明星资讯腾讯娱乐2019年05月23日 02:41:26
The debate over gun control in America has been ongoing and intense for many years — with proponents seeking to reduce gun—related injuries and curtail criminal activity, and opponents sighting second—amendment rights and the need to defend themselves. Despite the complexities of differing opinions, sometimes theres been enough agreement for legislation to pass Congress.在美国械管制一直是多年来备受争议的话题。持者力图减少造成的受伤事件以及残忍的犯罪活动,而反对者则照准第二修正法案的权力,以及防身的需要。尽管意见不同,情况复杂,但有时还是有足够的协议让国会通过立法。The first major gun control act was passed by Congress in 1934, regulating the sale of fully—automatic fire arms, like machine guns, after an assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin Roosevelt and a series of organized crime killings. In 1938, a further restriction required licenses for gun dealers, and prohibited gun sales to people who had committed a violent felony.1934年,在企图暗杀总统当选人富兰克林·罗斯福以及一系列有组织杀人事件之后,国会通过了第一项重大的械管控法案,这条法案规范了全自动武器,比如说机关的销售。1938年进行了更进一步的限制,即要求经销商持照经营,并禁止向有过犯罪记录的人的售卖。The 1963 assassination of President John Kennedy — which was committed with a mail—order rifle — and the subsequent assassinations of Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kenndey in 1968, led Congress to pass additional legislation. The Gun Control Act of 1968 added many restrictions on who could import, buy, and sell guns, and established harsher penalties for those using a gun in the commission of a federal crime. The debate on gun control remains an intense one across the country today — making this a particularly difficult issue to tackle.1963年约翰·肯尼迪总统刺杀事件——事后实凶器是邮购步——1968年马丁·路德金和参议员罗伯特·肯尼迪被刺,促使国会通过新的立法。1968年的械管制法令对进口,购买,售卖又进行了多项限制,并且对使用进行联邦犯罪的人处以更严厉的惩罚。如今,管控仍然是全美人民备受争议的话题,这使问题变得尤为棘手。原文译文属!201210/204654




  Business Alternative law firms Bargain briefs商业 律师事务所可他选 概说律所议价Technology offers 50 ways to leave your lawyer网络给你50种选择来挑律师CONVENTIONAL law firms charge vast hourly fees and then hand the work to underlings while the partners play golf at clubs their clients are too poor to join. At least, that is how it seems to many clients, whose irritation at being overcharged turned to fury during the recession.传统的律师事务所每小时的收费很多,但之后老板就把工作丢给手下去办,以至于当律所合伙人在俱乐部里打高尔夫的时候,他们的客户却只能望门兴叹。至少,对很多的客户来说就是这么一回事,律所的过度收费使得在经济危机期间这些客户的怨气重重恶化成了恼羞成怒。Some clients are switching to unconventional law firms, which claim to offer equally good lawyering for much less money. Take Clearspire. The firms 20 or so lawyers work mostly from home, collaborating on a multi-million-dollar technology platform that mimics a virtual office. A lawyer checking in on a colleague automatically sees a picture of her on the phone when she is, in fact, on the phone. Clients use the platform too, commenting on and even changing their own documents as they are being drawn up. Conventional lawyers are far less open.因此很多客户转向非传统的律师事务所,这些公司宣称提供同样的律师务,但收费低廉。拿Clearspire来说。这家律师事务所里的约20名律师中,大部分都在家里工作,他们在一个价值百万美元的技术平台所模拟构建的虚拟办公室中互相合作。一个律师要找另一个同事,而他的同事在打电话,他就会看到自动显示的这位同事在打电话的画面。客户们也使用这个虚拟平台,为自己的文件材料作批注,甚至想起草文件一样修改文件的内容。传统的律师们可就没这么灵活了。From the start, Clearspire offers cost estimates for each phase of a legal job. Employees who underestimate how long it will take cannot simply jack up the bill—they must take the hit themselves. But if a lawyer finishes his work faster than promised, he gets a third of the savings. The client also gets a third, as does Clearspire. This gives everyone a stake in making the process more efficient and predictable.