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  • We live in in a remarkable time,

    譯者: Coco Shen 審譯者: Adrienne Lin

  • the age of genomics.

    我們生在一個偉大的時代

  • Your genome is the entire sequence of your DNA.

    一個染色體組的時代。

  • Your sequence and mine are slightly different.

    你的染色體是你所有的DNA序列

  • That's why we look different.

    你的序列和我的有些不同

  • I've got brown eyes;

    因此我們長得不一樣

  • you might have blue or gray.

    我的眼睛是褐色的

  • But it's not just skin-deep.

    你的可能是藍或灰

  • The headlines tell us

    但這不只是表面

  • that genes can give us scary diseases,

    新聞標題告訴我們

  • maybe even shape our personality,

    基因裡可能隱藏著遺傳疾病

  • or give us mental disorders.

    甚至影響我們的個性

  • Our genes seem to have

    或給我們帶來精神異常

  • awesome power over our destinies.

    我們的基因似乎

  • And yet, I would like to think

    對我們的命運有著極大的影響力

  • that I am more than my genes.

    仍然﹐我希望

  • What do you guys think?

    我不只是我的基因

  • Are you more than your genes?

    你覺得呢﹖

  • (Audience: Yes.) Yes?

    你不只是你的基因吧﹖

  • I think some people agree with me.

    (觀眾﹕不只) 是嗎﹖

  • I think we should make a statement.

    我想觀眾中有些人同意我的說法

  • I think we should say it all together.

    我認為我們應該宣示一下

  • All right: "I'm more than my genes" -- all together.

    我認為我們應該一起宣示

  • Everybody: I am more than my genes.

    來吧﹕我不只是我的基因 -- 一起來

  • (Cheering)

    眾人﹕我不只是我的基因

  • Sebastian Seung: What am I?

    (歡呼)

  • (Laughter)

    那我是什麼﹖

  • I am my connectome.

    (笑聲)

  • Now, since you guys are really great,

    我是我的聯結體。

  • maybe you can humor me and say this all together too.

    你們實在太棒了

  • (Laughter)

    為了讓我開心﹐或許我們可以再宣示一次﹖

  • Right. All together now.

    (笑聲)

  • Everybody: I am my connectome.

    好﹐一起來

  • SS: That sounded great.

    眾人﹕我是我的聯結體。

  • You know, you guys are so great, you don't even know what a connectome is,

    這實在太棒了。

  • and you're willing to play along with me.

    你們實在太棒了﹐你們甚至不知道聯結體是什麼

  • I could just go home now.

    配合度這麼高

  • Well, so far only one connectome is known,

    或許我現在就可以走了

  • that of this tiny worm.

    現在﹐我們只知道一個聯結體

  • Its modest nervous system

    在這個小蟲裡

  • consists of just 300 neurons.

    最小的神經系統

  • And in the 1970s and '80s,

    裡面有300個神經元

  • a team of scientists

    在1970和80年代

  • mapped all 7,000 connections

    有一組科學家

  • between the neurons.

    畫出神經元中間

  • In this diagram, every node is a neuron,

    的七千個聯繫

  • and every line is a connection.

    這個圖表裡的每個結都是一個神經元

  • This is the connectome

    每條線都是一個聯結。

  • of the worm C. elegans.

    這就是秀麗隱桿線蟲的

  • Your connectome is far more complex than this

    聯結體

  • because your brain

    你的聯結體比這個複雜多了

  • contains 100 billion neurons

    因為你的腦子裡

  • and 10,000 times as many connections.

    有一百億個神經元

  • There's a diagram like this for your brain,

    以及一萬倍的聯結體

  • but there's no way it would fit on this slide.

    你的腦子也能做成像這樣的圖表

  • Your connectome contains one million times more connections

    只是不可能放得進這張投影片

  • than your genome has letters.

    你聯結體的聯結是

  • That's a lot of information.

    基因體編碼的一百萬倍

  • What's in that information?

    裡面有很多資料

  • We don't know for sure, but there are theories.

    這些資料裡包含了什麼﹖

  • Since the 19th century, neuroscientists have speculated

    我們還不能確定﹐但有一些學說

  • that maybe your memories --

    從十九世紀以來﹐神經科學家推測

  • the information that makes you, you --

    你的記憶 -

  • maybe your memories are stored

    那些讓你之所以為你的資料 -

  • in the connections between your brain's neurons.

    說不定你的記憶就儲存在

  • And perhaps other aspects of your personal identity --

    腦子裡神經元的聯結裡

  • maybe your personality and your intellect --

    或者你其他的個人特性

  • maybe they're also encoded

    你的個性和你的思維方式

  • in the connections between your neurons.

