明星资讯腾讯娱乐2020年01月18日 22:15:15
What is metabolism really? Statements like “he can eat a lot because he has a fast metabolism” are somewhat misleading.新陈代谢是什么?“他很能吃是因为他新陈代谢很快”像这样的说法有点误导我们。Metabolism isn’t about the digestion of food in your stomach; it’s the name given to all of the chemical changes that occur in an organism’s tissue cells. There are basically two kinds of chemical changes that can occur; tissue matter can be built, or it can be broken down.新陈代谢不是指食物的消化能力,而是指一种在组织细胞内发生的化学变化。基本上可分为两类化学反应:合成或分解组织细胞。These processes are called anabolism and catabolism. More specifically, anabolism is responsible for an organism’s growth, its maintenance, and the repair of its tissues. So when you cut yourself and your skin scabs over and heals, you’re seeing anabolism at work. Or if you grow taller or wider, that’s also evidence of anabolism.这些过程叫作合成代谢和分解代谢。具体地说,合成代谢负责有机组织的数量增长,维护和修复。所以,当皮肤割伤后会自动结疤愈合,这就是合成代谢在起作用。或者长高长胖,那也是合成代谢。In order to build tissue and repair it, however, anabolism requires energy, as well as material with which to build. This energy and building material comes from the breaking down of larger, more complex material, a process called catabolism. As well as producing energy and building material, catabolism also breaks down material for excretion from the body.要建造和修复组织细胞,合成代谢需要能量和原料。而能量和原料就来自于分解更大,更复杂的细胞,这个过程就叫分解代谢。与合成反应一样,分解代谢需要的能量和原料来自于身体的分泌物。Both anabolism and catabolism are necessary for survival and good health. Understanding these processes can help one make good decisions about exercise and diet. For example, when an athlete trains, her muscle fibers break down. However, the daily recommended amount of protein is all that is needed to meet the anabolic and catabolic needs of the body and thus repair muscles fibers.合成和分解代谢在对于身体健康很重要。而了解这些过程可以帮助我们对运动和饮食做出更好的决定。例如,运动员训练时他的肌纤维会受损。所以每日推荐的蛋白质就是身体合成和分解代谢所需的量,这样才能修复肌纤维。 /201303/232025

  Obituary;Alexander Haig讣告;亚历山大·黑格Alexander Meigs Haig, soldier and public servant, died on February 20th, aged 85军人、公仆亚历山大·梅格斯·黑格于2月20号逝世,享年85岁Grant and Eisenhower aside, America is uneasy about handing civil power to soldiers; and from the very start of the Reagan administration, in 1981, there was nothing Al Haig could do to erase the impression that he wished to take over the country. At his confirmation hearings for the post of secretary of state he rode roughshod over his interrogators (“No one has a monopoly on virtue, not even you, senator”). He let slip that he wanted to be the “vicar” of foreign policy, a word with pope-size pretensions. The press pinned on him the word “arrogant”, and never removed it. His picture appeared on the cover of Time, chin high and arms akimbo, above the words “Taking Command”.除了格兰特和艾森豪威尔,美国不放心把公民权交到其他军人手里;从1981年里根政府上任伊始,阿尔·黑格就没有摆脱希望接管国家大权的印象。在就任国务卿的听会上,他对质询者出言不逊(“谁也不能独占伦理道德,连你也办不到,参议员”)。他无意中说想当外交政策的“主教”,这个称号真是自命不凡。新闻界始终如一地讥讽他“盛气凌人”。他的照片登上过《时代》杂志的封面,仰着下巴、双手叉腰,上面写着“由我做主”。