从一开始,Clearspire就提供了一项法律务每个阶段的收费金额。那些低估业务需要时间的律师们可不能随便地加费——他们必须自己承受损失。但如果一个律师在承诺的时间期限之前完成了工作,他还能得到保留金的1/3。客户和Clearspire也都能分别拿到保留金的1/3,这一政策就是给那些做事有效率且有预见性的律师一个奖励。Bryce Arrowood, the founder, notes that law firms reward partners who bring in business, and not necessarily the most brilliant lawyers. Yet clients priorities are exactly the reverse. So Clearspire has an unusual dual structure. American law firms cannot have non-lawyers sharing fees with lawyers. (Britain used to be the same, but will ditch this pointless rule this year.) So Clearspire must be two entities: a law firm, with salaried employee-lawyers rather than partners, and a second company that focuses on bringing in business and supporting the lawyers.布赖斯. 艾尔伍德,这位Clearspire的创建者指出,律师事务所奖励那些招揽生意的合伙人,而这些人不一定就是最出色的律师,但是客户们的首选可不是这些人。所以Clearspire有一个双重的运作结构,因为美国的律所不能分享律师们的非律师业务的收费,(英国从前与美国一样, 不过今年英国要废除这一毫无意义的规定。)因此Clearspire必须为两个公司:一个为律师事务所,与领工资的雇佣律师们而不是合伙人打交道,另一个工资则旨在招揽生意并给律师工资。The discount for clients is sweet. George Kappaz is a private-equity boss who recently gave a complex job to Clearspire (structuring an equity package for Astrata, one his funds firms). He estimates that it cost a quarter of what he would have paid the big firms he used before, and Clearspires work was just as good. (Many of its lawyers come from top-notch law firms.) Mr Kappaz predicts that the Clearspire model, or something like it, will revolutionise the legal business.非传统的律所给客户带来了甜头。乔治.卡帕兹是一个私有股份公司的老板,它最近委托Clearspire一个复杂的业务。(为他的一个基金公司Astrata建构一个股份组合)他估计这个业务的花费,可能只为以往他用的那个大律所的花费的1/4.并且 Clearspire干的一样的好。(很多Clearspire 的律师来自高级律所。)卡帕兹预测说Clearspire的这种模式,或是类似它的运营模式,会在律师界引起大革命。Perhaps so, but for Clearspire it is early days. Can it make money? A company like 11-year-old Axiom proves that clients have an appetite for alternative models. Axiom either seconds some of its hundreds of lawyers to a company, takes on a whole chunk of a client firms legal work (such as commercial contracts), or performs ;discovery; (reviewing documents for litigation). Rather than charging by the hour for each lawyer, it asks for a single flat fee, or charges for a team by the week or the month. Expenses are kept low by having headquarters in SoHo, a chic bohemian bit of New York, and by stashing many lawyers in even cheaper places such as Houston and Hyderabad.也许是这样的,但是对于Clearspire 来说此言尚早。Clearspire会盈利么?Axion这一运营了11年的公司明了客户喜欢不同的律所模式。Axion要么从几百名律师中调派一些去客户公司,处理大量的客户公司的法律业务,(例如商务合同)要么做;据开示(程序);(复审诉讼文件)。 比起按律师按小时收费,公司简单地收取统一价。或者按周/月收取一组律师的费用。通过把总部设在索霍区/休南区——这个雅致又富有波西米亚风格的纽约一角,还有通过把律师们储备在像休斯顿和海德拉巴这样消费更低的地方,律所的开销就能保持低廉了。The recession was good to Axiom. After it sent its consultants, recruited from the likes of McKinsey and Accenture, to clients to help them trim their legal spending, the clients gave Axiom more work. Revenue grew from m in 2008 to m in 2010. This year the firm expects to rake in 0m. Companies were always under pressure to cut their legal bills, says Mark Harris, Axioms boss. But ;fake pressure; before became ;real pressure; during the downturn.对于Axiom,经济危机是件好事。Axiom将从Mckinsey和Accenture那里挖来的咨询师派到客户那里之后,他们帮忙客户们削减了法律开,这些客户则为Axiom带来了更多的客户。公司的利润从08年的5500万美元增长到了10年的8000万美元。今年Axiom预计能将12000万美元敛入囊中。公司总在削减法律账单的压力下,Axiom的老板马克.哈里斯如是说,但以前的;伪压力;在经济危机中变成了;真压力;。