》是一个非盈利媒体组织,由阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦和参与曼哈顿计划的科学家们在二战结束时创立。在制造了核武器之后,他们觉得有必要提请人们注意核军备竞赛的风险和其他对人类的人为威胁。这些威胁包括生物武器和危险病原体的意外释放,目前正在高安全型实验室(也称生物安全三级或四级实验室)进行研究。

Eaves opens her story by describing a visit she took to the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Long Island Sound. It’s a very large, very old facility, operated by the Department of Homeland Security.

伊芙斯在故事的开头描述了她在长岛海峡梅岛动物疾病中心的一次访问。这是一个非常大,非常古老的设施,由国土安全部管理。

EE: “Look it’s beautiful. It’s an island mostly covered with vegetation, very low to the water…. It's really a birders paradise there—herons and owls and all kinds of things…. There’s a lighthouse that dates from I think the 1800s…. And then at one end, there's this office building which is attached to the BSL-3 lab. So that stands for biosafety level three, which is a high-containment lab.”

EE:“看它多漂亮。这是一个大部分被植被覆盖的岛屿,离水面很低…那里真的是观鸟者的天堂——有苍鹭、猫头鹰和各种各样的鸟……那里有一座灯塔,我想应该是19世纪的……在一端,是这座附属于BSL-3实验室的办公大楼。它代表生物安全三级,是一个高安全型实验室。”

WWG: BSL-3 labs are the ones that handle lethal microbes such as anthrax, plague virus—and now SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

WWG: BSL-3实验室是处理致命微生物的实验室,如炭疽、鼠疫病毒——现在是SARS-CoV-2,这种病毒导致了covid19大流行。

At Plum Island, a research team of about 400 people studies diseases that are dangerous to livestock, including foot-and-mouth-disease, which is one of the most highly infectious animal diseases known.

在普拉姆岛,一个约400人的研究小组研究对牲畜有危险的疾病,包括口蹄疫,这是已知的传染性最强的动物疾病之一。

EE: “It’s a virus that can affect any cloven-foot animal. So that's cattle and pigs, but could also be bison, sheep, goats… It can travel on a pant leg or on the air, on a muddy tire.“The fatality rate isn’t huge, but it's extremely contagious…. In 2001, Britain had a really large foot-and-mouth outbreak. And it was devastating to their agricultural industry. It was devastating to tourism, even, …because they had no-travel zones. So it’s kind of like now, when you have to make everybody stop moving around. The economic losses are huge.”

这是一种可以感染任何偶蹄类动物的病毒。那是牛和猪,也可能是野牛、绵羊、山羊……它可以用裤腿行走,也可以在空中行走,或者在泥泞的轮胎上行走。“致死率不高,但极具传染性……2001年,英国爆发了一场非常严重的口蹄疫疫情。这对他们的农业造成了毁灭性的打击。这对旅游业来说是毁灭性的,因为他们有禁行区。这有点像现在,你必须让每个人停止移动。经济损失是巨大的。”

WWG: And then, just six years later, foot-and-mouth broke out again in England.

EE: “They did trace the source of that one. And it turned out it was a lab breach. There is a very prestigious infectious disease research institute called the Pirbright Institute. Well, it turns out that there were kind of two buildings on this campus, and they had a faulty drain pipe. And there was some squabbling over which building’s responsibility it was to fix this drain pipe. Well, long story short, some foot-and-mouth got out through this faulty drain pipe and infected cattle nearby.

WWG:然后,仅仅六年之后,口蹄疫又在英国爆发了。

EE: “他们确实找到了那个东西的来源。结果是实验室的一次破坏。有一个非常著名的传染病研究所,叫做皮尔布莱特研究所。嗯,原来在这个校园里有两座建筑,它们有一个有缺陷的排水管。还有一些争论是关于哪栋楼有责任修理排水管。好吧,长话短说,一些口蹄疫从这条有缺陷的排水管里出来,感染了附近的牛。

WWG: To protect against such disastrous accidents, Congress passed a law requiring that any research involving live virus that can cause foot-and-mouth disease must be done on coastal islands, such as Plum Island—unless the Secretary of Agriculture makes a compelling case to bring it onto the mainland.

