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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第532期:丰富多彩的生命(28)

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In this state, you can drop them into boiling water or freeze them almost to absolute zero — that is the level where even atoms give up — and, when this torment has finished and they are returned to a more pleasing environment, they will uncurl and move on as if nothing has happened. So far, about 500 species have been identified (though other sources say 360), but nobody has any idea, even remotely, how many there may be altogether. For years almost all that was known about them was thanks to the work of a devoted amateur, a London clerical worker named David Bryce who studied them in his spare time. They can be found all over the world, but you could have all the bdelloid rotifer experts in the world to dinner and not have to borrow plates from the neighbors.

在这种状态下,你可以把它们扔进沸水里或把它们冷冻到接近绝对零度——即连院子都受不了的程度。当这番折磨结束,把它们重新放到比较舒适的环境里的时候,它们马上舒展身子,继续活下去,仿佛什么事也没有发生。这种微生物迄今已经发现了500种(有的资料说是360种),但谁也不知道,一点儿也不知道,总共究竟有多少种。在过去几年里,几乎所有的已知种类都归功于一位热心的业余人员的努力。他是伦敦的一位办事员,名叫戴维·布赖斯,在业余时间研究吸螨。吸螨世界各地都有,但你可以请世界上所有的吸螨专家到家里吃饭,而用不着向邻居借盘子。
吸螨

Even something as important and ubiquitous as fungi — and fungi are both — attracts comparatively little notice. Fungi are everywhere and come in many forms — as mushrooms, molds, mildews, yeasts, and puffballs, to name but a sampling — and they exist in volumes that most of us little suspect. Gather together all the fungi found in a typical acre of meadow and you would have 2,500 pounds of the stuff. These are not marginal organisms. Without fungi there would be no potato blights, Dutch elm disease, jock itch, or athlete's foot, but also no yogurts or beers or cheeses. Altogether about 70,000 species of fungi have been identified, but it is thought the number could be as high as 1.8 million.

连真菌这样非常重要而又无处不在的动物(真菌是既非常重要又无处不在的),也没有引起多大重视。真菌无处不在,形式多样——略举几例,如蘑菇、霉菌、酵母、马勃。它们大量存在,这点我们大多数人都不会怀疑。要是你把1万平方米普通草地上的真菌全部集中在一起,你会有2800千克的收获。它们不是不重要的生物。没有真菌,虽然没有了马铃薯枯萎病、荷兰榆树病、股癣和足癣,但也没有了酸奶、啤酒和奶酪。已经发现的真菌总共有7万种左右,但据认为总数可能达到180万种。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
species ['spi:ʃiz]

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n. (单复同)物种,种类

 
gather ['gæðə]

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v. 聚集,聚拢,集合
n. 集合,聚集

 
torment ['tɔ:ment,tɔ:'ment]

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n. 苦痛,拷问
v. 使苦恼,拷问

联想记忆
freeze [fri:z]

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v. 冻结,冷冻,僵硬,凝固
n. 结冰,冻结

 
devoted [di'vəutid]

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adj. 投入的,深爱的 v. 投入 vbl. 投入

联想记忆
identified

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adj. 被识别的;经鉴定的;被认同者 v. 鉴定(id

 
spare [spɛə]

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adj. 多余的,闲置的,备用的,简陋的
v.

 
ubiquitous [ju:'bikwitəs]

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adj. 到处存在的,遍在的

联想记忆
meadow ['medəu]

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n. 草地,牧场

 
comparatively [kəm'pærətivli]

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adv. 比较地,相对地

 

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