Mission Critical—The Naked Superhero 關鍵任務 – 裸體英雄

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2018/05/01 第362期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份直接訂閱

   
 

Mission Critical—The Naked Superhero  關鍵任務 – 裸體英雄

by Evan Witkowski

One of nature’s most hideous creatures might hold the key to preventing illnesses caused by aging.
大自然中最醜陋的生物之一可能握有防止因老化而引起疾病的關鍵。

  

  Nature has a place for all creatures. Even the ugliest monster deserves a safe place to call home and the level of respect bestowed to all living things. The naked mole rat isn’t winning any beauty contests, and its appearance hardly warms your heart. Naked mole rats might be unsightly hairless rodents, but scientists on National Geographic’s Mission Critical—The Naked Superhero are hailing them as unsung genetic superheroes that could provide the secret to longer, healthier lives for humans.
  Capable of living for up to 31 years, naked mole rats are a special breed. For their size, they should be living much shorter lives. Take mice for example, which have an average lifespan of only four years. Among their many unusual traits, naked mole rats can survive without oxygen for 18 minutes and still fully recover. Oxygen is sometimes scarce in their burrowed tunnels, so in order to adapt to this environment, their bodies have developed some effective coping mechanisms. Naked mole rats are also much less likely to get cancer, and studies show their bodies feel less pain than other animals.
  Scientists have identified a protein in their bodies that helps fight the growth of cancer cells and protects them from showing signs of aging. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s could be a thing of the past if medical researchers can figure out how to apply naked mole rats’ genetic advantages to humans. To learn more about this ugly but impressive species, switch the TV to National Geographic. Don’t be too disgusted by the close-up shots of naked mole rats on Mission Critical—The Naked Superhero. Hopefully, these beastly rodents will come to the rescue just in time to save humanity from the negative effects of old age.

 

hideous a. 醜陋的,可怕的
mole n. 鼴鼠
unsightly a. 難看的
rodent n. 齧齒目動物
oxygen n. 氧氣
burrow vt. 挖掘(本文為過去分詞作形容詞用)
protein n. 蛋白質
close-up shots  特寫鏡頭
close-up a. 特寫的

1. hail A as B  把 A 譽為 B
hail vt. 稱讚
After the war ended, the politician was hailed as a great peacemaker.
這場戰爭結束後,那位政治人物被譽為傑出的調停者。

2. be capable of…  能夠……
: be incapable of…  不能夠……
Don’t you worry. I’m capable of handling the problem myself.
你不用擔心。這個問題我自己就能處理。
Amy is incapable of carrying the couch alone.
艾咪無法獨自扛這個沙發。

3. adapt to…  適應……
: adapt oneself to N/V-ing
adapt vi. & vt.(使)適應
It took the new employee about a month to adapt to the new environment.
這名新進員工花了一個月左右的時間去適應新環境。
Adam quit because he couldn’t adapt himself to working overtime every night.
亞當無法適應每晚加班,因此辭職了。

4. a thing of the past  成為歷史,過去的事
With the invention of smartphones, traditional cellphones will soon become a thing of the past.
隨著智慧型手機的發明,傳統手機很快就會走入歷史。

5. figure out…  弄明白……
Toby couldn’t figure out the answer, but at least he tried.
陶比想不出答案,但至少他試過了。

6. switch (sth) to…  (將某物)轉換到……
switch vt. & vi. 轉換(與介詞 to 並用)
Moviegoers should turn off their cellphones or switch them to vibrate mode.
來看電影的人應該將手機關機或調成震動模式。
When I see a political debate on TV, I quickly switch to another channel.
當我在電視上看到政治辯論節目時,我很快就轉到另一臺。

7. come to the rescue  前來解圍
rescue n. & vt. 營救,援救
The little boy almost drowned before the lifeguard came to the rescue.
那名小男孩在救生員來救他之前差點溺斃。
The firefighters rushed into the burning house to rescue the child.
消防隊員衝進著火的房子去救那個孩子。