WWG:为了防止这类灾难性的事故,国会通过了一项法律,要求任何涉及可导致口蹄疫的活病毒的研究必须在沿海岛屿上进行,比如梅子岛——除非农业部长提出一个令人信服的理由把它带到大陆上。

Nevertheless, Eaves reports, around 2007 the Department of Homeland Security decided that it needed to upgrade the Plum Island lab to biosafety level 4—the highest level, where they could work with highly lethal and contagious human pathogens like Ebola and Nipah virus, as well as avian flu, swine fever, and foot-and-mouth virus. But New York’s Congressional representatives, including then-Senator Hillary Clinton, strongly opposed upgrading Plum Island. So DHS began searching for a site to relocate the lab and turn it into a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

然而,屋檐报道,大约2007美国国土安全部决定它需要升级梅岛实验室生物安全级别最高的级别,在那里他们可以与高致命性和传染性的人类病原体如埃博拉和尼帕病毒,禽流感、猪瘟、口蹄疫病毒。但是纽约的国会代表,包括当时的参议员希拉里·克林顿,强烈反对升级普拉姆岛。因此,国土安全部开始寻找一个地点来重新安置实验室,把它变成一个国家生物和农业防御设施。

EE: “So they started looking around. I don't think any islands were actually considered. They wanted a place with some kind of academic community or academic resources, you know, a university perhaps, or maybe an existing research facility….  An official factor in their search was community acceptance. So they needed and wanted to find a place where essentially the people wouldn't complain or would accept and be happy to have this lab there.”

于是他们开始四处寻找。我认为实际上没有考虑任何岛屿。他们想要一个有学术社区或学术资源的地方,你知道,也许是一所大学,或者是一个现有的研究机构……他们寻找的一个官方因素是社区的接受度。所以他们需要并希望找到一个地方,基本上人们不会抱怨或接受,并乐于在那里拥有这个实验室。”

WWG: That turned out to be difficult. Eaves describes how opposition groups formed to agitate against a new biohazard lab at one candidate site after another: in California, in Oregon, in Wisconsin.

沃克:结果发现很难。伊夫斯描述了反对派是如何在一个又一个候选地点——加利福尼亚州、俄勒冈州、威斯康星州——组成反对一个新的生物危害实验室的。

EE: “They eventually whittled it down to six options. And of those options. Manhattan, Kansas, was by far the smallest urban area. So Manhattan, Kansas is a city of just about 55,000 people… a really pretty college town in the middle of wheat fields.”

EE:“他们最终将其缩减到6个选项。以及那些选项。堪萨斯州的曼哈顿是当时最小的城区。堪萨斯州的曼哈顿是一个只有5万5千人的城市,是一个坐落在麦田中间的非常美丽的大学城。”

WWG: And not just wheat fields.

EE: “So, yeah, this is the middle of cattle country.”

EE: “I think Texas is actually the largest cattle producing state in the country. Kansas, though is in the top 10. All its immediate neighbors—you know, Colorado, Nebraska—they’re all in the top 10. I think Kansas is third largest…. There’s cattle farming everywhere.”

不仅是麦田。

EE:“所以,是的,这里是养牛场的中心。”

EE:“我认为德克萨斯州实际上是美国最大的养牛州。而堪萨斯州则进入了前十名。它所有的近邻——你知道,科罗拉多州,内布拉斯加——都在前十之列。我认为堪萨斯州是第三大…到处都有养牛的。”

WWG: Eaves describes how Kansas Senator Pat Roberts pushed to bring the biodefense lab to that state, at one point telling the state legislature that it would be one of the greatest economic development initiatives in state history. But while local politicians saw stable jobs and lucrative federal contracts, some scientists scratched their heads at the wisdom of locating stores of extremely dangerous and contagious microbes so close to livestock—and to people.

WWG:艾夫斯描述了堪萨斯州参议员帕特·罗伯茨如何推动把生物防御实验室带到该州,并一度告诉州议会,这将是该州历史上最伟大的经济发展计划之一。但是,当地方政客们看到稳定的工作和利润丰厚的联邦合同时,一些科学家却对将极端危险和传染性微生物储存在离牲畜和人类如此近的地方的做法感到挠头。

EE: “So it’s right in town… adjacent to the Kansas State University campus. Walking distance to student housing, it's immediately next to a low-income housing development that is very close to a retirement home. Maybe half a mile from the Kansas State football stadium…. So it’s like right there in the middle of things.”

EE:“就在城里……毗邻堪萨斯州立大学校园。步行到学生公寓,紧挨着一个低收入的住房发展,非常接近退休之家。大概离堪萨斯州立足球场半英里…所以就像在事情的中间。”

WWG: Eaves spoke to two developmental biologists at Kansas State University who thought the plan was inviting disaster.

EE: “Abigail Conrad said it defies reason. Her husband Gary, called it beyond ludicrous, almost criminal and genuinely stupid.”

WWG: But Homeland Security assured Congress that the risk of any of those infectious agents escaping was acceptably low.

WWG:艾夫斯采访了堪萨斯州立大学的两位发展生物学家,他们认为这个计划是在招惹灾难。

EE:“阿比盖尔·康拉德说这是没有道理的。她的丈夫加里(Gary)说,这简直是荒唐、犯罪,而且真的很愚蠢。”

WWG:但是国土安全部向国会保证,任何传染性病原体逃逸的风险都是可以接受的低水平。

EE: “The National Academies of sciences critiqued their plan, and found that there was there was a 70% chance of a foot-and-mouth outbreak due to a lab breach over a 50-year lifespan of the lab. So that's obviously enormously high and frightening. And one reason was because the homeland security plan had not taken into account the potential effects of tornadoes, which obviously, there are a lot of tornadoes in Kansas. That was in 2010.