This portrayal was not without foundation. It was well known that in 1973-74, as Richard Nixon crumbled under the weight of Watergate, General Haig, then chief of staff in succession to the disgraced H.R. Haldeman, kept the administration functioning. He advised Nixon how to deal with his enemies, and when to resign; he suggested to Gerald Ford that he should pardon his predecessor. His power was such that when Nixon appeared to ask him for a way out of his turmoil, “a pistol in the drawer”, he immediately ordered the presidents doctors to take away his pills.这种形象不是毫无根据。众所周知,1973到1974年间,理查德·尼克松受到水门事件的影响,黑格将军接替声名狼藉的霍尔德曼任白宫办公厅主任,维持政府正常运作。他劝尼克松对付政敌、及时隐退;他建议杰拉德·福特特赦尼克松。他位高权重,尼克松求他找出路摆脱谣言时说“抽屉里有把”,黑格立即吩咐医生把总统的药拿走。Most of the time, however, though ambition burned through him like a fire, he had no interest in the office of the presidency. A disastrous foray in 1988, flaring out before New Hampshire, was as far as he went in that direction. He had no politicians sleazy graces, and was proud of that. The brusque attitude and tone had been instilled at West Point, together with the gimlet stare and the preference for dealing with Americas adversaries, whether Cubans, Palestinians or leftist Nicaraguans, with a bombing run or an invasion. His duties at the White House, on Henry Kissingers National Security Council and for Nixon, had been carried out while still under military orders and earned him a dizzy ascent, from colonel to four-star general in four years. His scar tissue came from battles both actual and political.尽管他心中涌动雄心壮志,大多数时候却对总统办公室毫无兴趣。1988年,他在新罕布什尔州投票前退出党内初选,就此远离政坛。他没有政治家的龌龊嘴脸,并为此自豪。他在西点军校养成了态度鲁莽、谈吐直率的品质,目光犀利,一向以轰炸进攻来对付美国敌手,不管是古巴、巴基斯坦还是左派持的尼加拉瓜。他曾在白宫担任亨利·基辛格的国家安全顾问,四年间从上校升至四星上将。他在军事战斗和政治斗争中都伤痕累累。As a soldier, he believed in certain rules of behaviour. First, the need to keep secrets and not go leaking to the newspapers, for soldiers died when secrets came into the enemys possession. And second, to follow the chain of command. Foreign policy in particular required a single source, one clear voice speaking for America. The greatest danger in those cold-war years was to show the Soviet enemy a soft, disunited front. The Soviets would surge through then, expanding their troublemaking and missile-rattling round the globe, just as the Chinese and North Koreans had driven through the “foolishly divided” front at the Yalu river in 1950, leaving 12,000 Americans dead or wounded in the ice, when he was a young lieutenant.身为军人,他坚信某些行为准则。首先,要保守秘密,不消息泄露给报刊,对军人而言,至死也不能让秘密落到敌人手里。其次,从指挥。外交政策尤其需要单一来源,让一个清晰明白的声音代表美国讲话。冷战岁月中最大的危险,是向劲敌苏联暴露出软弱分裂的一面。苏联会趁机崛起,不断制造麻烦,让导弹恐慌遍布全球,如同1950年中国和朝鲜迅速突破“愚蠢划分”的鸭绿江前线,抛下了冰雪中死伤的1.2万名美军,当时黑格还是年轻的陆军中尉。The greatest frustration of high politics, for General Haig, was lack of that one voice. Nixons White House, besieged by enemies, was mostly undermined by “Deep Throat” leaking to the Washington Post—and though the general had no truck with Watergate, the strong rumour that he himself was Deep Throat offended all his notions of right conduct. Despite his liking for phrases such as “terminological inexactitude”, he was not a dissembler. He was in the more straightforward business of transmitting orders to fire prosecutors, and tapping journalists phones.对黑格将军而言,身居高位的最大挫败就是没有这个声音。尼克松时代的白宫四面为敌,打击最重的是“深喉”向《华盛顿邮报》爆料,虽然黑格将军与水门事件毫无瓜葛,却有谣言说他自己就是深喉,这有违他的道德准则。尽管他爱用“谎话连篇”这种词,却绝不是伪君子。