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In the first hours of Semus life, hes on a huge learning land,在刚出生的几个小时里,莎木必须学会弯曲,less than a meter long, Semu must first perfect art of breathing and swimming.不超过一米,莎木必须完善这种呼吸和游泳的艺术。Bobbing up and down, Semus movements are jerky and uncoordinated. 上下摆动,莎木的动作很不协调。His tiny dorsal fin is still floopy from being squashed up inside long.它的背脊被妈妈挤压的松弛下来了。Puck doesnt let her baby out of her sight for a second.帕克不让它的孩子离开自己的视线。Until now, Puck is choosing to be alone with Semu, perhaps giving him time to adjust to his new world.到现在,帕克还是和莎木单独呆在一块。也许是给它时间,适应这个新世界。Then something remarkable thing happens as the rest of the beaches family start to arrive. 比奇家庭的其他成员悉数到达了,这很引人注目。As if to celebrate, Pucks daughters and grandchildren together into welcome the youngster into this close family.帕克的女儿,孙女们,像是在祝贺,欢迎最小的成员,加入大家庭。Whether she called him in will never be known, but at last, the rest of the beaches family meet little Semu.没人知道,是不是帕克把它们叫来的。家庭的其他成员,终于见过小莎木了。With her family around her, Puck can afford to relax, knowing their safety in numbers.家庭成员围绕着它,它很放松,此刻是安全的。 201405/297272

Don: Ready, Yael?唐:真的吗,雅艾尔?Yael: Yep.雅艾尔:对。Don: Here goes 3.1415 9265 3589 7932 3846 2643 3832 79. Ta da!唐:听着,3.1415 9265 3589 7932 3846 2643 3832 79。哒哒!Yael: Wow, you really can recite pi to the thirtieth decimal place. Very impressive, Don! You must have the memory of an elephant.雅艾尔:哇,你真能背诵出圆周率小数点后十三位数字。唐,太令人印象深刻了! 你的肯定跟大象一样好。Don: Thanks, Yael, but do elephants really have good memories? Or is that just a saying?唐:谢谢,雅艾尔,但是大象真有很好的吗?或者这仅仅是个谚语?Yael: Oh, its real. In fact, a study on elephant memory shows that having a strong memory helps elephants survive in the wild.雅艾尔:哦,是真的。实际上,一项对大象的研究明拥有好的能帮助大象在野外存活。Don: What do you mean?唐:你是什么意思?Yael: Well, scientists studying elephants in Tanzanias Tarangire National Park in Africa knew that some elephants lived through a terrible drought from 1958 to 1961. Now cut to 1993, when theres a second severe drought. Some elephant groups left the park, but only those with members who were old enough to have possibly remembered the earlier drought. The group that stayed in the park was composed of younger elephants.雅艾尔:好吧,科学家对非洲坦桑尼亚的塔兰吉雷国家公园中的大象进行研究,了解到有些大象经历过1958年到1961年之间那次特大干旱。到1993年时,又一次严重的干旱袭来,一些大象群离开了公园,但仅仅是那些还记得之前的大干旱的老象所在的群体。留在公园的大象则是一群较年轻的大象。Don: I see. And I assume that the elephants that left the park in 1993 were better able to survive.唐:我明白了。我猜1993年离开公园的大象生存的机会更大。Yael: Right. The elephants that left the park lost only ten- percent of their calves. But the group that stuck it out lost forty-percent of its young.雅艾尔:没错。离开公园的那组大象只失去了10%的小象。而留下来的大象损失了40%的小象。Don: So in this case, at least, evolution selects for elephants that have memories strong enough to remember stuff from their childhood.唐:所以既然如此,至少大象进化选择了那些好得足以从儿时就记得事情的大象。Yael: Yep. For elephants, memory is a survival tool. 雅艾尔:是的。对于大象来说,记忆是生存工具。 原文译文属!201305/241163

