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科学美国人60秒:巨骨舌鱼为防弹衣提供了灵感

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This is Scientific American's 60-second Science, I'm Christopher Intagliata.
Deep in the Amazon lives one of the world's largest freshwater fish: the legendary Arapaima. It tips the scales at hundreds of pounds, making it a coveted catch for extreme anglers, like Jeremy Wade from the show River Monsters.
(CLIP: River Monsters audio)
After a dramatically scored struggle, he catches one. It takes two guys to hold it up!
(CLIP: "There it is. Look at that for a fish! Look at that massive female Arapaima; about 150 pounds.")
Speaking of scales, this giant fish has another superlative quality: "It has these very impressive armored scales on its body, which prevent penetration by predators teeth yet still makes the fish quite flexible and nimble in the water."
Robert Ritchie, a materials scientist at U.C. Berkeley. The predators he's talking about are piranhas. But the mighty Arapaima has them beat with its scales—one of the "toughest flexible biological materials," according to Ritchie's team.
After subjecting the scales to stress tests and electron microscopy in the lab, they figured out the scales' secrets. For one, they have a hard, mineralized layer on the outside.

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巨骨舌鱼.png
"You need the hard layer at the surface to prevent the thing from penetrating. But if the whole scale was made of this hard layer, it would just shatter, like if you tried to penetrate a piece of glass."
And so the scale then has a layer of softer but tougher collagen on the inside—more resistant to cracking in a piranha's bite. Materials scientists have already figured out this trick—to build materials with a hard layer on the outside and a tough layer on the inside. But the secret of the Arapaima scales is how exquisitely they transition from the hard to the tough.
"We would love to do that in synthetic materials; it's just very hard to make materials like that. Maybe 3-D printing in the future can do this. But nature does this rather cleverly because it builds materials from the bottom up, from the atoms and molecules up to the macro scale."
Photos and details are in the journal Matter.
So who cares about a fish's scales? Well, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research does—they funded the study—because Kevlar and other body armors are incredibly heavy. And this piranha-proof fish could be the key to a lighter load.
Thanks for listening for Scientific American's 60-second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
prevent [pri'vent]

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v. 预防,防止

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resistant [ri'zistənt]

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adj. 抵抗的,反抗的
n. 抵抗者

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penetrating ['penitreitiŋ]

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adj. 敏锐的,尖锐的,穿透的,透彻的

 
scale [skeil]

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n. 鳞,刻度,衡量,数值范围
v. 依比例决

 
stress [stres]

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n. 紧张,压力
v. 强调,着重

 
quality ['kwɔliti]

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n. 品质,特质,才能
adj. 高品质的

 
clip [klip]

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n. 夹子,钳,回形针,弹夹
n. 修剪,(羊

 
figure ['figə]

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n. 图形,数字,形状; 人物,外形,体型
v

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synthetic [sin'θetik]

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adj. 综合的,合成的,人造的
n. 人工制

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layer ['leiə]

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n. 层
vi. 分层
vt. 将某

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