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2020年01月22日 03:39:17 | 作者:网上常识 | 来源:新华社
Science and technology科学技术Crowdfunding science集资科技Many a mickle makes a muckle积跬步致千里These days, anyone can be a scientific philanthropist眼下人人都是科技慈善家NECESSITY, so the proverb has it, is the mother of invention.有句谚语说得好:没有需求,就没有发明。And science is nothing if not inventive.科技失去了创新,就变得一文不值了。So, as conventional sources of money get harder to tap, some of sciences more creative minds are turning elsewhere.所以,当无法轻易获得传统的经济持时,一些有创造力的科研人员便开始寻求新的资金来源。Philanthropic sponsorship of science, particularly in the form of expensive pieces of kit such as large telescopes, or sponsorship for expeditions to far-off places, has been around for centuries.科技慈善资助已有几个世纪的历史,资助形式多为捐赠大型光学望远镜之类的昂贵仪器,或者是为偏远地区的探险提供赞助。But the internet now permits what might be thought of as microphilanthropy.不过在网络的帮助下,如今微慈善也成为可能。Through a technique called crowdfunding, in which members of the public donate small sums to projects they like the look of, the possibility of scientific philanthropy has been extended to those of more slender means.基于一种名为众基金的技术,公众可以给他们看重的项目捐赠小额资金,科技慈善事业已扩大到微薄资金来源。On October 4th, for example, Ethan Perlstein, a pharmacologist at Princeton University, launched a bid on a site called RocketHub to collect 25,000 to study the effect of drugs such as methamphetamine on the brain.例如,普林斯顿大学的药理学家伊桑?浦斯汀,10月4日就在一家名为火箭中心的网站公开招标,募集25000美元的资金用于研究甲基苯丙胺等药物对大脑疾病的疗效,He has until November 18th to raise the money.招标将截止于11月8日。Kristina Killgrove, an anthropologist at the University of West Florida, has aly raised over 12,000 on RocketHub to examine the DNA of Roman skeletons.克里斯蒂娜科尔戈薇是西佛罗里达大学的一名人类学家,她就通过火箭中心网站募集了12000美元用于自己对罗马骸骨的DNA检验。And on another crowdfunding site, Petridish, the California Academy of Sciences offered to name any new species of ant discovered during a conservation project in Madagascar after those who donate more than 5,000 to the enterprise.培养皿网是另一个融资网站,加州科学院就因为通过该网站获得了5000多美元的项目基金,他们完成了为马达加斯加保护项目中发现的蚂蚁新物种命名的工作。Although the crowdfunding of science is not raising the sorts of sums sometimes attracted by those with ideas for things like games, it has aly spawned a couple of specialised platforms of its own.尽管科技融资不再是只有类似的项目才能拿得到资金,但融资过程还是形成了自己的专业平台。Petridish is one.培养皿网就是一例。Another is called Microryza.Microyza也是一个代表网站。And academic institutions are starting to follow the lead taken by the CAS.学术机构都开始模仿加州科学院,募集资金。The University of California, San Francisco, has made a deal with a site called Indiegogo that will allow the universitys charitable status to make money donated via Indiegogo tax deductible.加利福尼亚大学旧金山分校与Indiegogo网站达成协议,提高了他们的会员慈善等级,可以使经网站募集的资金免税。It will launch the first such project later this month.这个月晚些时候将启动他们的第一个项目。Donors can expect no revenue if a crowdfunded science project is successful, of course.捐赠人肯定没想着融资的科学项目成功后他们会获得任何收入。But they can expect to be kept up to date with progress.但他们可以获悉实验的进度。Dr Perlstein has promised to upload all data from his experiments onto a website, for his sponsors to look at.浦斯汀士就承诺会把实验中的所有数据上传到网站,供捐赠人查阅。And even those who are not immortalised in the myrmicine literature, as the CAS proposed, may still get a warm glow from the feeling that they are making a contribution to the advancement of knowledge in a way which was previously open only to philanthropists with rather fatter wallets.在加州科学院的项目里,即使这些捐赠人不会因切叶蚁属文献而流芳千古,但能让他们看到自己为知识进步做出了贡献感到欣慰,因为之前,这种方式只属于那些钱包更鼓的捐赠人。 /201401/271442Finance and economics财经商业Monetary policy in America美国的货币政策Taper tiger逐渐变弱的老虎The Federal Reserve surprises everyone by changing nothing美国联邦储备委员保持政策不变让人们感到惊奇SHORTLY after the Federal Reserve hinted in May that it might start to ease its monetary stimulus, rich-country bond yields shot up; emerging-market currencies and stockmarkets cratered.