Loch Ness Monster May Be an Eel
Scotland's famous Loch Ness monster could possibly be a large eel, scientists announced last week. The scientists made the announcement after they completed a study of genetic material from the Loch's cold waters.
Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a substance found in the cells of plants and animals. DNA is made up of genes, which carry a huge amount of information.
The scientists said their DNA results ruled out the presence of large animals such as dinosaurs. But there was a lot of eel DNA in the water, said Neil Gemmell, a geneticist from the University of Otago in New Zealand.
"We don't know whether these samples we've collected are from a giant beast or just an ordinary one - so there's still this element of ‘we just don't know,'" he said.
Gemmell noted, however, that nobody had ever caught something as big as a giant eel in the Loch. Eels are long, bony fish that look like snakes. They are usually thin and have soft skin.
The international team of scientists collected water samples of what they are calling environmental DNA, or eDNA. Scientists have also used eDNA sampling as a tool to study sea life like whales and sharks.
The Reuters news agency describes how eDNA works: Whenever a creature moves through its environment, it leaves behind very small amounts of DNA from skin, scales, hair and waste. Scientists can capture the DNA, then try to identify the order of the genetic information. They can identify an animal by comparing the captured DNA to large computer databases.
The Loch Ness monster has a long history.
Saint Columba, a member of a Christian religious community, is said to have banished a "water beast" to the bottom of the River Ness in the 6th century.
The most famous picture of the Loch Ness monster was taken in 1934. It shows a head on a long neck coming out of the water.
This photograph is known as the "surgeon's photo." It was a hoax. Investigators said it actually shows a model of a sea monster connected to a child's toy submarine.
There have been many unsuccessful attempts to find the Loch Ness monster.
In 2003, the British Broadcasting Corporation paid for scientific research that used sonar beams and satellites to study the full length of the loch.
The most recent attempt was three years ago. An unmanned vehicle found a creature, but not the one it was looking for. The discovery was, in fact, a model used in the 1970 film "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes." It sank nearly 50 years ago.
I'm John Russell.
1.genetic material 遗传物质
They studied genetic material from people of different ethnic groups.
2.in fact 事实上
In fact, those people have been promoted.
3.known as 被称为
China has always been known as a land of propriety and righteousness.
4.sea life 海洋生物
The coastal waters of northwestern Spain support many kinds of sea life and birds.
5.The scientists said their DNA results ruled out the presence of large animals such as dinosaurs.
ruled out 排除
Local detectives have ruled out foul play.
Police have ruled out robbery as a motive for the killing.
6.It shows a head on a long neck coming out of the water.
coming out of 从...出来
We met each other coming out of the con-cert hall.
When she saw the surgeon coming out of the operating room, she stepped forward and asked many questions.
科学家上周宣布，苏格兰著名的尼斯湖水怪可能是一条大鳗鱼 。该消息是科学家对湖泊冷水中的遗传物质进行研究后宣布的 。
脱氧核糖核酸（DNA）是一种存在于动植物细胞中的物质 。DNA是由携带大量信息的基因组成的 。
科学家们称，他们研究的DNA结论排除了恐龙等大型动物的存在 。不过，新西兰奥塔哥大学的遗传学家尼尔·格默尔(Neil Gemmell)指出，海水中含有大量鳗鱼的DNA 。
然而，格默尔指出，从来没有人在湖中钓到过类似于巨型鳗鱼的动物 。鳗鱼是一种细长而多骨的鱼，形状与蛇类似 。它们通常身型狭长，表皮柔软 。
国际科学家小组收集了所谓的“环境DNA (eDNA)”的水样 。科学家还将eDNA水样作为研究鲸鱼和鲨鱼等海洋生物的工具 。
路透社描述了eDNA的产生原理：当一种生物在环境中移动时，会经由皮肤、鳞片、毛发和排泄物中会留下极少量的DNA 。科学家可以捕获DNA，然后尝试确定基因序列 。他们可以通过将捕获的DNA与大型计算机数据库进行比对来识别动物 。
圣哥伦巴（Saint Columba）是基督教社区的一员，传说在公元6世纪，他曾将一只“水兽”放逐到尼斯河的底部 。
尼斯湖水怪最著名的照片拍摄于1934年 。照片中一个有着长脖子的脑袋露出水面 。
这张照片被称为“外科医生的照片” 。这是个骗局 。调查人员指出，照片中其实是一个与玩具潜艇相连的海怪模型 。
最近的一次尝试是在三年前 。一辆无人驾驶汽车发现了一个生物，但不是其要寻找的动物 。事实上，这一发现是1970年电影《福尔摩斯私生活》中使用的一款模型 。该模型在约50年前沉没 。