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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻科技篇:流感为什么在冬季爆发?

Lily85 于2013-04-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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在冬季,美国的流感病例达到高峰。但是为什么呢?一项新的研究显示流感爆发与温度无关,而是与湿度有关。或者说由于缺乏湿度。因为在温带地区,流感病毒在天气干燥时传播
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Cases of the flu peak in winter in the U.S. But why? A new study suggests it's not the heat, but the humidity. Or lack thereof. Because in temperate regions, the influenza virus fares best when the weather is dry. That's according to work published in the journal PLoS One.
在冬季,美国的流感病例达到高峰。但是为什么呢?一项新的研究显示流感爆发与温度无关,而是与湿度有关。或者说由于缺乏湿度。因为在温带地区,流感病毒在天气干燥时传播地最厉害。这项研究发表在《公共科学图书馆》期刊上。

Scientists have long debated why flu erupts when the days grow chilly. Is it that we spend more time cooped up together indoors? Or is there something about the virus that likes it cold and dry? To find out, researchers suspended influenza virus in a solution that mimics human mucus. They incubated this infectious soup at different humidities and measured viral survival.
科学家们一直在争论为什么天气越冷,流感越容易爆发?是因为我们花更多时间一起呆在室内吗?还是因为病毒喜欢寒冷和干燥?为了找到答案,研究人员将流感病毒培育在一种类似于人类粘液的容器内。他们在不同湿度的溶液中培育这种病毒,并测量病毒的存活率。

And they found that at low humidity, the fake mucus dries up and the virus does just fine. But when the humidity tops 50%, the droplets only partially evaporate, leaving behind a solution that's too salty for the virus to thrive.
他们发现在低湿度、“类人粘液”干涸后,病毒的确完好。但是当湿度达到50%,只有部分的液滴蒸发,这种溶液因盐度过大不适于细菌生长。

Interestingly, the virus does well again when the humidity,reaches 100 percent, evaporation stops and the salinity of the mucus bath is just right. That could explain why the flu prefers to hit the tropics in rainy season. And why you should always keep your nose clean, but moist.
有趣的是,当湿度达到100%时,病毒会再次生长,此时溶液不再蒸发,粘液的盐度也适中。这就能解释为什么流感倾向于在热带地区的雨季爆发。这也是为什么你总是擤鼻涕,却总也擤不完。

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