在美联储5月暗示可能会退出货币刺激政策后不久,富裕国家的债券收益率飙升,新兴市场货币和股市出现震荡。Was it all for nothing?难道这没有原因吗?On September 18th, at the end of a closely watched meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee, the Feds policy-setting body, chose not to taper.9月18日,在一个被密切关注的会议结束时,美联储的政策制定机构联邦公开市场委员会没有选择退出。Instead, it said it would keep buying 85 billion a month of Treasury and mortgage bonds with newly created money.相反,表示将用新创造的货币继续每月购买85亿的国债和抵押债券。Although the Fed had never actually promised to act in September, all the signals pointed in that direction.虽然美联储从来没有承诺在9月份采取行动,但是所有的信号都指向这个方向。QE would stop, it had said when the latest bout of bond-buying began last September,when the labour-market outlook had improved substantially.去年9月开始的新一轮购买债券时表示,当劳动力市场的前景已经大幅改善时QE会停下来。Since then, the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.3% from 8.1% and private employment has risen by 2.3m, or 2%.从那时起,失业率从8.1%下降至7.3%,私营部门就业增加了2.3或2%。In June Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, said the Fed would probably start to taper by year-end, and stop QE when unemployment hit 7%, which it expected by mid-2014.在6月,美联储主席本?伯南克表示,美联储可能会开始在今年年底如果失业率达到7%就停止量化宽松政策,预计是在2014年中期。So what has now held it back?那么是什么原因导致倒退?First, the pace of job growth has recently flagged; the drop in unemployment has been flattered by the number of people no longer looking for work.首先,就业增长速度最近开始减弱,失业人数的下降是被不再找工作的人数粉饰过的。The labour-market participation rate sank to 63.2% in August, a 35-year low.劳动力市场参与率8月下跌至63.2%,是35年来的新低。Second, fiscal policy continues to work at cross-purposes to monetary policy.其次,财政政策将继续为多个货币政策目的起作用。Higher taxes and spending cuts have subtracted at least a full percentage point from growth this year.更高的税收和削减开至少降低了今年经济增长整整一个百分点。The prospect that spending caps may be lifted when the new fiscal year begins on October 1st has melted away.在10月1日新的财政年度开始时可能会取消出上限的预期已经没有了。With Republicans in Congress and Barack Obama unable to agree on how to fund the government or raise the Treasurys statutory debt ceiling, the risk of a government shutdown loomed large in the minds of Fed officials.随着共和党在国会和奥巴马政府在如何资助或提高财政部的法定债务上限上谈不拢,在美联储的官员看来政府有很大的关闭风险。But the third and most important restraint on the Fed was the unexpected effect on financial markets of a prospective change in monetary stance.但是,对美联储的第三个也是最重要的约束是变动的货币政策对金融市场的意想不到的影响。The central bank had always emphasised that tapering did not mean tightening.央行此前一直强调退出并不意味着紧缩。Provided asset purchases remained above zero, the Feds balance-sheet would keep growing and monetary policy would still be loosening.倘若资产购买仍高于零,美联储的资产负债表将保持增长和货币政策仍然会松动。Separately, the Fed never wavered from its pledge to keep the federal-funds rate near zero at least until unemployment had fallen to 6.5%.另外,美联储从来没有动摇其承诺保持联邦基金利率接近零直到到失业率下降至6.5%。Nonetheless, investors radically repriced their expectations of Fed policy and fled positions predicated on a policy of QE ever after.尽管如此,投资者从根本上重新定价他们对美联储政策的预期,并从量化宽松的政策以后改变了定位。Bond yields have risen by slightly less than a percentage point since May, mortgage rates by slightly more.从五月以来债券收益率上升了约一个百分点,住房抵押贷款利率上涨更高一些。Mr Bernanke fretted that this rapid tightening of financial conditions in recent months could have the effect of slowing growth, a problem that would be exacerbated if conditions tighten further.伯南克担忧最近几个月这种快速紧缩财政的情况会使经济增长放缓问题是继续紧缩会使情况更糟。The euphoric market response to the FOMCs decision this week would seem to vindicate that judgment.这周市场对联邦公开市场委员会决定的积极反应明了这个判断。