Axiom and Clearspire serve some of Americas biggest companies. Other entrepreneurs are aiming at small-business clients. These would normally take a chance on finding the right sole practitioner or small firm. But on LawPivot, a year-old social-networking website for lawyers and those who need them, potential clients post questions (up to three a month), and lawyers provide free, brief answers. The lawyers make nothing, but use the service to drum up custom. Clients can test a lawyers skill before opening their wallets.Axiom和Clearspirewei 为美国的一些大公司务。其他的律所则瞄准了小型企业客户上,他们一般会试着找个体户或是小公司。但是在Lawpivot,这个为律师和需要律师的人运营了一年的社交网站上,潜在客户们提出问题(每月限制3个),之后律师们提供免费的简洁的回答。律师没在做别的,不过是用这一务去争取顾客。这样客户们在掏腰包之前就可以测试律师的水平了。LawPivot is a social-networking site, not a law firm—it will make its money initially by charging lawyers to upgrade their profiles (similar to the networking profiles on LinkedIn). Google Ventures is a backer, and Apples former top lawyer for mergers and acquisitions is a co-founder. This kind of heft will bring it up against LegalZoom, the biggest seller of online forms and easy, repeatable legal services for small businesses and individuals. LegalZoom now wants to put more of its contract lawyers to work directly for clients at a flat rate.LawPivotshiyige 是一个社交网站,并不是律师事务所——它靠起始阶段向律师们收取信息更新费赚钱。(这与Linkedln的网络信息相似)不过有谷歌风投作为赞助商,还有苹果公司的前任合并收购高级律师做为共同创建人。这种强强组合将会使LawPivot能与LegalZoom一较高下。LegalZoom是最大的以在线形式为小型企业和个人提供简易并可重复的法律务公司。如今,Legalzoom想要使其更多的签约律师去按统一收费率直接为客户务。It is more than a decade since the internet made book-buying cheaper and more convenient. If technology now helps cut gargantuan legal bills in America and elsewhere, it will be better late than never.互联网使得买书更便宜,方便已经有10多年了。对于法律,互联网如果能在这时候,在美国还有其他地方,帮忙削减大笔的法律开的话,就会是亡羊补牢了。 /201301/222700Science and technology科学与技术The fight against AIDS对抗艾滋病HIVs slow retreat艾滋病的缓慢退却One of the worlds worst plagues is giving ground抗击艾滋病:显现曙光THE timing of the popes much-discussed change of position on the use of condoms to prevent the sp of HIV was surely no coincidence.近期罗马教皇改变了其对于使用避套以防止艾滋病传播的立场,引来一片议论。这个时间绝非巧合。He made it on November 21st—ten days before World AIDS Day and two before UNAIDS, the ed Nations body charged with combating the epidemic, released its latest report on the state of the battle.他是本月21日向外界宣布的—恰逢世界艾滋病日前十天,也是在两天后,负责抗击艾滋病的联合国机构—联合国艾滋病规划署发布了其最新的艾滋病防治工作报告。That report carries good news.这份报告带来了好消息。Though some 33m people are infected, the rate of new infections is falling—down from 3.1m a year a decade ago to 2.6m in .纵使艾滋病毒感染人数已达3300万,但新增感染者的速度正在放慢—从十年前的每年感染310万人降至年的260万人。Moreover, as the map shows, the figure is falling fastest in many of the most heavily infected countries, especially those of sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-East Asia.此外,从这张地图上可以看出,正是那些感染最严重的国家新增感染者的速度下降最快,尤其是撒哈拉以南的非洲国家以及南亚、东南亚国家。The reason is a combination of behavioural change, a big reduction in mother-to-child transmission at birth and during breast-feeding, and the roll-out of drug treatment for those aly infected.此中原因是多方面的:包括性行为方式的改变,母婴分娩传播与哺乳传播的大幅减少,以及已感染者对毒品的戒除。Besides prolonging life, anti-HIV drugs make those taking them less likely to pass the virus on.抗艾滋药物除了可以延长生命,还可降低用者将病毒向他人传播的几率。More than 5m people in poor and middle-income countries are now on such drugs, though Michel Sidibe, the head of UNAIDS, says another 10m could benefit.