Science and technology科学技术Invasive species侵略性物种Thorny questions棘手问题The ecological effects of buckthorn in North America北美鼠李属植物的生态影响CONSERVATIONISTS, being by definition conservative, usually view the introduction of new species into an environment with horror.生态环境保护者,从定义上看就偏于保守,常对固有环境中新物种的引入恐惧不已。If such a species is successful, it is described as invasive—a rather pejorative word.一种新物种一旦引入成功,它常常具有侵略性—一个含贬义的词语。But how much change such species actually cause is often moot.然而,这些物种究竟造成环境多少改变?So two recent studies of European buckthorn in North America, which attempt to find this out, are a welcome shaft of light on the debate.常常引来争论。最近对鼠李属植物的两项研究有助于搞清这一问题。所以该研究在这场争论中受人瞩目。Buckthorn was imported from Europe to America in the 19th century, to make garden hedges.鼠李属植物在19世纪从欧洲出口到美国,用来制作花园围篱。Since then it has sp through the countrys woodlands, which many naturalists think has been bad for local wildlife.从那时起,它席卷了美国林地。在许多自然主义者眼中,它对当地野生物种产生了不利影响。The new studies suggest they are right—if you are a frog or a small bird.但新的研究明他们的观点仅适用于青蛙或是小鸟。If you are a coyote or a raccoon, though, buckthorn is a good thing.对于土狼和浣熊,鼠李属植物可是好东西。Seth Magle, of Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, suspected these predators are commoner where buckthorn grows.赛思在芝加哥林肯动物园工作,他认为在鼠李属植物生长的地方,这些食肉动物是常客。He therefore set up motion-activated cameras in 35 woods near the city.于是他在芝加哥周围的35处丛林中架设了移动追踪照相机。Some sites had a lot of buckthorn. Some did not.一些丛林鼠李属植物繁盛,一些则不然。He did indeed find more coyotes and raccoons where buckthorn is common—particularly in spring, when birds are nesting.在鼠李属植物常见地区,他的确发现了更多土狼和浣熊,—尤其是春天,鸟儿筑巢的时节。Buckthorn is notorious for overshadowing other plants and thus inhibiting their growth.鼠李属植物臭名昭著,因为它遮挡其他植物,继而抑制其生长。That thins the forest understorey and increases visibility which, Dr Magle reckons, helps predators spot nests that denser vegetation would hide.玛格拉士认为,森林下层林木由此变稀薄,能见度增加。这有利于肉食动物找到能被密集植物隐藏的巢穴。So the predators come looking.于是,肉食动物前来寻找。Besides overshadowing its neighbours, buckthorn also engages in chemical warfare.鼠李属植物除了挡住了他的邻居,还参与了化学战争。Its leaves are full of a toxin called emodin that discourages browsers.它的叶子充满了一种名为大黄素的毒素,使得食草动物望而却步。Allison Sacerdote-Velat, one of Dr Magles colleagues at Lincoln Park Zoo, and Richard King of Northern Illinois University, wondered what effect this chemical has on the world when the leaves fall off.阿里森,和北部伊利诺斯州大学的瑞查德,均好奇当叶子脱落后,这种化学物对地面有何影响。Emodin, they found, when they tested it on frogspawn, kills embryonic frogs. And when they analysed some local ponds, they discovered the chemical in them. Amphibian numbers have been falling in many places, including America, and many causes have been suggested. Emodin is surely not the only one. But it probably does not help.他们在对蛙卵的实验中发现,大黄素可以杀死胚胎期的青蛙。他们又调查了一些当地的池塘,发现大黄毒蕴含其中。包括美国在内的许多地方,两栖类动物数量均在下降,其原因有许多。大黄毒毫无疑问并非唯一原因,但它也不大可能起到什么好的作用。 /201311/265678