他做得更多的是传达命令解雇检察官、窃听记者电话这些直截了当的事情。The ghost ship幽灵船He went to Reagans White House, fresh from a five-year stint as NATOs supreme commander, with, he supposed, a guarantee from the ever genial president that he would be the spokesman on foreign policy (“Ill look to you, Al”). It lasted no longer than his first encounter with James Baker, Michael Deaver and Ed Meese, the presidents staffers. Meese put the vital Haig directive for the organisation of foreign policy in his briefcase, where it stayed.他担任北约盟军最高司令官5年后,进入里根时代的白宫,本以为能从和蔼可亲的总统得到保,担任外交政策发言人(“我就靠你了,阿尔”)。好景不长,他首次遇到了总统幕僚詹姆斯·贝克、米歇尔·迪沃、爱德·米斯。米斯对至关重要的黑格发号施令,独揽外交政策机构大权。There followed Haig explosions right and left over appointments, or statements of policy, which he had not authorised: fearsome times when the general turned purple, pounded the table and roared his displeasure. Turf wars blazed with the NSC and the Pentagon. Eighteen months of this, though punctuated by hard work on arms control and a valiant bout of shuttle diplomacy, in 1982, to try to avert the Falklands war, were more than enough.接下来更令黑格满腔怒火,虽有职务在身、政策说明,他却毫无实权:将军往往气得面红耳赤、敲打桌子、大声咆哮,让人胆战心惊。美国国家安全委员会和五角大楼的争斗愈演愈烈。这18个月真是受够了,他不时要投入军控的繁重工作、多轮穿梭外交,1982年还要避免爆发马岛战争。The moment for which he was best remembered came on March 30th 1981, when Reagan was shot. Sweating and intense, his hands shaking, General Haig declared to the press that “As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending return of the vice-president.” Hedged words; but he never lived them down.他被人铭记于心的时刻是1981年3月30日,当天里根被刺。黑格将军大汗淋漓、感情起伏、双手颤抖,向媒体记者宣布:“副总统回来前,目前白宫由我掌控。”这句话让人安心,也从未让人忘记。Some thought he had become unmanageable, and he could give that appearance. But the nub of the matter, as he described it in a calmly lyrical passage of his book, “Caveat”, was this:有人认为他桀骜不驯,他看起来的确如此。至于问题的核心所在,他在平静抒情的著作《告诫》中这般描述:The [Reagan] White House was as mysterious as a ghost ship; you heard the creak of the rigging and the groan of the timbers and sometimes even glimpsed the crew on deck. But which of the crew had the helm?…It was impossible to know…里根时代的白宫像幽灵船一样神秘莫测;你能听到帆缆咯咯作响,船骨吱嘎吱嘎,有时还瞥见甲板上的水手。可是谁在掌舵呢?…根本不可能知道…If someone evidently had the helm, General Haig saluted. If not, rather than let drift and uncertainty give any comfort to Americas enemies, he had acquired the habit of seizing the wheel himself.如果的确有过舵手,黑格将军会向他致敬。如果没有舵手,他自己会一把抢过舵轮,而不会改变航向、游移不定,让美国的敌人安心。 /201209/199968

  The curvature, space, the warping of spacetime.扭曲、空间、扭曲的时空。And you just, you scratch your head.你只是,你挠头不解其中奥秘。He has now been struggling for four years to more fully developed his general theory of relativity.他现在对于更完善的广义相对论已经挣扎了四年的时间。His theory of relativity is so complicated that very few people can understand it.他的相对论是如此的复杂以致于很少有人能读懂它。Somebody got to test it.而有人要测试它。Thats not a testable hypothesis. Its not science. Its science fiction.那不是一个可测试的假说。它不是科学。这是科幻小说。Einstein knows he is on the right track towards solving his theory.爱因斯坦知道他是在解决他理论的正确的轨道上。Now he must find a way to prove it. Its 1911.现在他必须找到一个方法来明这一点。而现在是1911年。For 4 frustrating years, Einstein has struggled to perfect his general theory of relativity.