2018年4月30日 星期一

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.


  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.

2. be capable of...  能夠……
: be incapable of...  不能夠……
Don't you worry. I'm capable of handling the problem myself.
Amy is incapable of carrying the couch alone.

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.
Adam quit because he couldn't adapt himself to working overtime every night.

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.

5. figure out...  弄明白……
Toby couldn't figure out the answer, but at least he tried.

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.
When I see a political debate on TV, I quickly switch to another channel.

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.
The firefighters rushed into the burning house to rescue the child.

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.
*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.
*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.
*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.

5. genetic a. 基因的
With the advent of genetic testing, some diseases can be detected early.
*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.

7. lifespan n. 壽命
People in that remote village have an average lifespan of 80 years.

8. trait n. 特徵;性格
Researchers have found a link between the order in which children are born and certain personality traits.

9. scarce a. 稀少的
: scarcely adv. 幾乎不
Natural resources, such as timber and oil, are becoming more scarce.
*resource n. 資源(常用複數)
timber n. 原木;木材
The prisoner in isolation scarcely got to leave his cell.
*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.

11. identify vt. 發現;認出,指認
The witness cooperated with the police to identify the murderer.

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.
The disgusting soup tastes like rotten eggs.
*rotten a. 腐爛的


關鍵任務 – 裸體英雄

  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。
  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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