But it leaves wide open the question of when the Fed will taper.但它留下宽泛的问题,美联储什么时候开始紧缩。The FOMC trimmed its projections for growth this year and next by about a quarter of a percentage point from its June forecast, to 2.2% in 2013 and 3% in 2014.联邦公开市场委员会对今年和明年经济增长四分之一个百分点的6月份的预测进行了修改,2013年增长2.2%,2014年增长3%。It also changed its unemployment projections, which it now expects to hit 7% early in 2014 and 6.5% later that same year.它也改变了失业率的预测,它现在预计2014年上半年将达到7%,和下半年6.5%。Mr Bernanke was at pains this week to stress that the 7% unemployment target for ending QE and 6.5% threshold for raising rates have never been automatic triggers.伯南克本周煞费苦心的强调,达到7%的失业率时退出QE政策和6.5%时提高利率从来没有自动进行。It all depends on what else is happening in the economy.这一切都取决于经济体中发生的其他事情。It is entirely sensible for the Fed not to be slavishly bound by its guidance,对于美联储不会盲目的遵从指导是完全合理的,but that raises questions over how useful such guidance is.但对这种指导有多大用处有人提出了疑问。Most Fed officials expect to raise rates by 2015, for example,大多数美联储官员预计2015年升息,例如,but Mr Bernanke said rates are unlikely to rise if inflation is below its 2% target, which the Feds new projections suggest could be the case until 2016.但伯南克表示如果通胀率低于2%的目标利率不太可能上升,美联储新的预测显示直到2016年才会实行。The start of tapering could conceivably come at the end of October if data reassure the Fed that the economy has brushed off higher bond yields and if a fiscal train wreck has been avoided.如果经济降低债券收益率的数据和财政列车已避免脱轨能够使美联储相信,紧缩计划能够真的在10月底开始。But there are no clear signposts, which will irk investors.但目前还没有明确的标志,这将会使投资者感到恼怒。Their frustration pales next to that of the Fed itself, which has blown its balance-sheet up to 3.6 trillion and held rates at zero since 2008 but achieved underwhelming results in return.美联储本身相形见绌,资产负债表为3.6万亿美元,并从2008年开始维持利率为零,但并没有取得让人满意的回报。On September 17th the federal Census Bureau reported that real household incomes in America, which had fallen by 8% between 2007 and 2011, did not fall further in 2012.联邦人口普查局9月17日报道,在美国2007年和2011年之间家庭实际收入下降了8%,在2012年并没有进一步下跌。That this counts as good news is telling.这算作一个好消息。Income inequality, meanwhile, is worsening on some measures.同时收入不平等使一些措施恶化。Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley, reckons the top 10% grabbed its largest share of total incomes since 1917 last year.加州大学伯克利分校的埃马纽埃尔?赛斯估计自1917年以来,去年前10%的人在总的收入份额中占有最大的部分。This is partly due to QE, which has been very good for the stockmarket and thus the wealthy.部分原因是由于量化宽松政策,有利于股市,使某些人更富裕。QE works in part by boosting household wealth and thus spending and jobs, but the effects have not yet filtered through strongly to the wider economy.QE促进家庭财富增加,消费和就业,但效果尚未渗透到更广泛的经济领域。The taps will be open a while longer yet.水龙头在未来的一段时间继续打开。 /201310/259343Europes top jobs欧盟的领导职位Indecision time悬而未决之时European Union leaders squabble but fail to agree on their top jobs欧盟领导们虽历经唇舌战,但就领导职位分配问题仍未达成一致意见。MATTEO RENZI summed it up best. The Italian prime minister suggested that “they just had to send an SMS and we could have saved the cost of the official flight. In any case, it was a nice opportunity to meet and wish Angela Merkel a happy birthday.” Indeed, European Union leaders in Brussels toasted the German chancellors 60th birthday this week. But they failed to settle the main business: a package of top EU jobs.Matteo Renzi的概括最到位。这位意大利总理认为“他们发个短信就成了,这样我们可以省下公务飞行的费用。但不管怎么说,这是个不错的机会——我见到了 Angela Merke并祝她生日快乐。”确实,在布鲁塞尔的欧盟的领导这周为德国总理祝贺60岁生日。不过他们并没有就主要事务达成一致意见:欧盟的领导职位如何分配的问题。