令人沮丧的4年,爱因斯坦曾努力完善自己的广义相对论。His theory wont be accepted until he can demonstrate this radical concept.直到他能明这一激进的观念,他的理论才会被接受。Suddenly, he is struck by an idea.突然,他有了一个主意。If he can shine a beam of light through an aera where spaces are curved.如果他能照亮通过一个弯曲空间地区的一束光。Then according to his theory, the beam of light will actually appear to bend.然后按照他的理论,光线会出现弯曲。Light only knows straight lines. Whats bent is space.光只按照直线运动。而什么是弯曲空间?What could have enough gravity to bend light so much? Well, what about the sun?可能有足够的引力弯曲光线?噢,那太阳呢?注:听力文本来源于普特201204/176906。

  Science and Technology Epigenetics and stress Baby blues科技 外因遗传与压力 新生儿蓝调曲A mothers stress while she is pregnant can have a long-lasting effect on her childrens genes母亲期压力过大会对孩子的基因造成长期影响RESEARCHERS have known for years that children whose mothers were chronically stressed during pregnancy—by famine, anxiety, the death of a relative or marital discord, for instance—show higher-than-normal rates of various psychological and behavioural disorders when they are adults.研究人员多年前就发现,如果母亲在怀期间长期遭受因饥饿,焦虑,亲友死亡或婚姻不幸等引起的过大压力,她们的孩子成年后出现各种心理疾病和行为问题的几率会高于平均几率。They have also known for a long time that those brought up in abusive environments often turn out to be abusive themselves.研究人员也早知道,在受虐环境下成长起来的孩子长大后往往本身也有施虐倾向。The second of these observations is usually put down to learning.The reason for the first has remained unclear. 人们通常把后面的这个发现归咎于盲目效仿,而头一个发现的原因却仍旧模糊不清。A study just published by Axel Meyer, Thomas Elbert and their colleagues at the University of Konstanz in Germany, however, points to a phenomenon called epigenetics as the likely answer.然而,德国康士坦茨大学的Axel Meyer, Thomas Elbert以及他们的同侪们最近发表的研究报告指出,一种被称为;外因遗传;的现象很有可能就是这个问题的。And if Drs Meyer and Elbert are right, it also suggests an alternative explanation for the inheritance of abusiveness.如果Meyer和Elbert士的结论是正确的,那它也为施虐遗传现象做出了另一个解释。Epigenetics is a type of gene regulation that can be passed from a cell to its daughters. The most common mechanism is methylation.外因遗传是一种可以传给下一代细胞的基因调控过程,This attaches methyl groups (a carbon atom and three hydrogens) to either adenine or cytosine,最常见的方式是通过甲基化作用来完成,该作用可以让甲基(由一个碳原子和三个氢原子组成)附着于腺嘌呤或胞嘧啶上。two of the four chemical bases that form the alphabet of DNA, depending on the gene involved.腺嘌呤和胞嘧啶是DNA四大成分其中之二,而到底附着于哪一个则取决于具体的基因。The consequence is to inactivate the gene being methylated.甲基化作用将使甲基化的基因失去活性。In the case of stress, previous studies have suggested that methylation of the gene which encodes glucocorticoid receptors is important.以往的研究表明,当母亲压力过大时,负责为糖皮质激素受体编码的基因的甲基化具有重要意义。Glucocorticoid receptors relay signals from stress hormones in the blood into cells.糖皮质激素受体依靠血液中的压力激素发出信号而进入细胞。In particular, they do so in those regions of the brain that control behaviour.尤其值得注意的是,这个过程在大脑中控制人体行为的区域进行。Newborns whose mothers suffered from depression while they were pregnant are known to have more highly methylated glucocorticoid-receptor genes than others.新生儿的母亲若是在怀期间出现抑郁症状,他们糖皮质激素受体基因的甲基化程度就会比其他新生儿更高。The same is true of children who were abused when young.幼时受虐的孩子在这一点上也有相同表现。In infants, the level of glucocorticoid-receptor methylation is correlated with the release, in response to stress, of higher-than-normal amounts of stress hormones.