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When I am reading the below paragraph, I was totally lost. My question is how I can paraphrase this type of long sentence to understand authors motive clearly. Another question I have in my mind that why the author use numbering (1), (2) in between this whole sentence.

Our hypothesis is that (1) many strains of rats simply cannot mount sufficiently vigorous destructive immune-response (using lymphocytes) to outstrip the liver's relatively great capacity to protect itself from immune-response damage and that (2) the systemic unresponsiveness observed is due to concentration of the recipient's donor specific lymphocytes at the site of the liver transplant.

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Two things should help: The author's numbering and the basic rules of English grammar. Let me explain.

The numbers in parentheses indicate that the author is in fact speaking about two distinct subjects. He could ahave lternatively used bullet points or a numbered list but chose this version to get a continuous text.

So to analyze this text, we split along these parentheses. I'm using numbers for simplicity here:

Our hypothesis is that

  1. many strains of rats simply cannot mount sufficiently vigorous destructive immune-response (using lymphocytes) to outstrip the liver's relatively great capacity to protect itself from immune-response damage and that
  2. the systemic unresponsiveness observed is due to concentration of the recipient's donor specific lymphocytes at the site of the liver transplant.

Looking closely we notice that each numbered item is basically a full sentence (with a bit of connecting stuff from the continuous original version). We may drop that surplus and get:

Our hypothesis is that

  1. Many strains of rats simply cannot mount sufficiently vigorous destructive immune-response (using lymphocytes) to outstrip the liver's relatively great capacity to protect itself from immune-response damage. and that
  2. The systemic unresponsiveness observed is due to concentration of the recipient's donor specific lymphocytes at the site of the liver transplant.

Then we can address each item separately. Here the S-V-O structure of the English language helps:

first position: Subject: Who?   
second position: Verb: Does what?   
followed by Object(s) etc.

Many strains of rats 
    simply cannot 
        mount sufficiently vigorous destructive immune-response (using lymphocytes) 
            to outstrip 
                the liver's relatively great capacity 
                    to protect itself 
                        from immune-response damage. 


The systemic unresponsiveness observed 
    is due to 
        concentration of the recipient's donor specific lymphocytes 
            at the site of the liver transplant.
  • thanks for your detail answer but still I am confused and can't determine the meaning as whole. Could you please also add the overall idea or main idea of this sentence, actually what's the author want to say as whole with this sentence. I mean the plain English meaning of this sentence. – androidcodehunter Oct 23 '15 at 9:04
  • @androidcodehunter - I suggest you ask someone with a scientific or medicinal background? – Stephie Oct 23 '15 at 9:13
  • @androidcodehunter As someone with medical knowledge, I would say the meaning as a whole can't be understood without the original paper. I don't think there is enough context or information in this sentence by itself to write a meaningful "plain English" version of it. You'll need to look in the rest of the paper. It should give the background on the subject, why this is their hypothesis, how they tested it (or how they're planning to test it), why it's important, etc. – MysteriousWhisper Nov 17 '15 at 23:44

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