A day after the European Parliament endorsed the much-contested nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, leaders were meant to pick names for the other big posts: the high representative for foreign affairs, the president of the European Council and a new president of the Eurogroup of finance ministers. The stumbling block was Mr Renzis nomination of Federica Mogherini as the foreign-policy supremo. As Italys foreign minister of five months, she has barely more experience than Catherine Ashton did when she was named to the post in . But she ran into objections from several eastern European countries, among them Poland and the Baltic states, who see Ms Mogherini as too pro-Russian. It did not help that she visited Moscow just before the summit and talked up the Kremlin-backed South Stream pipeline.在欧洲议会批准最有争议的提名候选人Jean-Claude Juncker为欧洲委员会主席之后,领导人要按着名单为其他重要职位选人:有负责涉外事务高级代表,欧洲理事会主席以及欧元集团财政部长的新头。陷入僵局的由头是Renzi提名Federica Mogherini为外国政策的掌舵人。年当她被提名为外交部长的时候,她只当过五个月的意大利外交部长,就经验而言比Catherine Ashton好不了多少。但她遭遇了一些欧洲东部国家的反对,其中包括波兰和波罗的海国家。这些国家认为Mogherini过于亲俄了。然而这并不妨碍她就在(布鲁塞尔)峰会之前前往莫斯科并大肆宣扬俄国政府持的南溪天然气管道项目。The Mogherini row made it inevitable that the whole package would need to be agreed at the same time so that all could be satisfied. Leaders thus found themselves speaking in circumlocutions. They discussed the balance between left and right, north and south, men and women and, belatedly, east and west—all without mentioning specific names.对Mogherini的争议使得同时一次性任命欧盟高级领导并让诸方满意的计划落空。领导人不久发现他们的讲话就是兜圈子。他们彼此争论,要保持左翼与右翼的平衡,要保持北部和南部的平衡,男性与女性的平衡,还有后来加入的东部与西部的平衡——所有这些都要避免提及那些特定的名字。Ms Mogherini remains the woman to beat. Both Mrs Merkel and Frances President Fran?ois Hollande said the high representative should be from the centre-left political group. Whatever their misgivings about the Italian foreign minister, most leaders have other priorities. The British do not want to be at the centre of another fight after losing the bust-up over Mr Juncker; the Germans are more concerned to get the right dealmaker as president of the European Council; and the French want to ensure that their commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, gets a senior economic job in the commission. Mr Juncker, diplomats say, was not y to make any promises. Herman Van Rompuy, the current president of the European Council, will now consult again before a special summit on August 30th, but doing a deal even then may still be hard.Mogherini的留下保了女性胜利。Merkel 和法国总统Fran?ois Hollande认为高级代表应当出自中左翼的政治团体。但是无论他们对意大利外交部长的是否心存疑虑,大部分领导人都有自己的小九九。不列颠不希望在关于Juncker的争吵失利之后成为另一项斗争的焦点;德国人更关心选出能正确决策的欧盟理事会主席;而法国想着确保他们的委员Pierre Moscovici能在委员会获得一个高级经济席位。外交官称,Juncker不准备作出任何承诺。直到8月30日一个特殊峰会来临之际,现任欧盟理事会主席Herman Van Rompuy都将继续充当顾问。不过恐怕即便那时都难达成一致意见。 /201407/314636Puck is about to became a mother for the 8th time.帕克已经做了8次妈妈了。The labor could take several more hours.这种行为会持续好几个小时。With the light fading, a team reluctantly head back to base.夜幕降临,小队回到了基地。No one knows where dolphins go to have their calves,没人知道海豚会在哪里分娩,but that night, somewhere in the bay, Puck gives birth.但晚上,在鲨鱼湾的某个地方,帕克会生下小宝宝。The beaches family have a new arrival, Pucks precious 8th calf is a boy named Semu. 比奇家庭有了新成员,帕克有了第8个孩子,莎木。No more than a few hours old, the baby instinctively shadows his mums every move.刚出生几个小时,小海豚就本能的知道躲在妈妈的怀抱里。Semu calls continuously to her as if to say,Im here,Im here.莎木不断的呼唤妈妈,好像在说,我在这里,我在这里。201405/297271