EE:“美国国家科学院对他们的计划提出了批评,发现有70%的几率由于实验室50年的使用寿命而导致口蹄疫爆发。所以这显然是非常高和可怕的。一个原因是国土安全计划没有考虑到龙卷风的潜在影响,很明显,在堪萨斯州有很多龙卷风。那是在2010年。

“So the DHS… improved their design, and resubmitted a design. The National … Academy of Sciences had a chance to weigh in again a couple of years later, and this time DHS … said ‘no, no, no. The risk of …a foot-and-mouth outbreak resulting from a lab reach here is almost zero.’ …They said it’s one 10th of 1%, I think.

“所以国土安全部……改进了他们的设计,重新提交了一份设计。国家科学院有机会在几年后再次介入,而这一次国土安全部说:“不,不,不。实验室里爆发口蹄疫的风险几乎为零。我想,他们说的是1%的十分之一。

“Well, the National Academy of Sciences committee said ‘That’s ridiculous. They said something like it’s not consistent with modern industrial systems. But their comments weren’t binding, and so construction went ahead.”

WWG: Construction has been underway since 2013, and DHS says the $1.25 billion facility is on track for completion next year.

“嗯,国家科学院委员会说‘这太荒谬了。他们说这与现代工业体系不一致。但他们的评论没有约束力,所以施工就进行了。”

WWG:建设工作从2013年就开始了,国土安全部表示,这个价值12.5亿美元的设施将于明年完工。

EE: “It'll be a very strong, well-engineered building. Tornadoes are probably not the worst thing you need to worry about there. The thing that most experts in this field raise as a potential risk is really the human factor. … In no lab can you really completely eliminate the human-error factor. … That's why you always end up with some risk.”

EE:“这将是一座非常坚固、设计良好的建筑。龙卷风可能不是你需要担心的最糟糕的事情。这一领域的大多数专家提出的潜在风险实际上是人为因素。没有一个实验室能真正完全消除人为误差因素。这就是为什么你总是要冒一些风险。”

EE: “Well, there just have been a lot of lab breaches over the years. The Soviet Union had a big bioweapons research program, and they had an incident in the 70s at their Sverdlovsk Lab…, where they accidentally released a puff of anthrax spores into the sky. Three hundred and some people were killed, I believe, but if the wind had been blowing the other direction, it could have been tens of thousands or maybe more people killed.”

EE: “嗯,这些年来实验室发生了很多违规事件。苏联有一个大型的生物武器研究项目,在70年代,他们在斯维尔德洛夫斯克实验室发生了一起事故,他们不小心向空中释放了一团炭疽孢子。我相信有三百多人被炸死,但是如果当时风向相反,可能会有成千上万甚至更多的人被炸死。”

WWG: We heard already about the leak of foot-and-mouth virus from the lab in England. You may remember about the anthrax-laced letters sent to members of Congress shortly after 9/11.

EE: “In 2008, the FBI concluded their investigation and they found that the anthrax letters had come from Bruce Ivins who was a mentally unstable researcher at U.S. AMRIID at Fort Dietrich in Maryland. So he was inside the US biosecurity complex.”

WWG:我们已经从英国的实验室得知口蹄疫病毒泄露的消息了。你可能还记得9/11事件后不久寄给国会议员的带有炭疽病毒的信件。

EE:“2008年,联邦调查局结束了他们的调查,他们发现炭疽信件来自Bruce Ivins,他是马里兰州迪特里希堡美国精神不稳定研究员。所以他在美国生物安全中心。”

EE: “There have been some really disturbing ones more recently. The CDC… discovered that a number of workers had been exposed to live anthrax, because when scientists move anthrax around, they're supposed to deactivate it, which they do through radiation. And sometimes, I guess they don't … make sure that that it was deactivated, so they exposed a bunch of workers.

EE: “最近发生了一些非常令人不安的事情。美国疾病控制与预防中心发现,许多工作人员接触过活的炭疽菌,因为当科学家移动炭疽菌时,他们应该使其失去活性,而这是通过辐射实现的。有时,我猜他们没有。,确保它是无效的,所以他们暴露了一群工人。

“In 2015, the army revealed that its Dugway Proving Ground had mailed hundreds of live anthrax samples to other labs in the United States and in other countries. That's just a handful of better-known incidents.”

2015年,军方透露,他们的杜格威试验场已经向美国和其他国家的其他实验室邮寄了数百个活的炭疽样本。这只是少数几个比较出名的事件。”

WWG: Humans beings make mistakes. It’s what we do. And every new high-containment lab is an opportunity for a mistake to let a dangerous pathogen loose inside the country.