超过500万来自贫困或中等收入国家的艾滋病患者正在用这种药物,即使这样,据联合国艾滋病规划署的负责人Michel?Sidibe说,仍有超过1000万人需要这种药物。The problem, as always, is money.资金不足始终是个问题。Dr Sidibe reckons the fight needs about billion a year to be fully effective.Sidibe士认为,抗击艾滋病每年大约需250亿美元方可全力维持。At the moment, the sum spent is around billion.但现在最高的年出只有约170亿美元。Not a bad fraction of the desideratum, but one that will be hard to sustain in the face of the worlds economic difficulties.与总需求相比这还不算太糟,但在全球经济面临困境的当下,想维持这一水平却又是个难题。 点击此处下载本期经济学人讲解PDF与音频字幕 /201302/227679

  Before I start telling you about this all new 2012 Subaru presenters, one thing I want to make it kind of bugs me about Subarus, is Subaru honors, really some of them, they can be a little touchy.在我开始这款2012年全新的斯巴鲁跨界车之前,我想声明一点,斯巴鲁的名声可能会干扰我。其中的某些车型真的让我感到有点棘手。During this review, I may criticize certain aspects of this or other Subaru products, no insult is intended to you or to any member of your immediate family, please hear out.在这次点评中,我可能会在某方面批评这款或其他斯巴鲁车型,但我并非有意冒犯你或者你的亲人,请不要放在心上。Great, now we have a little talk.好极了,现在我们开始讨论吧。Now let’s take a look at this car, the first thing you’ll notice about it is it’s a huge step forward for Subaru in terms of design, and that’s actually not bad looking, sorry, but exterior design has not been a real strong point of the Subaru over the years, if you know what I mean, but this one actually looks kind of sharp.先来看看这辆车吧,首先我们会注意到这款斯巴鲁轿车在设计上跨越很大,实际上它看起来并不丑,不好意思,但近些年斯巴鲁车型内饰设计并不具备真正的产品优点,如果你懂我的意思的话,这款车看起来确实有点夸张。This particular car, by the way, is Subaru Impreza wagon, get it as sedan too. Driving this car is really where it all comes together, steering I could feel to it, even the brakes feel good, and the car handles pretty well. This car has what experts call the continuously variable transmission, means it doesn’t have saparate gears like you know, first, second, third like that, instead it actually varies the gear ratios continuously as you’re driving, so, well, theoretically at least, you should always be in the optimal gear ratio for maximum efficiency, all in all, you can say it’s a lot more fun to drive the mighty thing from looking at a compact wagon from the outside.顺便提一下,这款轿车就是斯巴鲁异类翼豹,也算是轿车类。驾驶这辆车就会体会到它的强大功能。手握方向盘的感觉很好,刹车也不错,可以轻松地操控这辆车。专家们称这款车制动方式为无段自动变速,意味着它没有分离排挡,一档,二档,三档等等;相反,它会在你驾驶时连续变换齿轮比。因此,至少从理论上说,为了最高效行驶它总是将齿轮比调整到最佳状态。可以说驾驶这辆强悍跨界车带来的乐趣要远远超过在外面观赏的乐趣。You know, one problem I’ve had with Subaru cars in the past is, I felt like some of them have relied too much on the all-wheel drive to make them competitive, if I will drive cars, it’d be ok.你知道,过去我驾驶斯巴鲁时遇到过一个问题,我觉得有些车型太过于依赖四轮驱动来彰显竞争力,如果我要开车的话,这款过得去。In this case, this is a car that even if with just front wheel drive, simply be a pretty darn good car. The fact is it’s all wheel drive, for a lot of people is gonna put it over the top. I like that.在这种情况下,这款车即使有前轮驱动,也只不过是一辆性能好的车。事实上,它是四轮驱动,对于许多人而言这是首选。我喜欢这样。201206/186451Science and Technology科技Computer-generated imagery计算机图像生成技术Fabricating fabric虚拟面料How to generate more realistic images of clothes如何生成更逼真的衣物图像FILMS like ;Captain America;, ;Tron Legacy; and ;The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; have shown that it is possible to use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to make actors look younger, older or wimpier than they actually are, in a surprisingly realistic manner.电影《美国上尉》、《创战记》和《本杰明?