    說不定它們都寫在

  • And so now you can see why I proposed this hypothesis:

    你的神經元的聯結裡

  • I am my connectome.

    現在你可以了解為什麼我要提出這個假設﹕

  • I didn't ask you to chant it because it's true;

    我就是我的聯結體。

  • I just want you to remember it.

    我要你和我一起吟誦不是因為它是真的

  • And in fact, we don't know if this hypothesis is correct,

    我只是希望你記住它

  • because we have never had technologies

    事實上﹐我們不知道這個假設是否正確

  • powerful enough to test it.

    因為我們從來沒有如此強大的科技

  • Finding that worm connectome

    足以測試這個假設

  • took over a dozen years of tedious labor.

    找到這個線蟲的聯結體

  • And to find the connectomes of brains more like our own,

    花了12年的努力

  • we need more sophisticated technologies, that are automated,

    要找到我們腦子裡的這些聯結體

  • that will speed up the process of finding connectomes.

    我們需要更精密的自動儀器

  • And in the next few minutes, I'll tell you about some of these technologies,

    才能加速我們找尋聯結體的速度。

  • which are currently under development

    接下來的幾分鐘﹐我會告訴你們這些

  • in my lab and the labs of my collaborators.

    在我和我的合作者的實驗室裡

  • Now you've probably seen pictures of neurons before.

    發展中的新科技。

  • You can recognize them instantly

    你可能看過神經元的圖片

  • by their fantastic shapes.

    你可以從它們的姿態裡

  • They extend long and delicate branches,

    輕易的認出它來

  • and in short, they look like trees.

    它們延伸著長長的精密分支

  • But this is just a single neuron.

    簡單來說﹐看上去就像棵樹

  • In order to find connectomes,

    但這只是一個神經元

  • we have to see all the neurons at the same time.

    如果我們要找尋聯結體

  • So let's meet Bobby Kasthuri,

    我們需要同時看見所有神經元

  • who works in the laboratory of Jeff Lichtman

    讓我們認識這位Bobby Kasthuri

  • at Harvard University.

    他在哈佛 Jeff Lichtman 實驗室

  • Bobby is holding fantastically thin slices

    裡面工作

  • of a mouse brain.

    Bobby 手握著一片奇妙的

  • And we're zooming in by a factor of 100,000 times

    老鼠腦。

  • to obtain the resolution,

    讓我們放大十萬倍

  • so that we can see the branches of neurons all at the same time.

    得到一個更清晰的分辨率

  • Except, you still may not really recognize them,

    讓我們一次看見神經元的所有分支

  • and that's because we have to work in three dimensions.

    除了﹐你可能認不出它來

  • If we take many images of many slices of the brain

    因為我們需要在三維度裡看

  • and stack them up,

    讓我們把一片片的腦部圖片

  • we get a three-dimensional image.

    堆起來

  • And still, you may not see the branches.

    我們就得到了這個3D圖像

  • So we start at the top,

    但是你還是看不到這些分支

  • and we color in the cross-section of one branch in red,

    於是我們從上面

  • and we do that for the next slice

    把橫斷面裡的分支塗成紅色

  • and for the next slice.

    然後再塗下一片

  • And we keep on doing that,

    再下一片

  • slice after slice.

    我們一直這樣做

  • If we continue through the entire stack,

    一片又一片

  • we can reconstruct the three-dimensional shape

    直到我們把整堆都塗完

  • of a small fragment of a branch of a neuron.

    我們就可以在3D形狀裡重現

  • And we can do that for another neuron in green.

    神經元分支的一小部份

  • And you can see that the green neuron touches the red neuron

    我們可以把另一個神經元涂成綠色

  • at two locations,

    我們可以看到綠色和紅色神經元

  • and these are what are called synapses.

    在兩個地方接觸

  • Let's zoom in on one synapse,

    這就是所謂的突觸(synapses)

  • and keep your eyes on the interior of the green neuron.

    讓我們放大這個突觸

  • You should see small circles --

    繼續看著綠色神經元的內部

  • these are called vesicles.

    你會看到小小的圈

  • They contain a molecule know as a neurotransmitter.

    這些就是突觸小泡(囊泡)

  • And so when the green neuron wants to communicate,

    裡面有叫神經傳遞素的分子

  • it wants to send a message to the red neuron,

    當綠色神經元想和紅色神經元溝通

  • it spits out neurotransmitter.

    傳遞訊息的時候

  • At the synapse, the two neurons

    它就從突觸吐出神經傳遞素

  • are said to be connected

    兩個神經元

  • like two friends talking on the telephone.

