时间:2019年06月17日 07:47:11

Science and technology科学技术What dinosaurs ate恐龙吃什么The belly of the beast腹中发现A chance discovery from China suggests some dinosaurs lived in trees在中国的一次偶然发现暗示着有些恐龙在树上生活WHAT dinosaurs ate is,恐龙吃什么?of course, a question as interesting and illuminating as what ate dinosaurs.当然,这个问题与什么吃恐龙?一样有趣,一样具有启发性。In the case of one particular dinosaur,Microraptor, the matter was addressed in a presentation to the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology by Jingmai OConnor of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology, in Beijing.但就小盗龙吃什么这一问题,北京中国科学院古脊椎动物和古人类研究所的Jingmai OConnor在古脊椎动物学会年会上发表了演说。Microraptoris one of many small, feathered dinosaurs found in what is now China that were alive during the Cretaceous period more than 66m years ago.小盗龙,生活在距今六千六百多万年前的白垩纪,是现今中国境内发现的众多体型娇小、长有羽毛的恐龙之一。Being feathered, it and its kind were cousins to birds.这一种恐龙身着羽毛,是鸟类的近亲。The actual split between the two groups, though, had happened much earlier, during the Jurassic period, and by the late Cretaceous there were many species of bird around.尽管,这两种物种早在侏罗纪时期就已分道扬镳,而且,到了白垩纪后期,已出现了许多种的鸟类。What Dr OConnor and her colleagues have found is the remains of one of those birds, of an as-yet-unidentified species, in the stomach of a specimen of Microraptor.士OConnor和她同事在小盗龙样本的胃中发现了那时期鸟类的残骸,但其种类还未得到鉴别。That is interesting.那是非常有趣的。Discovering direct evidence of what a fossil animal ate,找出古生物吃什么的直接据是有价值的。rather than having to infer it from details such as the shape of its teeth, is always valuable.比起根据其牙齿形状等细节来推测出结果,But the finds true significance is a small detail of the preys anatomy:但是,这个发现真正重要之处却是其骨骼的一个细微之处:the third toe of its foot.它脚掌的第三个脚趾。The size of the preys third toe is important because, among birds, long third toes are helpful for grasping branches and perching in trees.捕食者第三个脚趾的大小是很重要的,因为,对于鸟来说,长长的第三趾可以帮助其抓紧树枝,在树上栖息。Indeed, the trait is so useful for arboreal life that it is used by many avian palaeontologists to decide whether newly excavated species of fossil birds lived in trees or on the ground.的确,对于树栖生物这一特点是相当有用的,而许多鸟类古生物学家也利用这一特点来确定新挖掘出的鸟类化石是栖息在树上还是生活在地面上。And the last meal of this particular specimen of Microraptor did, indeed, have a long third toe.而小盗龙的最后一餐显然长有长长的第三个脚趾。That elongated toe suggests to Dr OConnor that Microraptor, too,那细长的脚趾暗示着OConnor士小盗龙也是树栖的。was arboreal, and hints that its feathers may have helped it to move through an environment where hops, jumps and flaps between branches were a regular part of its daily activity.在一个需在枝桠间跳跃、滑行的生活环境中,它的羽毛可能对它的日常活动有所帮助。Whether the first birds evolved from arboreal or terrestrial ancestors is a matter of lively debate among palaeontologists.关于第一只鸟是从树栖还是陆生的祖先进化而来,一直是古生物学家激烈争论的话题。A fossil formed so long after birds emerged does not, in truth, shed much light on that debate.事实上,一个在鸟类出现很久之后形成的化石并没有使得这一论战明朗化。But it does suggest feathers may have helped promote life in the trees, even for creatures that could not actually fly.但是,这的确说明对于居于树上、即使是那些根本不能飞的树栖生物来说,羽毛可能真的有助于它们的生活。 /201306/242694

