D100外刊阅读:水熊虫很可能已经“定居”月球

2007 年,欧洲一个科研小组把 3000 只水熊虫送上太空,其中相当一部分顽强地活了下来,现很可能已经“定居”于月球之上。网友纷纷大开脑洞:这会演变为“外星物种”入侵月球吗?水熊虫究竟为什么这么强悍?它们是否真的可以占领月球?

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Tardigrades may have survived spacecraft crashing on moon

水熊虫在宇宙飞船坠毁月球后或幸存


The Israeli Beresheet probe was meant to be the first private lander to touch down on the moon. And all was going smoothly until mission controllers lost contact in April as the robotic craft made its way down. Beyond all the technology that was lost in the crash, Beresheet had an unusual cargo: a few thousand tiny tardigrades, the toughest animals on Earth.

以色列发射的“创世纪”号探测器本应该成为首个登陆月球的、由私人赞助的着陆器。一切本都进行得很顺利,直到四月份,在探测器准备下降着陆时,地面指挥中心人员与其失去了联系。在这次坠毁中,“创世纪”号虽然损失了所有技术设备,但(给月球)带去了一些不同寻常的“乘客”:几千只小小的水熊虫,这可是地球上最强悍的生物。

Tardigrades have fascinated scientists since their discovery in the 18th century. They have been found on mountain tops, in scorching deserts, and lurking in subglacial lakes in Antarctica. They survived being frozen in liquid helium and being boiled at 149C.

水熊虫自从 18 世纪被人们发现以来,就一直吸引着科学家们。不管是在山顶还是炙热的沙漠,都有它们的足迹,它们还能潜伏在南极冰川下的湖泊中。不管是在液氦中被冷冻,还是在 149 摄氏度的高温下被“煮沸”,它们依然能够存活。

The tardigrade’s secret is the ability to shrivel into a seed-like pod, expelling nearly all of its water and slashing its metabolism. In this “tun” state, the animals can hunker down and survive conditions that would normally be swiftly fatal.

水熊虫如此强悍的秘诀在于,它们能将自己皱缩成像种子一样的荚,并排出体内几乎所有水分,使新陈代谢锐减。在这种“小桶状态”下,水熊虫可以伺机待发,在一定条件下“活过来”,而这种条件通常对于普通生物来说依然能迅速致命。

“Tardigrades can survive pressures that are comparable to those created when asteroids strike Earth, so a small crash like this is nothing to them,” said Lukasz Kaczmarek, a tardigrade expert and astrobiologist.

水熊虫专家兼天体生物学家卢卡什·卡兹马雷克说:“水熊虫能承受的压力相当于小行星撞击地球时产生的压力,所以像这样的小撞击对它们来说算不了什么。”

“They cannot colonise the moon because there is no atmosphere and no liquid water,” Kaczmarek said. “But it could be possible to bring them back to Earth and then add the water. They should resurrect.”

他还说:“它们不会占领月球,因为那里没有大气层和液态水,但是如果有机会将它们带回地球,然后加点水,它们应该就会复活。”


重点词汇

spacecraft/ˈspeɪskræft/  n. 宇宙飞船

相关词汇:space(n. 外太空)

相关词汇:craft(n. 飞行器)

probe/proʊb/  n. 探测器

搭配短语:a space probe

touch down (航天器)着陆,降落

相关词汇:touchdown (n.)

搭配短语:a smooth touchdown

technology/tekˈnɑːlədʒi/ n. 技术设备

英文释义:advanced machines and equipment developed using technology

文化补充:YouTube 搞笑视频:Teaching Old People How to Use Technology

cargo/ˈkɑːrɡoʊ/ n. 货物

搭配短语:a cargo ship

tough/tʌf/  adj. 强悍的

英文释义:capable of enduring strain, hardship, or severe labor

fascinate/ˈfæsɪneɪt/ v. 深深吸引,迷住

英文释义:to interest someone a lot

例句:Translation has always fascinated him.

scorching/ˈskɔːrtʃɪŋ/ adj. 灼热的,极热的

例句:It's a scorching day.

lurk/lɜːrk/  v. 潜伏,隐蔽

例句:Someone was lurking in the shadows.

subglacial/sʌbˈɡleɪsiəl/ adj. 冰川下的

词根词缀:sub-(在…之下)

相关词汇:glacier(n. 冰川)

拓展发音:UK·/ˈɡlæs.i.ər/;US·/ˈɡleɪʃər/

相关词汇:glacial(adj. 冰川的,与冰川相关的)

英文释义:connected with glaciers

helium/ˈhiːliəm/  n. 氦,氦气

shrivel/ˈʃrɪvl/  v.(使)枯萎,皱缩

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图片发自App

英文释义:to become or make something dry and wrinkled as a result of heat, cold or being old

例句:The lack of rain has shrivelled the crops.

pod/pɑːd/  n.(植物的)荚

搭配短语:pea pods

expel/ɪkˈspel/  v. 排出,喷出(气体或液体)

英文释义:to force air or liquid out of something

搭配短语:expel air from lungs

slash/slæʃ/  v. 大幅削减,大幅减少

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例句:Prices have been slashed by 50 percent!

metabolism/məˈtæbəlɪzəm/ n. 新陈代谢

词根词缀:meta-(改变,超过)

tun/tʌn/  n. 酒桶

文化补充:"tun"-state(小桶状态)

hunker down  蹲坐;(长期)蹲守

搭配短语:hunker down around the campfire

例句:The press have hunkered down outside the palace.

swiftly/ˈswɪftli/ adv. 很快地;即刻

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fatal/ˈfeɪtl/  adj. 致命的

搭配短语:a fatal illness

asteroid/ˈæstərɔɪd/  n. 小行星

词根词缀:aster, astro(与星星有关的)

派生词:disaster(n. 灾难)

派生词:astronomy(n. 天文学)

astrobiologist/ˈæstərɔbaɪˈɑːlədʒɪst/ n. 天体生物学家

resurrect/ˌrezəˈrekt/  v. 使复活,使起死回生

英文释义:to bring someone back to life

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