胎儿糖皮质激素的甲基化程度与人体抑郁时分泌过多的压力激素有关。And in rats, such methylation makes young animals especially sensitive to stress, and also fearful of novelty.而老鼠试验表明,这样的甲基化过程让幼小动物对压力尤其敏感,对新鲜事物也感到恐惧。What has been unclear until now, however, is how long such effects persist.然而,现在还没弄清楚的是,这样的效应会持续多久。Dr Meyers and Dr Elberts study, published in Translational Psychiatry, offers a clue.Meyer士和Elbert士在《转化精神病学》杂志中发表的研究报告给出了。Troubled teens问题青少年Their team examined the methylation of the glucocorticoid-receptor gene in a group of children ranging in age from ten to 19 years, and in those childrens mothers. The researchers also used a psychological survey to try to determine which of the mothers had been physically or psychologically abused before, during or after pregnancy.他们的研究小组对一组年龄从10岁到19岁不等的青少年以及他们母亲体内糖皮质激素受体基因的甲基化程度进行了测量,还通过心理测试试着找出哪些母亲在期中或者生产后曾遭到身体或者心理上的虐待。They found that women abused during pregnancy were significantly more likely than others to have a child with methylated glucocorticoid-receptor genes.研究发现,期中遭到虐待的母亲生下糖皮质激素受体基因被甲基化的幼儿的可能性要比其他母亲高出得多。By contrast, abuse before or after pregnancy resulted in no such correlation. Nor was the mothers own methylation affected by violence towards her.相反,在前或是生产后遭到虐待的母亲则不会生下这样的幼儿,而且她们本身基因的甲基化与否也跟是否遭到家庭暴力无关。Taken together, these results suggest that glucocorticoid-receptor-gene methylation happens in the fetus in response to a mothers stress, and persists into adolescence.总体看来,这些结论表明胎儿糖皮质激素受体基因的甲基化是由于母亲压力过大引起的,并且其影响将会持续到青春期。This has implications for those adolescents long-term health.这会影响青春期孩子的长期健康。Dampened glucocorticoid-receptor-gene activity has been shown to increase the risk of obesity, of depression and of some autoimmune diseases. It also makes people more impulsive and aggressive—and therefore,事实明,糖皮质激素受体基因不够活跃会增加孩子患肥胖症,抑郁症以及某些免疫系统疾病的风险,也会让他们成年后个性更加冲动,更加富有侵略性。if male, more likely to abuse the pregnant mothers of their children, thus perpetuating the whole sorry cycle.因此,如果孩子是男性,他们更有可能施虐于怀着自己孩子的待产妇女,从而造成持续的恶性循环。Why, in light of such negative effects, have humans evolved to be programmed this way while still in the womb?发现了这种消极效应后,科学家们不禁问道,为何人类还在子宫内的时候就被设立了这样的一个进化程序呢?Part of the answer is probably that not all the negative consequences would have shown up at the time the mechanism was evolving.也许部分原因是,当甲基化作用还在进化的时候所有的消极影响不会当即全部表现出来。Obesity, for example, is rare in a state of nature.例如肥胖症在极少数情况下是天生的。The other part is that some of the consequences probably have a positive effect.还有一个原因是,部分消极影响也许会带来积极效应。If a mother lives in an environment where fear-inducing experiences are common, say, giving her offspring a sensitivity to fear may be no bad thing.如果母亲生活在一个很容易产生害怕心理的环境里,那么让她的后代对害怕情绪敏感也许并不是坏事。What can be done with such knowledge is unclear.知道了这些真相对人们有什么意义尚不明确。Drugs that demethylate DNA are under development, but are still some way from approval—and, in any case, interfering with epigenetics, which is a widesp mechanism of gene regulation, is a drastic approach.让DNA反甲基化的药物还在研发中,并且还未通过临床明。另外,外因遗传是基因调控的常见手段。从任何角度来说,干预外因遗传都是一种极端激进的做法。The research might, though, point to the period when intervening to stop abuse will have the greatest effect.但这项研究也许会把科学家们引向另一个方向,那就是找出对基因调控进行干涉从而阻止家庭暴力的最有效时期。Then again, such intervention is always desirable, for the sake of both mother and child.为了让母亲和孩子们都幸福,这样的干涉乃众望所归。 /201211/210685