1. naked a. 赤裸的

2. aging n. 老化
: age vi. 老化;變舊
Overexposing your skin to the sun will cause rapid aging.
皮膚過度曝晒在太陽下會導致加速老化。
*overexpose vt. 使過度照射;使過度暴露(常與介詞 to 並用)
Willy aged noticeably after the serious illness.
威利生了場重病後,明顯蒼老很多。
*noticeably adv. 明顯地,顯著地

3. bestow vt. 授予;贈予
: bestow sth on / upon sb  將某物授予某人
The queen has bestowed knighthood on the hero.
女王已授予那位英雄爵士頭銜。
*knighthood n. 爵士封號

4. unsung a. 未被歌頌的,幕後的
Nurses are the unsung heroes of medical care.
護士是醫療照護的無名英雄。

5. genetic a. 基因的
With the advent of genetic testing, some diseases can be detected early.
隨著基因測試的問世,某些疾病能早一點被發現。
*with the advent of…  隨著……的出現
advent n. 到來,來臨

6. breed n. 品種
My dog’s behavior is typical of this particular breed.
我家狗狗的行為正是牠這種特殊品種的特性。

7. lifespan n. 壽命
People in that remote village have an average lifespan of 80 years.
那座偏遠村莊居民的平均壽命是八十歲。

8. trait n. 特徵;性格
Researchers have found a link between the order in which children are born and certain personality traits.
研究人員發現孩子的出生順序和某些性格有關聯。

9. scarce a. 稀少的
: scarcely adv. 幾乎不
Natural resources, such as timber and oil, are becoming more scarce.
像木材和石油等這類的天然資源正日漸稀少。
*resource n. 資源(常用複數)
timber n. 原木;木材
The prisoner in isolation scarcely got to leave his cell.
被隔離的犯人幾乎不能離開牢房。
*isolation n. 隔離,孤立

10. mechanism n.(身體的)機制
: defense mechanism  防禦機制
Feelings of physical pain serve as natural defense mechanisms.
肉體的痛覺是天生的防禦機制。

11. identify vt. 發現;認出,指認
The witness cooperated with the police to identify the murderer.
目擊者和警方合作以指認凶手。

12. disgusted a. 感到噁心的
: disgusting a. 令人噁心的
I always feel disgusted when I look into my brother’s messy room.
每當我看往我弟髒亂的房間都會感到噁心。
The disgusting soup tastes like rotten eggs.
這噁心的湯喝起來像發臭的雞蛋。
*rotten a. 腐爛的

 

關鍵任務 – 裸體英雄
大自然中最醜陋的生物之一可能握有防止因老化而引起疾病的關鍵。  

  大自然為所有的生物都保有一席之地。即使是最醜的怪物,也應該有一個得以稱之為家的安全住所,也應該得到所有生物獲得的尊重程度。裸鼴鼠沒有辦法贏得任何選美比賽,牠的外表也難以溫暖你的心。裸鼴鼠也許是醜陋的無毛齧齒動物,但在國家地理《關鍵任務 – 裸體英雄》的科學家稱牠們為「被埋沒的基因超級英雄」,牠們或許可以提供人類更長壽、更健康生活的祕密。
  裸鼴鼠能夠活高達三十一年,是一種特殊的品種。就牠們的體型而言,生命應該更短。以老鼠為例,牠們的平均壽命只有四年。在裸鼴鼠許多不尋常的特質中,牠們沒有氧氣能存活十八分鐘,而且還能完全復原。在牠們挖掘的隧道中氧氣有時會不足,因此為了適應這種環境,牠們的身體已經發展出一些有效的應對機制。裸鼴鼠也不太可能得到癌症,研究顯示牠們身體感受的疼痛程度也比其他動物來得低。
  科學家們在牠們體內發現了一種蛋白質,能夠幫助抵抗癌細胞的生長,並保護牠們不會顯示出衰老的跡象。如果醫學研究人員能夠弄清楚如何將裸鼴鼠的基因優勢應用於人類,那麼阿茲海默症和帕金森氏症之類的疾病就會成為歷史。要了解更多關於這個醜陋但不容小覷的物種,將電視轉到國家地理吧。不要因為國家地理《關鍵任務 – 裸體英雄》的裸鼴鼠特寫鏡頭而感到噁心。但願這些不討喜的齧齒動物能及時拯救人類免於受到老化的負面影響。

 
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