EE: “Every time you build one you bring in a little more risk. So the question is: how many of these labs should there be? And some people think we have too many.”

WWG:人类会犯错误。我们就是这么做的。而且,每一个新的高防护实验室都是一个错误的机会,让一种危险的病原体在这个国家内部扩散。

EE:“每建一个,就会增加一点风险。所以问题是:应该有多少这样的实验室?有些人认为我们拥有的太多了。”

EE: “There is no one body that has oversight of all high-containment labs, by which I mean BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs in the U.S. There's no single entity, there's no planning. The Government Accountability Office has done a number of reports on this over the years and …they don't even know exactly how many there are. We think there's at least 276 high-containment labs—that was as of a count in 2017. But that's probably not the full number.”

EE:“没有一个机构可以监督所有高安全型实验室,我指的是美国的BSL-3和BSL-4实验室。政府问责局多年来就这个问题做了很多报告,他们甚至不知道到底有多少。我们认为至少有276个高防护实验室——这是2017年的数据。但这可能不是全部数字。”

WWG: The COVID-19 pandemic we’re facing now demonstrates, on the one hand, the need to have secure labs that can study dangerous pathogens like the SARS-CoV-2 virus to understand everything we need to know to stop its spread and save as many lives as possible. But the pandemic also illustrates, on the other hand, the incredible amount of havoc a fast-spreading infectious agent can wreak on society.

WWG:我们现在面临的covid19大流行表明,一方面,需要有安全的实验室来研究像SARS-CoV-2病毒这样的危险病原体,以了解我们需要知道的一切来阻止它的传播,并尽可能挽救更多的生命。但另一方面,这次大流行也表明了一种快速传播的传染病能对社会造成的巨大破坏。

EE: “I think it's going to change a lot of thinking and that includes people being aware of labs doing high-containment research in their communities.”

EE: “We certainly need some high-containment labs. The question is: how many do we need? And I think what the last 20 years shows us is the way to react to a biosecurity crisis isn’t just to throw money without planning at a problem. It’s to plan very carefully and deliberately what you want to do, and where you want to do it, and how you're going to fund it consistently. So it’s not that we shouldn't have these labs at all. … But how we've managed them in the past is risky. And it doesn’t have to be so risky…. A more focused, better-planned system with some kind of central authority with oversight would make us all safer and healthier, I think, in the long run.”

EE:“我认为这将改变很多人的想法,包括人们意识到实验室在他们的社区进行高包容性的研究。”

EE:“我们当然需要一些高容量的实验室。问题是:我们需要多少?我认为,过去20年向我们展示的是,应对生物安全危机的方法不仅仅是在没有规划的情况下投入资金。你要非常仔细地计划你想做什么,你想在哪里做,你要如何持续地资助它。所以这并不是说我们不应该有这些实验室。但我们过去的管理方式是有风险的。也没必要这么冒险…我认为,从长远来看,一个更有针对性、规划更完善、有某种中央权力机构进行监督的体系会让我们大家更安全、更健康。”

WWG: That’s Elisabeth Eaves. You can find her article “The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs” at TheBulletin.org and at NewYorker.com.

WWG: For Scientific American’s Science Talk, I’m Wayt Gibbs.

WWG:那是伊丽莎白·伊夫斯。你可以在thebulletin in.org和NewYorker.com上找到她的文章《建立过多生物实验室的风险》(The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs)。

WWG:科学美国人的科学演讲,我是Wayt Gibbs。


COVID-19: The Need for Secure Labs--and Their Risks

COVID-19:对安全实验室的需求——及其风险

SM:  This is Scientific American’s Science Talk, posted on April 3, 2020. I’m Steve Mirsky. The coronavirus now leaping across the globe made its first jump from wild animals—probably bats—to people. But now that virus is being cultivated in specially equipped biohazard labs, the same kind that are used to store and study other dangerous microbes, like anthrax and Ebola.

SM:这是科学美国人的科学谈话,发表于2020年4月3日。我是史蒂夫·米尔斯基。现在跨越全球的冠状病毒第一次从野生动物——可能是蝙蝠——跳到人类身上。但现在,这种病毒正在专门装备的生物危害实验室里培育,这种实验室也被用来储存和研究其他危险微生物,比如炭疽和埃博拉病毒。

In an article published recently by the New Yorker and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Elisabeth Eaves explores the proliferation of these high-containment labs, which now number in the hundreds in the U.S. She reports that some experts are concerned that the sheer number of such facilities are raising the likelihood of a catastrophic breach. Her story takes us to one federal lab on an island in Long Island Sound that works with highly contagious livestock diseases. In a highly controversial decision, she reports, that lab is now being relocated to a Kansas town in the heart of America’s cattle country.

