时间:2015-05-26 06:57:37



   Rob: Hello I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. With me today is Finn. Hello Finn.

  Finn: Hello Rob.
  Rob: Now Finn, I'd like to start by asking you a question. Would you eat a purple coloured tomato?
  Finn: Purple? Well, that depends. Is it a naturally coloured tomato? Where does it come from? Is this an artificial tomato? Rob, tell me more.
  Rob: Artificial - yes, you mean is it man-made and trying to copy something that is natural? Well, in a way - yes. Because scientists have developed a genetically2 modified purple tomato; they took red tomato plants and changed their genetic1 patterns so that they now produce new, purple tomatoes.
  Finn: Yes, so this would be an example of GM - genetically modified - food. It's something we'll be discussing more soon and, of course, looking at some related vocabulary.
  Rob: But here's another question for you Finn that hasn't been modified - or changed - in any way! GM food has been researched and experimented with for many years but do you know when the first genetically modified food was first sold commercially? Was it in:
  a) 1974
  b) 1984
  c) 1994
  Finn: Well, we think of GM food as a recent thing so I'll say the opposite, a) 1974.
  Rob: OK, we’ll find out if you're right later on. Let's talk more now about genetically modified food - or GM food. It's called this because the food's genes3 have been changed. This means the way it grows is different from the way it grows when it isn’t touched by humans.
  Finn: Yes, so, growing GM food - or crops - is controversial. Some scientists think it's needed to meet the world's growing demand for food.
  Rob: Yes, GM food can resist - or stop the effects of - some pests or bad weather. It can grow more quickly, meaning even more crops can be cultivated - or grown.
  Finn: But opponents of GM food - people who argue against it - say we don't know enough about its effect on the environment.
  Rob: And then there are the fears about who controls what's grown.
  Finn: Yes, but despite this, GM food has become an important part of food production. Crops like sweetcorn, rape4 plants, wheat and tomatoes have all been genetically modified.
  Rob: Yes, like the purple tomato, which was recently developed in the UK. It has a dark pigment5 - or colour - which gives it the same potential health benefits as blueberries.
  Finn: Well, that sounds like a good thing. And not only that, it has an antioxidant - that's a substance that stops the decaying process - which tests show could help fight cancer.
  Rob: One day we could see these purple tomatoes on pizzas or in our tomato ketchup6. Let's hear from Professor Cathie Martin who is a plant biologist from The John Innes Centre who developed this tomato. What does she say is good about this new food?
  Professor Cathie Martin, Plant Biologist, John Innes Centre:
  With these purple tomatoes, you can get the same compounds that are present in blueberries and cranberries7 that give them their health benefits but you can apply them to foods that people actually eat in significant amounts and that are reasonably affordable8.
  Rob: So she says the good thing about this development is we can get health benefits from something we eat significant amounts of - so lots of - and they will be reasonably affordable - so it will be cheap.
  Finn: Yes but there's still maybe a problem with the colour. We are affected9 by the colour of stuff we put in our mouths. I mean, who eats blue food?!
  Rob: That's true. And also because the European Union has restrictions10 on growing GM food, this tomato has to be grown in Canada where rules are more supportive of GM foods.
  Finn: OK. Well, Professor Nick Pidgeon, who is an Environmental Psychologist, says in the UK there is some distrust of GM food.
  Rob: He says some people are concerned all this is messing with nature - it's not natural - and maybe we don't know what the long-term consequences are.
  Finn: And a big concern is that large corporations will have control over the technology. And this could mean they control food prices too. You know Rob, I think this is a debate that will go on and on and on.
  Rob: Indeed. But it's now time to reveal the answer to today's question. Earlier I asked you if you knew when the first genetically modified food was first sold commercially.
  Finn: I said a) 1974.
  Rob: Interesting. The answer is actually 1994. A company called Calgene sold a product that delayed the ripening11 of tomatoes.
  Finn: OK, well, I guess that means the fruit could last longer and it would stop it going soft?
  Rob: That was the idea. Now, before we go, Finn, could you remind us of some of the vocabulary that we've heard today?
  Finn: Yes, I will.
  genetically modified
  Rob: Well, that brings us to the end of today's 6 Minute English. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s programme. Please join us again soon.
  Both: Bye.



1 genetic PgIxp     
  • It's very difficult to treat genetic diseases.遗传性疾病治疗起来很困难。
  • Each daughter cell can receive a full complement of the genetic information.每个子细胞可以收到遗传信息的一个完全补偿物。
2 genetically Lgixo     
  • All the bees in the colony are genetically related. 同一群体的蜜蜂都有亲缘关系。
  • Genetically modified foods have already arrived on American dinner tables. 经基因改造加工过的食物已端上了美国人的餐桌。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 基因与食物
3 genes 01914f8eac35d7e14afa065217edd8c0     
n.基因( gene的名词复数 )
  • You have good genes from your parents, so you should live a long time. 你从父母那儿获得优良的基因,所以能够活得很长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Differences will help to reveal the functions of the genes. 它们间的差异将会帮助我们揭开基因多种功能。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 生物技术的世纪
4 rape PAQzh     
  • The rape of the countryside had a profound ravage on them.对乡村的掠夺给他们造成严重创伤。
  • He was brought to court and charged with rape.他被带到法庭并被指控犯有强奸罪。
5 pigment gi0yg     
  • The Romans used natural pigments on their fabrics and walls.古罗马人在织物和墙壁上使用天然颜料。
  • Who thought he might know what the skin pigment phenomenon meant.他自认为可能知道皮肤色素出现这种现象到底是怎么回事。
6 ketchup B3DxX     
  • There's a spot of ketchup on the tablecloth.桌布上有一点番茄酱的渍斑。
  • Could I have some ketchup and napkins,please?请给我一些番茄酱和纸手巾?
7 cranberries 78106be327439d47d10789051008c217     
n.越橘( cranberry的名词复数 )
  • The tart flavour of the cranberries adds piquancy. 越橘的酸味很可口。
  • Look at the fresh cranberries. 你看这些新鲜的蔓越橘。 来自无师自通 校园英语会话
8 affordable kz6zfq     
  • The rent for the four-roomed house is affordable.四居室房屋的房租付得起。
  • There are few affordable apartments in big cities.在大城市中没有几所公寓是便宜的。
9 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
10 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
11 ripening 5dd8bc8ecf0afaf8c375591e7d121c56     
v.成熟,使熟( ripen的现在分词 );熟化;熟成
  • The corn is blossoming [ripening]. 玉米正在开花[成熟]。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • When the summer crop is ripening, the autumn crop has to be sowed. 夏季作物成熟时,就得播种秋季作物。 来自《简明英汉词典》

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