    就這樣聯繫

  • So you see how to find a synapse.

    像兩個朋友講電話一樣

  • How can we find an entire connectome?

    這就是找到突觸的方法

  • Well, we take this three-dimensional stack of images

    但要怎麼找到整個聯結體呢

  • and treat it as a gigantic three-dimensional coloring book.

    我們把這堆層層疊起的3D畫面

  • We color every neuron in, in a different color,

    把它變成一個超大型的3D塗色簿

  • and then we look through all of the images,

    把所有神經元涂成不同顏色

  • find the synapses

    看過所有切片圖

  • and note the colors of the two neurons involved in each synapse.

    找到突觸

  • If we can do that throughout all the images,

    然後在記錄參與突觸的兩個神經元

  • we could find a connectome.

    如果我們可以這樣處理所有圖片

  • Now, at this point,

    就可以找到一個聯結體

  • you've learned the basics of neurons and synapses.

    目前為止

  • And so I think we're ready to tackle

    你們已經學到了神經元和突觸的基礎

  • one of the most important questions in neuroscience:

    我想我們已經可以處理

  • how are the brains of men and women different?

    神經科學裡最重要的問題之一﹕

  • (Laughter)

    男人和女人的大腦有什麼不同﹖

  • According to this self-help book,

    (笑聲)

  • guys brains are like waffles;

    從這本勵志書裡看來

  • they keep their lives compartmentalized in boxes.

    男人的大腦像鬆餅

  • Girls' brains are like spaghetti;

    把生活分門別類放在小格子裡

  • everything in their life is connected to everything else.

    女人的大腦則像意大利麵

  • (Laughter)

    人生裡的每件事都習習相關

  • You guys are laughing,

    (笑聲)

  • but you know, this book changed my life.

    你們現在在笑

  • (Laughter)

    但這本書改變了我的生命

  • But seriously, what's wrong with this?

    (笑聲)

  • You already know enough to tell me -- what's wrong with this statement?

    但說真的﹐它錯在哪裡﹖

  • It doesn't matter whether you're a guy or girl,

    你們已經有能力可以告訴我﹐這句話錯在哪裡

  • everyone's brains are like spaghetti.

    無論你是男人還是女人

  • Or maybe really, really fine capellini with branches.

    每個人的大腦都是意大利麵

  • Just as one strand of spaghetti

    或是﹐加上分支的超細天使髮麵

  • contacts many other strands on your plate,

    就像在你盤子裡的一條意大利麵

  • one neuron touches many other neurons

    碰觸其它意大利麵一樣

  • through their entangled branches.

    一個神經元會用它們糾纏的分支

  • One neuron can be connected to so many other neurons,

    觸碰許多其它神經元

  • because there can be synapses

    一個神經元可以和許多其它神經元連接

  • at these points of contact.

    因為在這些聯結點

  • By now, you might have sort of lost perspective

    可以有許多突觸

  • on how large this cube of brain tissue actually is.

    現在你可能已經忘記

  • And so let's do a series of comparisons to show you.

    這塊腦尺度究竟有多小

  • I assure you, this is very tiny. It's just six microns on a side.

    我們來比較一下

  • So, here's how it stacks up against an entire neuron.

    這真的很小﹐只有六微米(百萬分之一米)

  • And you can tell that, really, only the smallest fragments of branches

    面對整條神經元又是怎樣呢

  • are contained inside this cube.

    你可以發現﹐這個方塊

  • And a neuron, well, that's smaller than brain.

    只是這個分支其中的一小小塊

  • And that's just a mouse brain --

    而神經元﹐當然比腦還小

  • it's a lot smaller than a human brain.

    而這甚至只是老鼠的腦

  • So when show my friends this,

    比人腦還小很多

  • sometimes they've told me,

    於是當我給朋友看這些的時候

  • "You know, Sebastian, you should just give up.

    他們會告訴我

  • Neuroscience is hopeless."

    “Sebastian﹐我想你放棄好了。

  • Because if you look at a brain with your naked eye,

    神經科學簡直無可救藥。”

  • you don't really see how complex it is,

    因為當你用肉眼看大腦時

  • but when you use a microscope,

    你不知道它到底有多麼複雜

  • finally the hidden complexity is revealed.

    但當你把它放在顯微鏡下

  • In the 17th century,

    這些隱藏的複雜性就顯露出來了。

  • the mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal,

    在十七世紀

  • wrote of his dread of the infinite,

    法國哲學家和數學家巴斯卡

  • his feeling of insignificance

    寫下他對無限的恐懼

  • at contemplating the vast reaches of outer space.