在最近发表的一篇文章《纽约客》和《原子科学家,伊丽莎白屋檐探索这些高级别控制实验室的扩散,目前以数百计在美国她报告说,一些专家担心,此类设施的数量提高灾难性违约的可能性。她的故事把我们带到了长岛湾一个岛上的联邦实验室,那里研究高度传染性的牲畜疾病。她报告说,在一个极具争议的决定中,实验室现在被转移到美国养牛场中心的堪萨斯城。

Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs spoke with Eaves what she learned in the two years she spent reporting the story, which is titled “The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs.”

EE: “I’m Elisabeth Eaves. I’m an author and journalist based in Seattle, and I’m a contributing editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.”

《科学美国人》特约编辑w·韦特·吉布斯(W. Wayt Gibbs)采访了伊夫斯,她在报道这篇题为《建立过多生物实验室的风险》(the Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs)的文章中了解到的情况。我是伊丽莎白·伊夫斯。我是西雅图的一名作家兼记者,也是《原子科学家公报》的特约编辑。”

WWG: This reporting was a joint project between the New Yorker and the Bulletin, which we should explain is a non-profit media organization that was founded at the close of World War II by Albert Einstein and scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project. Having created nuclear weapons, they felt they needed to draw attention to the risks of a nuclear arms race and other man-made threats to humanity. Those threats include biological weapons and accidental releases of dangerous pathogens that are being studied for research in high-containment labs, also called biosafety level 3 or level 4 labs.

WWG:这篇报道是《纽约客》和《简报》的联合项目,我们应该解释一下,《简报》是一个非盈利媒体组织,由阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦和参与曼哈顿计划的科学家们在二战结束时创立。在制造了核武器之后,他们觉得有必要提请人们注意核军备竞赛的风险和其他对人类的人为威胁。这些威胁包括生物武器和危险病原体的意外释放,目前正在高安全型实验室(也称生物安全三级或四级实验室)进行研究。

Eaves opens her story by describing a visit she took to the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Long Island Sound. It’s a very large, very old facility, operated by the Department of Homeland Security.

伊芙斯在故事的开头描述了她在长岛海峡梅岛动物疾病中心的一次访问。这是一个非常大,非常古老的设施,由国土安全部管理。

EE: “Look it’s beautiful. It’s an island mostly covered with vegetation, very low to the water…. It's really a birders paradise there—herons and owls and all kinds of things…. There’s a lighthouse that dates from I think the 1800s…. And then at one end, there's this office building which is attached to the BSL-3 lab. So that stands for biosafety level three, which is a high-containment lab.”

EE:“看它多漂亮。这是一个大部分被植被覆盖的岛屿,离水面很低…那里真的是观鸟者的天堂——有苍鹭、猫头鹰和各种各样的鸟……那里有一座灯塔,我想应该是19世纪的……在一端,是这座附属于BSL-3实验室的办公大楼。它代表生物安全三级,是一个高安全型实验室。”

WWG: BSL-3 labs are the ones that handle lethal microbes such as anthrax, plague virus—and now SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

WWG: BSL-3实验室是处理致命微生物的实验室,如炭疽、鼠疫病毒——现在是SARS-CoV-2,这种病毒导致了covid19大流行。

At Plum Island, a research team of about 400 people studies diseases that are dangerous to livestock, including foot-and-mouth-disease, which is one of the most highly infectious animal diseases known.

在普拉姆岛,一个约400人的研究小组研究对牲畜有危险的疾病,包括口蹄疫,这是已知的传染性最强的动物疾病之一。

EE: “It’s a virus that can affect any cloven-foot animal. So that's cattle and pigs, but could also be bison, sheep, goats… It can travel on a pant leg or on the air, on a muddy tire.“The fatality rate isn’t huge, but it's extremely contagious…. In 2001, Britain had a really large foot-and-mouth outbreak. And it was devastating to their agricultural industry. It was devastating to tourism, even, …because they had no-travel zones. So it’s kind of like now, when you have to make everybody stop moving around. The economic losses are huge.”

这是一种可以感染任何偶蹄类动物的病毒。那是牛和猪,也可能是野牛、绵羊、山羊……它可以用裤腿行走,也可以在空中行走,或者在泥泞的轮胎上行走。“致死率不高,但极具传染性……2001年,英国爆发了一场非常严重的口蹄疫疫情。这对他们的农业造成了毁灭性的打击。这对旅游业来说是毁灭性的,因为他们有禁行区。这有点像现在,你必须让每个人停止移动。经济损失是巨大的。”

WWG: And then, just six years later, foot-and-mouth broke out again in England.

EE: “They did trace the source of that one. And it turned out it was a lab breach. There is a very prestigious infectious disease research institute called the Pirbright Institute. Well, it turns out that there were kind of two buildings on this campus, and they had a faulty drain pipe. And there was some squabbling over which building’s responsibility it was to fix this drain pipe. Well, long story short, some foot-and-mouth got out through this faulty drain pipe and infected cattle nearby.