巴顿奇事》表明计算机图像生成技术能以惊人的逼真手法使演员看上去比实际更年轻、老态或懦弱。At least, it is possible if those altered actors are kept at a suitable distance from the viewer.这种效果至少在那些被改造过的演员与观众保持合适距离时能够实现。The difficulty of recreating the textures of both skin and fabric means the effect is less convincing when seen close up.皮肤和面料纹理重建的困难在于它们被放大观看时,效果并不理想。The reason is that, whereas it is possible to simulate realistically the forces which make virtual skin and fabric hang, bend, flap and stretch, recreating the subtle ways they reflect light has so far proved extremely tricky.原因在于尽管计算机能够真实地模拟使虚拟皮肤及面料产生悬挂、弯曲、飘动和拉伸的外力,但迄今为止想要找到构建反射光的精妙方法仍是极为困难的事情。The shimmer and sheen of both fabric and skin depend on the geometry of their internal structures—the exact arrangement of ths or protein fibres.皮肤和面料的微光及光泽都取决于它们内部的几何结构——织线或蛋白纤维的精确排列。This is hard to model accurately.这种模型很难精确地建立。Steve Marschner and his colleagues at Cornell University have, though, come up with a way to get round that problem.不过康奈尔大学的史蒂夫?马施纳及其同事们发现了一个解决此问题的方法。Instead of modelling, they are copying.他们不是建立模型而是采用拷贝技术。They are using computerised tomography (CT) to analyse the structures of fabrics at high resolution and then plugging the results into CGI.他们利用电脑断层扫描术(简称CT)以高分辨率分析面料的结构,然后将结果输入到计算机影像生成系统。That, allied to the laws of optics and some heavy-duty computer power, seems to do the trick.结合光学定律和强大的计算机处理能力,这种方法似乎能够达到理想效果。Computerised tomography is most familiar as a medical technique for examining peoples insides.;电脑断层扫描术;是最广为人知的医学技术,主要用于人体内部检查。Like classical radiology it uses X-rays.与传统放射学相同,它也使用X射线。But because the image is constructed inside a computer using shots taken from many different directions, rather than being a single exposure recorded on photographic film, CT can capture fine detail and record soft tissues that are invisible to classical radiology.但是因为计算机构建内部图像时采集的是多角度拍摄数据,而不是靠摄影胶片上的单一曝光影像,所以电脑断层扫描术能够捕捉细节并记录下传统放射学无法看到的软组织。Dr Marschner and his colleagues used a benchtop version of CT, developed for looking at the structure of materials rather than at human bodies, for their experiment.马施纳士及其同事们采用了台式版本的CT进行实验,这种CT是被研制用来观察材料结构而非人体的。Employing doses of X-rays many times stronger than those used to study people, they obtained high-resolution information about small pieces of fabric.使用比人体研究高数倍的X射线剂量,他们获得了小块面料的高分辨率信息。Computerised tomography allows the three-dimensional structure of the fibres in such scraps to be recorded, with all their kinks and imperfections.;电脑断层扫描术;能够记录零碎面料的三维结构和所有的扭结和缺陷。A number of small pieces can then be patched together into an entire garment inside a computer, in the same way that a handful of actors are turned into a CGI crowd.然后计算机将大量细碎面料拼凑成一件完整的衣,采用同样方法,可将少数演员转换成电脑合成人像。But because the internal structure of each bit of the garment matches that of a real piece of cloth, the way light will play on it can be calculated far more realistically than if it were just a computer model of what the interior of cloth is thought to look like.但是因为这件装每片面料的内部结构都与真实布料匹配,因此与仅是看上去象布料的计算机衣模型相比,光线在其上的表现效果能够更加逼真。Demonstrating the results of their technique at the SIGGRAPH computer-graphics conference in Vancouver this week, Dr Marschner and his colleagues showed realistic renderings of felt, gaberdine, silk and velvet.本周,马施纳士及其同事们将他们的技术成果在温哥华举行的计算机图形会议上展示,并向人们演示了毛毡、华达呢、丝绸和天鹅绒的逼真效果图。Moreover, their renderings remain realistic even when viewed close up.