Science in Argentina阿根廷的科学发展Cristina the alchemist炼金术士克里斯蒂娜Argentina is trying to build a scientific establishment阿根廷正努力打造一个科学机构SOUTH AFRICA is not the only middle-income country which aspires to join the worlds scientific powers.南非并不是唯一渴望加入世界科学强国的中等收入国家。Argentina would like to as well.怀有同样渴望的还有阿根廷。The place is proud of its three Nobel science prizes—the largest haul of any Latin American nation—even if the most recent was awarded in 1984.曾经三次荣获诺贝尔科学奖,但即使最后一次获奖发生在1984年,阿根廷仍然以此为傲,因为这是任何拉丁美洲国家都无法比拟的成就。But many researchers fled in the 1990s, when budgets were slashed. Now the government is trying to attract them back, and to encourage younger talent to consider a scientific career.但在20世纪90年代,预算大幅削减,许多研究人员抽身而去。如今,政府正在努力将其吸引回国,并鼓励青年人才以科学为职业。When Néstor Kirchner, the predecessor and late husband of the current president, Cristina Fernandez, took office in 2003, Argentina was spending just 0.41% of its GDP on research and development.前总统内斯托尔·基什内尔于2003年上台,当时阿根廷在研究和开发上的投入仅占其GDP的0.41%。Now, that figure is 0.64%.如今的投入占到0.64%。Kirchner raised researchers salaries, launched a scheme to repatriate departed scientists and gave tax breaks to software companies.基什内尔总统提高了研究人员的工资,推出召回离国科学家的方案,允许软件开发公司享受税收上的优惠。Ms Fernandez followed suit by creating a science ministry and putting a biologist, Lino Barao, in charge of it.费尔南德斯夫人也相继建立起科技部,并任命生物学家巴拉尼奥为部长。She also increased grants to firms that try to develop new products.她还提高了给新产品研发公司的拨款。Many of the Kirchners critics were sceptical, seeing the ministry either as a political marketing ploy or as a soft touch for lobbyists seeking unjustified subsidies.许多针对基什内尔的批评家们持一种怀疑态度,他们认为科技部既是一种政治营销策略,又会被那些寻求不正当补贴的说客轻易利用。But the strategy seems to be working.然而整个策略却似乎正在发挥作用。With help from the Inter-American Development Bank the government has, since 2004, lured back 854 expatriate scientists.2004年,在美洲开发的帮助下,阿根廷政府总共将854名移居国外的科学家吸引回国,It has done so by providing new laboratories and equipment for them, moving their families, and forking out extra money for their salaries.为他们提供新的实验室和仪器,安置其家人,分拨额外资金作为他们的酬劳。As a consequence, according to Dr Baraao,根据尼奥教授所说,Argentine researchers have published 179 articles in leading journals in the past decade, compared with just 30 in the 1990s.之后阿根廷的研究员们在过去的十年里发表在前沿期刊的文章就有179篇,而90年代却只有30篇。Most of the returners are academics. But commercial science has benefited, too.大多数归国人员都是学术派,但商业科学却也从中受益。Indear, a joint public-private biotechnology-research centre based in Santa Fe, recently worked out how to transfer a gene for drought resistance from sunflowers to crops such as maize, soyabeans and wheat.总部位于圣达菲的一家公私合营生物技术研究中心Indear,近日研发出如何将向日葵中的抗旱基因转移到玉米大豆及小麦等农作物上,此举可将旱地产量提升至40%。That can increase yields in droughts by up to 40%. And the government has also doled out 54m in grants for the development of products that include coagulant factors to treat haemophilia,同时,政府还发放5400万美元开发包括发凝血因子在内的产品,transgenic cattle which secrete valuable hormones in their milk, and better ways of probing for oil deposits.以治疗血友病,研究分泌珍贵激素的转基因奶牛,以及提高石油储备的勘探技术。Help for high-tech innovation comes in other forms, too.对高科技创新的扶持还不止这些。The state offers, for example, to pay the cost of patenting inventions in foreign jurisdictions and of hiring lawyers to defend those patents.例如,政府会为在海外司法审批的发明付专利申请费用,并出钱雇佣律师为之辩护。It also acts as a headhunter for information-technology firms seeking employees with PhDs, and will pay part of the salaries of such recruits.同时还为信息技术公司充当猎头,搜寻有士学历的员工,并付其部分薪金。None of these programmes has faced allegations of corruption.所有的项目都没有发生有关贪污的起诉。Whether all this activity will have the effect of stimulating high-tech industry, as Ms Fernandez hopes, remains to be seen.然而,整个方案是否会像费尔南德夫人希望的那样推动高科技工业的发展,还得拭目以待。Argentine scientists are happy to take taxpayers money but according to Luis Dambra, a professor at the IAE business school in Buenos Aires, they look down their noses at the idea of actually getting their hands dirty by going into industry.花着纳税人的钱让阿根廷的科学家们十分高兴,不过布宜诺斯爱丽丝IAE商学院的路易斯·丹布尔教授认为,进入工业领域就是自降身段的说法让科学家们嗤之以鼻。Mr Dambra, though, says industry is equally to blame.尽管如此,丹布尔先生表示工业同样应该被斥责。In , only 21% of Argentine Ramp;D was paid for by the private sector, compared with 44% of Brazils.年,阿根廷研发领域仅有21%的费用是由私营部门付,相比巴西就达到了44%。Firms that might recruit academic scientists often do not see the point.那些有可能聘请学术科学家的公司却总是忽略了这一点。Even those that do may struggle to accommodate people with a non-commercial background into the business world.即便那些看到这一点的公司也可能争抢着将非商科背景的研究员安置在商业领域。Attitudes can change, of course.当然,态度看法总是发生变化的。In the 1980s many British academics were as snobbish about commerce as Argentinas are now.19世纪80年代,许多英国学者看待商业的态度和今天的阿根廷人一样不屑一顾。These days, Britains top universities are gung-ho for spin-outs and the revenue they can provide. But it takes time and consistent policy to make such changes and Argentina is notorious for sudden alterations in the political weather.而现在英国的顶尖大学都在为其所能提供的额外产物和收益而狂热。但是这些转变都需要长久的时间和一贯的政策才能得以确保,而阿根廷却因为在政界中风云突变而名声狼藉。That makes the country a perilous place to invest, whatever the current climate.无论现阶段状况如何,整个国家都成了投资者的危险之地。 /201306/242535