WWG:然后,仅仅六年之后,口蹄疫又在英国爆发了。

EE: “他们确实找到了那个东西的来源。结果是实验室的一次破坏。有一个非常著名的传染病研究所,叫做皮尔布莱特研究所。嗯,原来在这个校园里有两座建筑,它们有一个有缺陷的排水管。还有一些争论是关于哪栋楼有责任修理排水管。好吧,长话短说,一些口蹄疫从这条有缺陷的排水管里出来,感染了附近的牛。

WWG: To protect against such disastrous accidents, Congress passed a law requiring that any research involving live virus that can cause foot-and-mouth disease must be done on coastal islands, such as Plum Island—unless the Secretary of Agriculture makes a compelling case to bring it onto the mainland.

WWG:为了防止这类灾难性的事故,国会通过了一项法律,要求任何涉及可导致口蹄疫的活病毒的研究必须在沿海岛屿上进行,比如梅子岛——除非农业部长提出一个令人信服的理由把它带到大陆上。

Nevertheless, Eaves reports, around 2007 the Department of Homeland Security decided that it needed to upgrade the Plum Island lab to biosafety level 4—the highest level, where they could work with highly lethal and contagious human pathogens like Ebola and Nipah virus, as well as avian flu, swine fever, and foot-and-mouth virus. But New York’s Congressional representatives, including then-Senator Hillary Clinton, strongly opposed upgrading Plum Island. So DHS began searching for a site to relocate the lab and turn it into a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

然而,屋檐报道,大约2007美国国土安全部决定它需要升级梅岛实验室生物安全级别最高的级别,在那里他们可以与高致命性和传染性的人类病原体如埃博拉和尼帕病毒,禽流感、猪瘟、口蹄疫病毒。但是纽约的国会代表,包括当时的参议员希拉里·克林顿,强烈反对升级普拉姆岛。因此,国土安全部开始寻找一个地点来重新安置实验室,把它变成一个国家生物和农业防御设施。

EE: “So they started looking around. I don't think any islands were actually considered. They wanted a place with some kind of academic community or academic resources, you know, a university perhaps, or maybe an existing research facility….  An official factor in their search was community acceptance. So they needed and wanted to find a place where essentially the people wouldn't complain or would accept and be happy to have this lab there.”

于是他们开始四处寻找。我认为实际上没有考虑任何岛屿。他们想要一个有学术社区或学术资源的地方,你知道,也许是一所大学,或者是一个现有的研究机构……他们寻找的一个官方因素是社区的接受度。所以他们需要并希望找到一个地方,基本上人们不会抱怨或接受,并乐于在那里拥有这个实验室。”

WWG: That turned out to be difficult. Eaves describes how opposition groups formed to agitate against a new biohazard lab at one candidate site after another: in California, in Oregon, in Wisconsin.

沃克:结果发现很难。伊夫斯描述了反对派是如何在一个又一个候选地点——加利福尼亚州、俄勒冈州、威斯康星州——组成反对一个新的生物危害实验室的。

EE: “They eventually whittled it down to six options. And of those options. Manhattan, Kansas, was by far the smallest urban area. So Manhattan, Kansas is a city of just about 55,000 people… a really pretty college town in the middle of wheat fields.”

EE:“他们最终将其缩减到6个选项。以及那些选项。堪萨斯州的曼哈顿是当时最小的城区。堪萨斯州的曼哈顿是一个只有5万5千人的城市,是一个坐落在麦田中间的非常美丽的大学城。”

WWG: And not just wheat fields.

EE: “So, yeah, this is the middle of cattle country.”

EE: “I think Texas is actually the largest cattle producing state in the country. Kansas, though is in the top 10. All its immediate neighbors—you know, Colorado, Nebraska—they’re all in the top 10. I think Kansas is third largest…. There’s cattle farming everywhere.”

不仅是麦田。

EE:“所以,是的,这里是养牛场的中心。”

EE:“我认为德克萨斯州实际上是美国最大的养牛州。而堪萨斯州则进入了前十名。它所有的近邻——你知道,科罗拉多州,内布拉斯加——都在前十之列。我认为堪萨斯州是第三大…到处都有养牛的。”

WWG: Eaves describes how Kansas Senator Pat Roberts pushed to bring the biodefense lab to that state, at one point telling the state legislature that it would be one of the greatest economic development initiatives in state history. But while local politicians saw stable jobs and lucrative federal contracts, some scientists scratched their heads at the wisdom of locating stores of extremely dangerous and contagious microbes so close to livestock—and to people.

WWG:艾夫斯描述了堪萨斯州参议员帕特·罗伯茨如何推动把生物防御实验室带到该州,并一度告诉州议会,这将是该州历史上最伟大的经济发展计划之一。但是,当地方政客们看到稳定的工作和利润丰厚的联邦合同时,一些科学家却对将极端危险和传染性微生物储存在离牲畜和人类如此近的地方的做法感到挠头。

EE: “So it’s right in town… adjacent to the Kansas State University campus. Walking distance to student housing, it's immediately next to a low-income housing development that is very close to a retirement home. Maybe half a mile from the Kansas State football stadium…. So it’s like right there in the middle of things.”