  Bringing The Dead Back To Life? Is it possible to bring the dead back to life? Maybe not, but scientists at Penn State University have done the next best thing. They found a tiny bacterium thats been trapped miles below Greenland ice sheets for the past 120,000 years.起死回生?有可能起死回生吗?也许不能,但宾夕法尼亚州立大学的科学家做了差不多的事情。他们在格陵兰岛冰原的地下几十英里处发现了一种12万年以前的极小细菌。After months of incubation, the bacterium woke up and began reproducing. Before long, the ancient organism was once again thriving. Now dont be alarmed. Unlike what may happen in a science fiction thriller, the bacterium isnt some deadly microbe thats going to turn us all into zombies.经过了数月的培育,细胞已经复苏并开始繁殖。很快,古生物再次繁荣起来。现在不要惊慌。与科幻惊悚片里场景可不一样,这些细菌并不是那种会把我们变成僵尸的致命细菌。Apparently, its a very small, simple microbe not very different from billions of others that have lived on earth. Whats interesting about the microbe is: A) how it managed to survive for so long beneath the ice; and B) what it suggests about the possibility of life on other planets.显然,这是种非常微小,简单的生物,它与地球上其它数十亿的细菌并无太大区别。这种微生物的有趣之处在于:首先,它如何能在久冰层下面存活那么久;其次,它的存在表明其他星球上可能存在生命。The researchers think that the bacteriums small size might have helped it survive in microscopic, watery veins in ice crystals. Being small may also have helped the microbe absorb nutrients more efficiently.研究人员认为,这种细菌能够存活在冰晶纹理的潮湿细缝里可能是由于它体积微小的缘故。体积小可能也会帮助微生物更充分地吸收营养物质。As for life on other planets, scientists have long suspected that if there is life out there, it might exist buried far beneath a planets barren surface. So every time scientists find a microbe able to survive under extreme conditions on Earth, it raises the hope that the same might be the case in other worlds.至于其他星球上是否存在生命,科学家们早就抱有怀疑:如果外太空有生命存在,那么它可能深埋在某个星球贫瘠的表层下。因此,每当科学家们发现新出现一种微生物能在极端的地球环境下生存,那么在其他星球上出现同样情况的可能性就更大。201212/216649Wolverine—the Weasel behind the Myth狼獾——神话背后的鼬鼠For most people the wolverine is best known as an inspiration for the distinctive design of the University of Michigan logo and as the name of an X-Men character.对多数人来说,狼獾作为独特设计的密歇根大学校徽的灵感和一名X战警的名字而出名。但是就他们本身的方式来说,Real wolverines cant fly or leap over tall buildings, but in their own way they are as powerful as comic book superheroes.现实生活中的狼獾可以在高楼上空飞行或跳跃,他们和漫画书里的超级英雄一样富有力量。Also known as the devil bear or woods devil, the wolverine is not related to the wolf, as its name seems to suggest.狼獾同样被认为是魔鬼熊或森林魔鬼,但是他们并不是“狼如其名”,他们与狼一点关系也没有。Rather, the wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family.相反,他们是最大的鼬鼠家族成员。Males are roughly the size of small brown bears and weigh between twenty and forty-five pounds.雄性狼獾体积接近小棕熊,体重在20到46磅之间。狼獾个子矮小,呈蹲形。Wolverines have low, squat bodies and large paws adorned with long, sharp claws useful for climbing trees and digging in snow and dirt.它们的爪子长有修长锋利的指甲,这对爬树和在雪里或泥里挖坑很有用。Relative to other mammals its size, the wolverine does possess incredible strength.相对于其他和其大小相当的动物来说,狼獾身体里具有惊人的力量。