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Is human hibernation possible?

人类为什么不冬眠?

中文 英文 双语 2021-12-09    来源:21世纪学生英文报·高二     
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导读:许多动物会靠冬眠过冬,为什么人类却不冬眠?有一个机构正认真对待这个问题……

Black bears hibernate to get through winter. TUCHONG

With low temperatures and a lack of food, winter is a harsh season for animals. Many animals enter hibernation to get through it.
冬天温度较低、食物短缺,对于动物来说是一个严酷的季节。许多动物靠冬眠来过冬。

Hibernation is when an animal goes into a state of extended inactivity. Animals hide away from predators. Their metabolism will slow to less than a quarter of its normal rate. This cools the creature’s body and slows its heartbeat to just a few times per minute, for up to months at a time.
冬眠指动物进入长时间的生命活动极低的状态。冬眠时,动物会避开捕食者,将新陈代谢速度减慢至正常速度的四分之一以下。这会让动物的体温降低,心跳减慢至每分钟几次,而这种状态每次会持续至数月。

But why don’t humans hibernate? Human hibernation doesn’t exist for many reasons. Our body is not designed for hibernation. Our evolutionary ancestors were tropical animals with no history of hibernating: Humans have only migrated into temperate and subarctic latitudes in the last hundred thousand years or so. That’s not quite long enough to evolve all the metabolic adaptations we would need to be able to hibernate, according to the BBC Science Focus Magazine.
但是人类为什么不冬眠呢?人类不冬眠有很多原因。人类的身体不适合冬眠。我们进化学上的祖先是没有冬眠历史的热带动物:人类在过去大约10万年里,才迁移到温带和靠近北极地区。据英国广播公司《科学焦点》杂志报道,这段时间还不够长,人类无法进化出冬眠所需的所有代谢适应能力。

For example, waste management is a huge challenge for human hibernation. Animals that hibernate are able to essentially stop their urination and defecation during hibernation, sometimes through a process of reabsorption to preserve nutrients. Unfortunately, humans can’t do this.
例如,处理代谢废物就是人类冬眠会面临的巨大挑战,冬眠的动物基本上能够在冬眠期间停止排尿、排便,有时它们还会重新吸收废物来保存营养。不幸的是,人类做不到这一点。

There are other challenges. Body temperatures below 2.8 C tend to disrupt the human digestive tract and may cause pain. Cold temperatures can also suppress the immune system, making people more vulnerable to infections, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
人类冬眠还面临其他挑战。人体温度如果低于2.8摄氏度,往往会损害人体的消化道,而且可能引发疼痛。据《史密森尼杂志》报道,低温还会降低免疫系统活跃性,人们会更容易受到感染。

In fact, humans don’t need to sleep through winter. We have discovered fire, clothes, shelter, hunting and agriculture, all of which are much more effective ways of surviving the cold.
实际上,人类不需要靠睡觉过冬。我们发现通过生火、穿衣、躲进房屋中能够避寒,依靠狩猎和农耕可以果腹,所有这些手段帮助人类更有效地度过严寒。

Could humans hibernate in the future? For long-distance space travel, it’s likely. A journey to Mars would take around months using current technology. If we hope to visit another star system, even if we could travel at the speed of light, the journey would take years. Being able to hibernate would make such distances considerably less boring for the astronauts and conserve vital resources, according to University of Oxford in the UK.
在未来,人类会冬眠吗?如果踏上长途太空旅行,人类很可能会冬眠。凭借目前的技术,人类去往火星需要几个月的时间。如果我们希望去到另一个星系,即使能以光速旅行,这段旅程也需要数年。英国牛津大学研究表明,如果能够令宇航员进入冬眠,将大幅减少其在漫长航程中的无聊感,并节约重要的资源。

NASA is treating this question seriously. Beginning in 2014, the agency funded research on long-term hibernation as a way to facilitate long-term space travel, according to The Atlantic magazine.
美国航空航天局(NASA)正在认真对待人类冬眠的问题。据《大西洋月刊》报道,NASA从2014年起资助了一项有关长期冬眠的研究,希望以这种方式推动长期太空旅行发展。

21英语网站版权说明  (Translator & Editor: Li Xinzhu AND Luo Sitian)


以上文章内容选自《21世纪学生英文报高中版》,详情请见《21世纪学生英文报高中版》高二849期
辞海拾贝
Harsh恶劣的 Hibernation冬眠
Predators天敌 Metabolism新陈代谢
Migrated迁徙 Temperate and subarctic latitudes温带和靠近北极地区
Urination排尿 Defecation排便
Nutrients养分 Digestive tract消化道
Suppress抑制 Immune免疫的


 


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