EE:“就在城里……毗邻堪萨斯州立大学校园。步行到学生公寓,紧挨着一个低收入的住房发展,非常接近退休之家。大概离堪萨斯州立足球场半英里…所以就像在事情的中间。”

WWG: Eaves spoke to two developmental biologists at Kansas State University who thought the plan was inviting disaster.

EE: “Abigail Conrad said it defies reason. Her husband Gary, called it beyond ludicrous, almost criminal and genuinely stupid.”

WWG: But Homeland Security assured Congress that the risk of any of those infectious agents escaping was acceptably low.

WWG:艾夫斯采访了堪萨斯州立大学的两位发展生物学家,他们认为这个计划是在招惹灾难。

EE:“阿比盖尔·康拉德说这是没有道理的。她的丈夫加里(Gary)说,这简直是荒唐、犯罪,而且真的很愚蠢。”

WWG:但是国土安全部向国会保证,任何传染性病原体逃逸的风险都是可以接受的低水平。

EE: “The National Academies of sciences critiqued their plan, and found that there was there was a 70% chance of a foot-and-mouth outbreak due to a lab breach over a 50-year lifespan of the lab. So that's obviously enormously high and frightening. And one reason was because the homeland security plan had not taken into account the potential effects of tornadoes, which obviously, there are a lot of tornadoes in Kansas. That was in 2010.

EE:“美国国家科学院对他们的计划提出了批评,发现有70%的几率由于实验室50年的使用寿命而导致口蹄疫爆发。所以这显然是非常高和可怕的。一个原因是国土安全计划没有考虑到龙卷风的潜在影响,很明显,在堪萨斯州有很多龙卷风。那是在2010年。

“So the DHS… improved their design, and resubmitted a design. The National … Academy of Sciences had a chance to weigh in again a couple of years later, and this time DHS … said ‘no, no, no. The risk of …a foot-and-mouth outbreak resulting from a lab reach here is almost zero.’ …They said it’s one 10th of 1%, I think.

“所以国土安全部……改进了他们的设计,重新提交了一份设计。国家科学院有机会在几年后再次介入,而这一次国土安全部说:“不,不,不。实验室里爆发口蹄疫的风险几乎为零。我想,他们说的是1%的十分之一。

“Well, the National Academy of Sciences committee said ‘That’s ridiculous. They said something like it’s not consistent with modern industrial systems. But their comments weren’t binding, and so construction went ahead.”

WWG: Construction has been underway since 2013, and DHS says the $1.25 billion facility is on track for completion next year.

“嗯,国家科学院委员会说‘这太荒谬了。他们说这与现代工业体系不一致。但他们的评论没有约束力,所以施工就进行了。”

WWG:建设工作从2013年就开始了,国土安全部表示,这个价值12.5亿美元的设施将于明年完工。

EE: “It'll be a very strong, well-engineered building. Tornadoes are probably not the worst thing you need to worry about there. The thing that most experts in this field raise as a potential risk is really the human factor. … In no lab can you really completely eliminate the human-error factor. … That's why you always end up with some risk.”

EE:“这将是一座非常坚固、设计良好的建筑。龙卷风可能不是你需要担心的最糟糕的事情。这一领域的大多数专家提出的潜在风险实际上是人为因素。没有一个实验室能真正完全消除人为误差因素。这就是为什么你总是要冒一些风险。”

EE: “Well, there just have been a lot of lab breaches over the years. The Soviet Union had a big bioweapons research program, and they had an incident in the 70s at their Sverdlovsk Lab…, where they accidentally released a puff of anthrax spores into the sky. Three hundred and some people were killed, I believe, but if the wind had been blowing the other direction, it could have been tens of thousands or maybe more people killed.”

EE: “嗯,这些年来实验室发生了很多违规事件。苏联有一个大型的生物武器研究项目,在70年代,他们在斯维尔德洛夫斯克实验室发生了一起事故,他们不小心向空中释放了一团炭疽孢子。我相信有三百多人被炸死,但是如果当时风向相反,可能会有成千上万甚至更多的人被炸死。”

WWG: We heard already about the leak of foot-and-mouth virus from the lab in England. You may remember about the anthrax-laced letters sent to members of Congress shortly after 9/11.

EE: “In 2008, the FBI concluded their investigation and they found that the anthrax letters had come from Bruce Ivins who was a mentally unstable researcher at U.S. AMRIID at Fort Dietrich in Maryland. So he was inside the US biosecurity complex.”