The study of genes has shown that every individual is genetically unique, and this discovery leads to a host ofquestions as to the relationship between an individuals genesand environmental factors such as diet.由对基因的研究人们得出结论,每个人从遗传学的角度来看都是独一无二的。这一结论引出了一大堆的问题,例如人体基因与环境因素之间的关系。That is, how does diet interact with ones genetic make-up to affect ones health?换句话说,饮食是如何与人体的基因相互作用,从而影响到人们的身体健康?This is the primary concern of nutrigenomics.这是营养基因组学关注的核心问题。It is the study of how different foods interact with particular genes, affecting howthese genes act or altering their structures.营养基因组学是研究不同的食物是如何与特定的基因相互作用,进而影响这些基因的活动以及结构转变的科学。Specifically, nutrigenomics is concerned with how chemicals in different foods can interact withparticular genes to increase the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease,and some cancers.特别要说明一点,这门科学关注的问题是:不同食物中的化学物质是如何与特定的基因作用来增加人体患病的风险的,这些疾病可能是2型糖尿病、肥胖症、心脏病和一些癌症。Nutrigenomics dictates that understanding how dietary chemicals regulate different genes will leadto individualized nutrition, the ability to design diets catered to ones specific genetic make-up.在营养基因组学研究中,如果了解膳食化合物如何影响不同的基因,便可以研究出个性化营养方案,还可以根据一个人特定的基因构造来制定日常饮食计划。For example, the food pyramid developed by the USDA assumes that all Americans are the sameand have the same dietary needs.比如说,由美国农业部发布的食物金字塔,我们可以做出假设:所有的美国人都是一样的,人们有着同样的饮食需求。Of course, the truth is that were not.当然,事实并非如此。A lucky few of us can consume high fat diets and yet not develop heart disease, while others onmoderate fat diets may develop heart disease.只有少数的幸运儿才可能在摄入高脂肪的食物后不患上心脏病,很多人就算食物脂肪含量适中也可能患上心脏病。Perhaps one day our doctors will our DNA and take into account our genotype along withother environmental factors such as our physical activity.也许某一天,我们的医生能解读我们的DNA,同时将各人的基因型及其他的环境因素考虑在内。They may then prescribe usindividualized diets, designed to match our unique nutritional needs.其后,再根据各人独特的营养需求开出个性化的饮食规定。This way, diseases such as cancer and Alzheimers may actually be slowed down or evenprevented.这样一来,像癌症、老年痴呆这样的病的患病率就可能有所降低,甚至是得到预防!201406/306875

DON:Todays Moment of Science is about lightning bugs.唐:今天的科学一刻我们要讲的是关于萤火虫。Lightning bugs are cool because if you squish em you can make...oh, forget it!萤火虫可是非常酷,因为如果你压扁它们就可以…哦,还是算了吧!YAEL:Whats the problem?雅艾尔:出了什么问题?DON:Im just tired of working for A Moment of Science.唐:我只是厌倦了今天科学一刻的工作。Do you know how hard it is to come up with another fascinating tidbit every day?你知道每天想出另一个引人入胜的话题有多难么?Im going to find a new job.我要另谋高就了。YAEL:Ive got a job for you.雅艾尔:我已经为你找到了一份工作。DON:Oh yeah? Does it pay better than this one?唐:哦,是吗?待遇可比这里更好?YAEL:Ill let you figure that out.雅艾尔:我会让你明白的。The job lasts for one month, and you only get one penny on the first day.这份工作持续一个月, 第一天你只能得到1分钱。DON:Hey! What kind of deal is that?唐:嘿!这是个什么活计?YAEL:Hang on! On the second day Ill pay you twice what you made the first day. Thats two pennies.雅艾尔:坚持听完!第二天我会付给你第一天薪金的2倍。也就是2分钱。DON:Three cents altogether-now were getting somewhere.唐:总共3分钱,现在我们总算有些进展。YAEL:On the third day Ill again pay you twice what youve made the day before.雅艾尔:第3天我会再次给你前一天的2倍。Thats four more cents.也就是4分钱。Every day Ill double the amount made the day before.就这样每天我都给你前一天的2倍。At the end of one month youre out of a job. What do you say?月末你的工作结束。你怎么看?Do you take the offer?接受吗?DON:No, of course not. Who would work for pennies?唐:不,当然不。谁会为区区几分钱折腰?YAEL:Thats a shame, because youre not realizing how numbers work.雅艾尔:太遗憾了,因为你没有意识到这些数字是如何变化的。When a number continually doubles itself we say it is ;increasing geometrically.;当一个数字本身不断翻倍我们说它是以几何数字增加。That means the larger the number becomes, the faster it rises with each additional day.这意味着数字越大,每一天的额外增长就越快。How much would you guess you would earn just on the last day of the month?你猜在月底最后一天你会赚多少钱?DON:Um...ten bucks?唐:嗯…十块钱?YAEL:Over ten million dollars!雅艾尔:超过一千万美元!DON:Ten million dollars? Starting from a penny!?!唐:拿到一千万美元吗?从一分钱开始?YAEL:Thats geometric increase.雅艾尔:几何增长嘛。DON:Hmmm...do I get health insurance too?唐:额…我自己上了健康保险没? 201311/265714


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