A powerful neck and jaws allow wolverines to steal food from hunting traps and even from larger predators such as wolves and bears.强有力的脖子和爪子能让狼獾从狩猎陷阱甚至是更大的食肉动物如狼群和熊群那里偷得食物。On occasion, a wolverine will take down an animal up to five times its size, such as a deer or moose. And like any superhero worth his or her salt, the wolverine has exceptional endurance.偶尔,狼獾会拿下体积是它五倍大的动物,比如一只鹿子或驼鹿。像其他名副其实的超级英雄一样,狼獾拥有异常的忍耐力。It has been known to travel distances of up to ten miles without stopping or slowing down to rest.人们熟知的是它们能行进10英里的路程而不用停下来或放慢速度歇息一下。Despite their powers, wolverines are not good hunters.尽管它们拥有力量,但是它们却不是优秀的狩猎者。They eat mostly carrion, the eggs of ground-nesting birds, and berries.它们大多吃腐肉,地上造巢鸟类的蛋,和浆果。Wolverines used to range as far south as New Mexico, but human hunting and land development have confined them to Alaska and arctic and sub-arctic regions of Canada.狼獾过去常常漫游在新墨西哥州最南部。但是人类的捕猎和土地的开发已经把它们限制在了阿拉斯加州,加拿大的寒带和亚寒带地区。As for Michigan, the only wolverines left are the ones on the athletic field.对密歇根州来说,唯一存留的狼獾们就是生活在运动场上的那些了。 /201211/208008

  Y: Hey, Don. I bet you think youre pretty smart.耶尔:你好,唐。我敢打赌,你肯定认为自己特别聪明。D: Well, Yael, I guess so. I mean Ive no genius or anything.唐:是的,耶尔。我认为自己是挺聪明的,但可不是什么天才人物。Y: Relax. I just meant that you have a big brain compared to most other animals.耶尔:别紧张。我的意思是,和其它动物相比,你拥有一个更大的大脑。D: OK. I guess in that sense I am pretty smart, at least compared to a chimp or something.唐:是的。从这种意义上讲,我确实挺聪明的;;至少比黑猩猩要聪明。Y: But guess what? About 10,000 years ago, there was a race of people who may have been even smarter than we modern humans.耶尔:但你知道吗?大约一万年前,有一个人种可能比我们现代人更聪明。D: Really? Who were they?唐:真的吗?他们是谁?Y: They are known as the Boscups because thats the region in South Africa where their fossils were first found. And the cool thing is that the Boscups appear to have skulls that were a lot bigger than ours.耶尔:这个人种叫做Boscups,因为他们的化石首次发现于南非的Boscups地区。最奇妙的是,他们的头骨比我们这些现代人还要大很多。D: Which would mean that their brains would probably bigger than ours too? But does that mean they were necessarily smarter?唐:他们的大脑更大?这意味着什么?难道这就说明他们一定更聪明吗?Y: Well, thats impossible for us to know for sure. But consider that our bigger brains allow to imagine possibilities and alternate realities in ways that smaller-brained animals cant as far as we know. Now if you imagine a person with a brain significantly larger than normal, it stands to reason that theyd be able to process more information at once and see imagined things in ways that are beyond us.耶尔:嗯,这一点我们倒无法确认。但是,我们应考虑到脑部较小的动物在想象力和思考力上远远不及我们人类这一事实。如果一个人的大脑明显大于常人大脑,按理说,他们一次能够处理的信息和想象力会远远超出我们普通人。D: Thats interesting. But if the Boscups were so smart, where are they now?唐:真有意思。但是,既然 Boscups人这么聪明,他们现在在哪?Y: They died out obviously. And that may be simply because their heads were so big that babies heads had hard time feeding through the birth canal. Maybe too many Boscups babies died in childbirth.Y:他们显然早已灭绝了。一个简单的原因可能就是因为Boscups人的头部太大了,因此他们的婴儿很难顺利从产道分娩。也许太多的Boscups婴儿都是在分娩时死亡的。D: So I guess it doesnt always pay to have a big brain.唐:由此看来,脑部太发达并非都是好事啊。Y: Maybe not.耶尔:也许是这样的。201202/172165






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