WWG:我们已经从英国的实验室得知口蹄疫病毒泄露的消息了。你可能还记得9/11事件后不久寄给国会议员的带有炭疽病毒的信件。

EE:“2008年,联邦调查局结束了他们的调查,他们发现炭疽信件来自Bruce Ivins,他是马里兰州迪特里希堡美国精神不稳定研究员。所以他在美国生物安全中心。”

EE: “There have been some really disturbing ones more recently. The CDC… discovered that a number of workers had been exposed to live anthrax, because when scientists move anthrax around, they're supposed to deactivate it, which they do through radiation. And sometimes, I guess they don't … make sure that that it was deactivated, so they exposed a bunch of workers.

EE: “最近发生了一些非常令人不安的事情。美国疾病控制与预防中心发现,许多工作人员接触过活的炭疽菌,因为当科学家移动炭疽菌时,他们应该使其失去活性,而这是通过辐射实现的。有时,我猜他们没有。,确保它是无效的,所以他们暴露了一群工人。

“In 2015, the army revealed that its Dugway Proving Ground had mailed hundreds of live anthrax samples to other labs in the United States and in other countries. That's just a handful of better-known incidents.”

2015年,军方透露,他们的杜格威试验场已经向美国和其他国家的其他实验室邮寄了数百个活的炭疽样本。这只是少数几个比较出名的事件。”

WWG: Humans beings make mistakes. It’s what we do. And every new high-containment lab is an opportunity for a mistake to let a dangerous pathogen loose inside the country.

EE: “Every time you build one you bring in a little more risk. So the question is: how many of these labs should there be? And some people think we have too many.”

WWG:人类会犯错误。我们就是这么做的。而且,每一个新的高防护实验室都是一个错误的机会,让一种危险的病原体在这个国家内部扩散。

EE:“每建一个,就会增加一点风险。所以问题是:应该有多少这样的实验室?有些人认为我们拥有的太多了。”

EE: “There is no one body that has oversight of all high-containment labs, by which I mean BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs in the U.S. There's no single entity, there's no planning. The Government Accountability Office has done a number of reports on this over the years and …they don't even know exactly how many there are. We think there's at least 276 high-containment labs—that was as of a count in 2017. But that's probably not the full number.”

EE:“没有一个机构可以监督所有高安全型实验室,我指的是美国的BSL-3和BSL-4实验室。政府问责局多年来就这个问题做了很多报告,他们甚至不知道到底有多少。我们认为至少有276个高防护实验室——这是2017年的数据。但这可能不是全部数字。”

WWG: The COVID-19 pandemic we’re facing now demonstrates, on the one hand, the need to have secure labs that can study dangerous pathogens like the SARS-CoV-2 virus to understand everything we need to know to stop its spread and save as many lives as possible. But the pandemic also illustrates, on the other hand, the incredible amount of havoc a fast-spreading infectious agent can wreak on society.

WWG:我们现在面临的covid19大流行表明,一方面,需要有安全的实验室来研究像SARS-CoV-2病毒这样的危险病原体,以了解我们需要知道的一切来阻止它的传播,并尽可能挽救更多的生命。但另一方面,这次大流行也表明了一种快速传播的传染病能对社会造成的巨大破坏。

EE: “I think it's going to change a lot of thinking and that includes people being aware of labs doing high-containment research in their communities.”

EE: “We certainly need some high-containment labs. The question is: how many do we need? And I think what the last 20 years shows us is the way to react to a biosecurity crisis isn’t just to throw money without planning at a problem. It’s to plan very carefully and deliberately what you want to do, and where you want to do it, and how you're going to fund it consistently. So it’s not that we shouldn't have these labs at all. … But how we've managed them in the past is risky. And it doesn’t have to be so risky…. A more focused, better-planned system with some kind of central authority with oversight would make us all safer and healthier, I think, in the long run.”

EE:“我认为这将改变很多人的想法,包括人们意识到实验室在他们的社区进行高包容性的研究。”

EE:“我们当然需要一些高容量的实验室。问题是:我们需要多少?我认为,过去20年向我们展示的是,应对生物安全危机的方法不仅仅是在没有规划的情况下投入资金。你要非常仔细地计划你想做什么,你想在哪里做,你要如何持续地资助它。所以这并不是说我们不应该有这些实验室。但我们过去的管理方式是有风险的。也没必要这么冒险…我认为,从长远来看,一个更有针对性、规划更完善、有某种中央权力机构进行监督的体系会让我们大家更安全、更健康。”

WWG: That’s Elisabeth Eaves. You can find her article “The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs” at TheBulletin.org and at NewYorker.com.

WWG: For Scientific American’s Science Talk, I’m Wayt Gibbs.

WWG:那是伊丽莎白·伊夫斯。你可以在thebulletin in.org和NewYorker.com上找到她的文章《建立过多生物实验室的风险》(The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs)。

WWG:科学美国人的科学演讲,我是Wayt Gibbs。


3g.bigear.cn 用手机随时随地学英语
分享