    當他思考外太空時

  • And, as a scientist,

    感到自己是如何的微不足道

  • I'm not supposed to talk about my feelings --

    身為科學家

  • too much information, professor.

    我不應該談論我的感受

  • (Laughter)

    教授﹐我真的不想知道

  • But may I?

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    我...... 可以嗎﹖

  • (Applause)

    (笑聲)

  • I feel curiosity,

    (掌聲)

  • and I feel wonder,

    我感到好奇

  • but at times I have also felt despair.

    我感到驚嘆

  • Why did I choose to study

    但有時我也感到絕望

  • this organ that is so awesome in its complexity

    為什麼我要選擇學習

  • that it might well be infinite?

    這樣一個複雜到不可思議

  • It's absurd.

    有可能接近無限的器官﹖

  • How could we even dare to think

    這太荒謬了

  • that we might ever understand this?

    我們怎麼敢妄想

  • And yet, I persist in this quixotic endeavor.

    我們有可能可以理解它呢﹖

  • And indeed, these days I harbor new hopes.

    但﹐我仍然想踏上這唐吉訶德式的旅程

  • Someday,

    最近﹐我有了新的希望

  • a fleet of microscopes will capture

    或許某天

  • every neuron and every synapse

    某種顯微鏡能捕捉

  • in a vast database of images.

    巨大圖片資料庫裡的

  • And some day, artificially intelligent supercomputers

    每一個神經元和突觸

  • will analyze the images without human assistance

    有這麼一天﹐一個人工智慧的超級電腦

  • to summarize them in a connectome.

    能在無人操作的狀況下分析這些圖像

  • I do not know, but I hope that I will live to see that day,

    並把它們總結成一個聯結體

  • because finding an entire human connectome

    我不知道能不能﹐但我希望我能看到這一天

  • is one of the greatest technological challenges of all time.

    因為找出人類的所有聯結體

  • It will take the work of generations to succeed.

    是科技史上最大的挑戰之一

  • At the present time, my collaborators and I,

    可能要幾個世代才能成功

  • what we're aiming for is much more modest --

    目前﹐我和我的夥伴

  • just to find partial connectomes

    我們的目標較為微小

  • of tiny chunks of mouse and human brain.

    不過是在鼠腦和人腦間

  • But even that will be enough for the first tests of this hypothesis

    找到部份的聯結體

  • that I am my connectome.

    但就算只是這樣﹐也足以實驗“我就是我的聯結體“

  • For now, let me try to convince you of the plausibility of this hypothesis,

    這個假設

  • that it's actually worth taking seriously.

    現在我只是想說服你們﹐這個假設有它的可信度

  • As you grow during childhood

    它是值得被認真對待的

  • and age during adulthood,

    在你的成長過程

  • your personal identity changes slowly.

    不同的經歷

  • Likewise, every connectome

    你對自己的身份認同也逐漸改變

  • changes over time.

    同樣地﹐每個聯結體

  • What kinds of changes happen?

    也隨著時間改變

  • Well, neurons, like trees,

    怎樣的改變呢﹖

  • can grow new branches,

    神經元﹐就像樹一樣

  • and they can lose old ones.

    可以長出新的枝幹

  • Synapses can be created,

    也可以失去一些老枝幹

  • and they can be eliminated.

    突觸可以被創造

  • And synapses can grow larger,

    也可以被淘汰

  • and they can grow smaller.

    突觸可以長大

  • Second question:

    也可以變小

  • what causes these changes?

    第二個問題是﹕

  • Well, it's true.

    這些改變是從哪裡來的﹖

  • To some extent, they are programmed by your genes.

    沒錯

  • But that's not the whole story,

    某種程度而言﹐它們寫在你的基因裡

  • because there are signals, electrical signals,

    但那不是全部

  • that travel along the branches of neurons

    因為有訊號﹐電位訊號

  • and chemical signals

    在神經元枝幹裡運行

  • that jump across from branch to branch.

    還有化學訊號

  • These signals are called neural activity.

    從枝幹跳往枝幹

  • And there's a lot of evidence

    這些訊號就叫神經活動

  • that neural activity

    有很多證據

  • is encoding our thoughts, feelings and perceptions,

    神經活動

  • our mental experiences.

    寫就了我們的想法﹐感覺和感知

  • And there's a lot of evidence that neural activity

    我們所有的思考經驗

  • can cause your connections to change.

    有許多的證據證明神經活動

  • And if you put those two facts together,

    可以改變這些連結

  • it means that your experiences

    如果你綜合這兩個事實

  • can change your connectome.

    這代表著你的經驗