此外,他们的效果图即使被放大观看依然很逼真。Sadly, skin is still beyond them.但可惜的是,他们仍然无法让皮肤实现这样的效果。The high intensity of the X-rays involved would be too damaging for use on a living human being, and a corpse would probably not produce the right results.因为高强度的X射线会对人体造成很大损伤,而采用尸体实验可能得不到正确的结果。But once the rendering technique has been speeded up (at the moment it is still a bit slow and clunky), the swish of a virtual cloak or the doffing of a computerised hat should look far more realistic than it does now.但是一旦绘图技术突飞猛进(目前技术仍有些缓慢和粗陋),虚拟斗篷的抖动或电脑生成帽子的脱落动作会比现在看上去更为逼真。In the meantime, according to Dr Marschners colleague Kavita Bala, the technology might have an application in online retailing.同时,马施纳士的同事卡维塔?巴拉表示这项技术可能会在网上零售业得到应用。At the moment, people buying clothes over the internet have only standard photographs to help them choose their purchases.目前,人们在网上购买衣物仅能通过浏览标准图片帮助选购。Using CT-based computer graphics might, paradoxically, give a better idea of what the material an item of clothing is made from is really like than can be garnered from a boring, old photograph of the original.相反,基于电脑断层扫描术的计算机图形技术可能提供了一个更好的办法,人们能够看到一件衣所使用材料的真实质地,而无须将令人生厌,老旧的原物照片收集来观看。 /201211/207628



  Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.近来吧,到我的客厅来,蜘蛛对苍蝇说道。At least thats usually the way it goes. In most showdowns between spiders and flies, the odds weigh heavily in the spiders favor. Today, however, well look at a few species of fly that manage to turn the tables on their eight legged foes.至少这种情形经常发生。在蜘蛛与苍蝇的较量中,蜘蛛的胜算占多数。今天,我们将会观察几种苍蝇,看它们是如何成功反击,打败那八条腿的敌人?When many spiders capture a fly, they dont eat it right away. Instead, they poison the fly and wrap it in silk. They leave this silk-wrapped package for later consumption, just the way you store food in your pantry instead of eating it all right there at the supermarket.许多蜘蛛捕获到一只苍蝇时,并不立即把它吃掉。相反它们会给苍蝇注射毒液,吐出蛛丝将其团团围住。它们留着苍蝇包裹晚点再享用。正如你逛完超市后把食品储存在食品柜里,而不是立刻就吃掉一样。Imagine yourself as a fly passing a web full of these wrapped-up dead flies. You might imagine youd be frightened by the spectacle of your comrades, wrapped up like so many Hostess Twinkies. Not so for the Microphorus crassipes. This fly species sees a spiders larder as a golden opportunity. Indeed, it gets most of its food by stealing these silk-wrapped packages--very carefully of course--from spiders.假想自己是一只苍蝇,正飞过挂满这种死苍蝇包裹的蛛网。你也许会被同伴们壮烈的惨象吓到。但是对Microphorus crassipes而言,却并不会如此。这种苍蝇视蜘蛛的储物柜为绝好的机会。确实,它通过偷取这些包裹来获取大部分食物,当然它也会十分小心地提防蜘蛛。Another type of fly found worldwide, called Robber Flies, take this thieving concept one step further. Instead of just stealing the spiders food, certain robber flies go after the spider itself. Robber flies have been seen snatching a spider off of the ground, carrying it away, and eating it.世界上另一种苍蝇——食虫虻,更进一步地发扬了这种偷盗概念。它不仅偷取蛛网上的食物,还跟踪蜘蛛。有人见过食虫虻将蜘蛛打翻在地,将其拖走食之。Even worse news for spiders: Theres a whole family of flies--the Small Headed flies--whose larvae actually develop inside a spiders body. These fly larvae burrow into a passing spider, then proceed to eat the spider from the inside out. Spider or fly, fly or spider. Betting on the spider isnt always a sure thing. 还有更令人发指的消息:有一种小头苍蝇,它们整个家族的幼虫都是在蜘蛛体内发育成熟的。这种幼虫趁蜘蛛走过时钻入其体内,接着就一点点由内到外吃掉蜘蛛。蜘蛛还是苍蝇,苍蝇还是蜘蛛,赌蜘蛛赢也不见得总是对的。原文译文属! 201207/189235