If youve ever tried eating with chopsticks, you know they can be a pain to learn how to use.如果你有用筷子吃过饭,你就知道学习使用它就是一种痛苦。According to a Boston University study, ever since their inventionnearly five-thousand years ago, chopsticks have been a source of literal pain by exacerbating the onset of osteoarthritis in old age.波士顿大学的一项研究表明,因为他们发明筷子是在近5000年以前,所以筷子是造成在老年时期产生骨关节炎的原因之一。Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints caused by repeated use of a particular joint.骨关节炎是一种由重复使用某一关节而造成的关节疾病。Normally theends of bones are covered with a shock-absorber-like pad of springycartilage that helps boneends move more easily.通常情况下,骨头的末端是被一层类似可以防震的、有弹性的软骨覆盖的垫层。When cartilage wears down, bone end rubs against bone end on a joint, causingstiffness and often extreme pain.当软骨被磨损了,骨头末端就会与关节末端产生擦,造成坚硬,而且时常极度疼痛。Over time, an unprotected joint can become deformed andparts of the rubbing bones can wear away and chip off, causing even more discomfort.随着时间的推移,这个不受保护的关节就会变得畸形,与之擦的骨头部分会因为擦而磨损,造成更多的不适。What does this have to do with chopsticks?这与筷子又有什么关系呢?Any repetitive motion involving the fingers canamplify the effects of naturally occurring cartilagedecay.包括手指在内的任何一个重复性的动作都会比自然发生的软骨衰退效果严重。If youve ever used chopsticks youknow that pinching them together puts stress on the thumb and forefinger.如果你有用过筷子你就会知道将它们夹在一起会将压力施在大拇指和食指上。Imagine making this motion at every meal every day of your life and you begin to understand howchopsticks can harm your joints.试想如果你每天每餐都这样,你就会明白筷子是如何伤害你的关节了。According to the Boston University study, the thumb joint isthe primary victim of chopstick use.根据波士顿大学的研究,使用筷子的主要受害部位就是大拇指。If youre an adventurousdiner and occasionally like to eat Asian food using authentic diningimplements, dont worry.如果你是个爱冒险的食客,不时的喜欢吃要使用点用餐工具的亚洲食物,不要担心。Only regular use over many years is cause for alarm.因为只有超过数年的定期使用才会造成危险。 201405/302141

Today, its time once again for another Gross Fact of the Month.今天的节目又到了令人生厌话题的时刻。Uh oh! I hope no ones eating!我希望此时此刻没人正在用餐。Okay, y? In a recent study of people passing through major U.S. airports, it turned out that about thirty percent werent washing their hands after using the bathroom.准备好了吗?最近对经由美国主要机场的人群的调查显示,大概百分之三十的人厕后不洗手。Phew! that wasnt nearly as gross as I thought it would be.那没有我想象中的令人讨厌。Well, think of the consequences.想想后果。These people who dont wash their hands dont just keep them in their pockets.不洗手的人们不会只把手放在口袋里,They walk around shaking other peoples hands, holding babies, and handling food and doorknobs.他们四处走动,也会和别人握手,抱小孩,拿吃的,并接触门把手。Okay, so that it a little gross.喔,被你这样一说有点恶心。So basically, these folks are running around exposing the fastidious hand washers among us to infections that can range from the pesky common cold to SARS, which can be fatal.根本上来说,相比那些仔细洗手的人,这些人更会接触到各种疾病,从普通的流行感冒到致命的SARS。After all, many infections are transmitted through hand-to-hand contact.毕竟许多接触是通过手来传播的。I see what youre getting at.我明白你所说的了。Whats interesting is that people tend to exaggerate when theyre asked about hand- washing.有意思的是人们倾向于夸大洗手的次数。In surveys, ninety-five percent of people claim to wash their hands every time, when the actual observed percentage is much lower.在调查中,95%的人声称他们每次都洗手,而实际观察到的比率要远低于这个数字。So think about the fact that only around seventy-five percent of people claim to wash their hands after sneezing or coughing!想想打喷嚏和咳嗽后有75%的人声称会洗手的事实。The actual numbers there are much lower too, huh?实际数字要比那低得多,对吧?Probably. On the bright side, since the SARS outbreak in Toronto, hand-washing rates at the airport have been near to one hundred percent.很可能。而好的方面是,自从SARS在多伦多爆发后,在机场洗手的比率接近百分百。So all it takes to get people scrubbing diligently is a major epidemic.所以所需要做的就是让勤洗手成为一种习惯。You call that a bright side?你称那为好的方面?Well, the other alternative is education on the importance of washing hands.另一方面也要教育人们洗手的重要性,Now all we need is a catchy slogan.我们现在需要的就是容易记住的口号。 201401/271652

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