Science and technology科学技术Channelling heat传递热量Good conduct良好的传导It may soon be possible to control heat flows with great precision有可能实现对热流的精确控制HEAT, as every schoolboy knows, moves in three ways: conduction, convection and radiation.每个学生都知道热传递有三种方式:传导、对流和辐射。Convection is the mass movement of a fluid: hot water rising, for example.对流是液体的整体移动,比如热水上升。Radiation is simply infra-red light.辐射只是红外光线。Engineers know how to control both of these reasonably well.工程师知道怎样合理地控制这两种热传递方式。Conduction, however, is most similar to the transmission of sound.传导很像声音传播。It is caused, in other words, by atoms vibrating and passing such vibrations on to their neighbours.换言之,原子震动引起传导,这种震动向邻近物体传播。Until now, controlling the conduction of heat through solid objects has been a tricky engineering challenge.时至今日,控制热量通过固体传导对工程界还是一个棘手的挑战。But, by making the analogy with sound explicit, Martin Maldovan, an engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thinks he may have found a way of doing so.然而麻省理工学院的工程师Martin Maldovan认为自己找到了解决问题的方法,可以使热传导以类似声波传递的方式进行。Dr Maldovans invention, published in Physical Review Letters, is based on the idea of a sonic filter.物理快报刊登了Maldovan士的发明,这个发明基于声音过滤器的理念。A good way to filter sound—to eliminate certain frequencies while allowing others through—is to transmit the sound waves through a crystal.这是一个过滤声音的好办法,就是通过水晶传递声波—在消除特定频率的同时允许其他频率通过。The size of the gaps between the crystals atoms will govern which frequencies can pass.水晶原子之间缝隙的大小决定了哪种频率的声波可以通过。Moreover, the path the sound takes can be controlled by introducing deliberate flaws into the crystals atomic lattice.此外,可以在水晶的原子点阵之间故意制造裂纹来控制声音的传播路径。These flaws act as waveguides, channelling the sound energy along themselves.这些裂纹起到了波导的作用,声能在裂纹之间传递。One difference between sound and heat is that most sound waves have low frequencies, vibrating only a few thousand times a second, whereas most heatwaves have high frequencies, vibrating trillions of times a second.声音传递和热量传递之间的一个区别在于声波的频率低,每秒只震动几千次,而大部分热波的频率很高,每秒震动数万亿次。In general, low frequencies propagate farther than high ones.通常低频率比高频率传播的更远。This is why previous researchers had a difficult time trying to send heat through crystal lattices.这就是以前的研究者试图在水晶点阵之间传播热能时遇到困难的原因。Dr Maldovan, however, realised that although most heat is high-frequency, some has frequencies that approach those of sound.然而Maldovan士认识到尽管很多热波的频率很高,然而有些热波的频率接近声波频率。He theorised that if the highest-frequency waves were stripped away, it might be possible to control the remainder.他的理论是如果把频率最高的热波去掉,其余的热波就有可能得到控制。To test this idea, he grew crystals of silicon that contained tiny particles of germanium in their lattices.为了验这个观点,他研制出了硅晶体,晶体的点阵之间含着细小的锗颗粒。The layouts of these crystals scattered and blocked high-frequency heatwaves but allowed low-frequency waves through.散乱的晶体的布局阻挡了高频率的热波,却允许低频率的热波通过。These remaining waves had frequencies in a range of 100 billion to 300 billion vibrations a second.这些可以通过晶体的热波的频率范围在每秒震动一千亿次到每秒震动三千亿次之间。They were still heatwaves and carried warmth, but because their frequencies were lower they behaved much more like sound.他们依然是热波而且带着热量,但是这些热波的频率比较低,所以它们的传导方式和声音的传播方式就很像了。And Dr Maldovan could control the heats path in waveguides as tightly as that of sound waves.士Maldovan可以在波导上控制热波的传导途径,使热波传导和声波传导一样紧密。Though turning these crystals into practical products will require further tinkering, Dr Maldovan thinks they will be immediately useful in the construction of thermoelectric materials, which transform waste heat into electricity, and will ultimately lead to the thermal equivalent of diodes, allowing heat circuits analogous to electrical ones to be built.尽管把这类晶体转化成实用产品还需要进一步的思考,Maldovan士认为这类晶体可以马上投入到热电材料的制作上,将废热转化为电能,最后通向热当量的二极管,可以建立和电路类似的热路。Where that would lead, no one knows.谁也不知道热路的那一端联着什么。But it is worth bearing in mind that it was the ability to control convective heat, via the steam engine, which powered the industrial revolution.但是控制对流热流还是值得我们思考的,因为蒸汽机给工业革命提供了能量。Controlling conductive heat might have equally unforeseen consequences.同样,控制传导热流也会带来意想不到的结果。 /201310/261381

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