  Science and Technology Pesticides Smoking them out科技 农药 把它们熏死Tobacco extracts protect plants from pests and pathogens烟草提取物可用于植物病虫害THERE are, as Paracelsus put it, no poisons—only poisonous doses. That is certainly true of nicotine. The amount in a puff from a cigarette acts as a pleasant stimulus. The amount in a packet of 20, injected in one go, would kill you.巴拉赛尔士曾说:世上其实没有毒药,所谓的毒药只是有毒性罢了(更正:所谓的毒性只是剂量变化引起的而已)。对于尼古丁,这当然是确切无疑的。吸一口烟你可能会觉得神清气爽,但如果一次性把一包20的烟全下去(更正:但是如果一次性注射一包20烟的尼古丁剂量),可是会要了你的命的。The Victorians understood this and regularly used nicotine as a lethal poison—not for people (except in the minds of a few crime novelists) but for insects. The invention of modern, synthetic insecticides has more or less killed that practice off. But Cedric Briens of the University of Western Ontario is thinking of reviving it, and is also asking whether tobacco has any other pesticidal properties that might be exploited by the hard-pressed horticulturalist.维多利亚时代的人明白这一点,并且逐渐把尼古丁当做一种致命毒药来使用(更正:并且已经把尼古丁作为一种常见的致命毒药来使用)——不是用来杀人(除了在一些犯罪小说家的构思中),而是用来杀虫。而现代合成杀虫剂的发明在一定程度上结束了尼古丁的使命。现在,西安大略大学的塞德里克?布里安则又在考虑重新启用尼古丁,同时在设法验烟草是否具有一些穷困潦倒的园艺家曾苦苦追寻的杀虫效果(更正:同时在设法验烟草是否还有其他杀虫功能,期望可为饱受病虫害之苦的园艺家所利用)。To find out, Dr Briens and his colleagues at Canadas agriculture ministry ground up dried tobacco leaves using a blender and a sieve. They then heated the result in a pressurised, oxygen-free environment to distil out what they could in the form of a treacly oil. They tested this oil on 11 species of fungus and four types of bacterium that are common agricultural problems. They also tried it on the larvae of Colorado beetles, a notorious pest of potatoes.为此,布里安士和他在加拿大农业部的同事们用搅拌机和筛子将烟叶碾碎,然后将碾碎后的烟叶在高压、无氧环境下加热,提取出一种以粘稠油状存在的物质。他们用这种油对农业中常见的11种真菌和4种杆菌,以及一种常见的令人闻之生厌的马铃薯害虫——科罗拉多甲虫进行了试验。As they report in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, the researchers found that several pestilential organisms were affected by the oil. Specifically they discovered that Pythium ultimum, a fungus that attacks aubergines, peppers, lettuces, tomatoes and cucumbers as seedlings, Clavibacter michiganensis, a bacterium that kills young plants and deforms fruits, and Streptomyces scabies, a second bacterium, which causes potatoes to develop revolting scabs and for which no treatment currently exists, all stopped growing in the presence of the oil. The beetle larvae, too, were killed—though that was no surprise, since the oil contained a lot of nicotine.他们的研究结果发表在《工业化学与工程化学研究》上。研究报告显示这种油对好几种有害的有机生物有作用。研究明确地发现,在这种油的作用下,危害幼苗期茄子、青椒、莴苣、番茄、黄瓜的真菌——腐霉病菌,可使幼苗致死、果实畸形的杆菌——马铃薯环腐病菌,以及另一种导致马铃薯烂痂病,且目前没有有效防治方法的杆菌——疥链霉菌,均被抑制生长。此外,甲虫幼虫也可被杀死——这其实是意料之中的,因为这种油里含有大量的尼古丁。What was a surprise was that removing this nicotine did not diminish the oils effectiveness against bacteria and fungi, and made it only marginally less effective against beetle larvae. The crude oil killed all of the larvae whereas the nicotine-free stuff left a fifth of them alive after two days. Clearly, there are other pesticides at work, and finding what they are is the next task. Meanwhile tobacco has proved itself a more useful substance than even the Victorians realised. Can its rehabilitation be far off?但意料之外的是,将这种油去除后,对细菌和真菌的影响作用却并没有降低,只是对甲虫幼虫的作用在一定程度上减轻了。布满这种油的环境中,所有的甲虫幼虫都被杀死,散乱分布的情况下,两天后也只有五分之一存活。显然,其它具有杀虫作用的物质在起作用,下一步任务就是找出这些物质。这些发现明了烟草不止可以用来做香烟,它甚至具有比维多利亚时代的发现更大的作用。如此,烟草的这种;复兴;还会远吗? /201301/222706


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