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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻地球篇:地球上到底有多少生命?

Lily85 于2013-04-06发布 l 已有人浏览
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魅力十足的巨型动物可能抓住了所有人的眼球,但是变形虫,线形虫还有微生物才是地球上占大多数的生命。那么在海底有多少微生物呢?美国国家科学院最近的一份研究报告表
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The charismatic megafauna may get all the attention, but it's amoebas, nematodes and microbes that make up the bulk of life on Earth. So how many microbes are in the sea floor? A new analysis published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Science suggests there are fewer cells than previously proposed.
魅力十足的巨型动物可能抓住了所有人的眼球,但是变形虫,线形虫还有微生物才是地球上占大多数的生命。那么在海底有多少微生物呢?美国国家科学院最近的一份研究报告表明细胞总数比之前提出的要少。

Based on transects and sediment samples, scientists now estimate that there are 29,000 quadrillion cells in the subsurface of the ocean—their numbers constrained by a lack of available food in places where sedimentation rates are low. Of course, it is microbes living in just such extreme conditions that are challenging scientists' notion of what constitutes life by surviving for thousands of years.
基于横断面和沉淀物样本,科学家们估计有2900亿亿个细胞生长在次表层海洋里。在那些沉积物比率偏低的地方食物有限,因此细胞的数量也受到限制。当然,微生物就是在这种极端的环境下生存,这也挑战了科学家们对于微生物的认知,是什么维持着这些繁衍了数千年的海底生命。

We also don't know much about what's going on with the massive microbial biomes in the soil or deep beneath the Earth—microscopic worms that prey on bacteria have been found thriving more than a kilometer down. Estimates of microbial biomass, like estimates of the number of species on the planet, are only loose approximations.
对于土壤里或者地球深处的巨大的微生物群落发生了什么,我们也知之不多。以细菌为食的微型蠕虫在地底一千米处被发现,它们在那里繁衍生息。微生物数量的估计值只能大致接近事实,就像估计地球上物种数量一样。

The truth is: we have no idea how much life there is on Earth. And we've only just begun even attempting to find out.
事实是:我们根本不知道地球上有多少生命。我们才刚刚开始试图找到答案。

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