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Are these robots alive?

全球首个可繁殖活体机器人问世

中文 英文 双语 2022-01-07    来源:21世纪学生英文报·高三     
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导读:可以自我繁殖的活体机器人诞生了!这种“异种机器人”究竟是有机体还是机器人?

This image shows an entirely new form of biological reproduction. IC

Living robots can reproduce on their own in a dish. This is not a science-fiction movie, but the result of a new research. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US on Nov 29.
活体机器人可以在培养皿中自我繁殖。这不是科幻电影,而是一项新研究结果,该结果发表在11月29日《美国国家科学院院刊》上。

Xenobots, a type of tiny robot, were first created in 2020, using cells taken from the embryo of an African frog species. Under the right lab conditions, the cells formed small structures that could self-assemble, move in groups and react to their environment. Now, the researchers have found that xenobots can also self-replicate, according to the journal of New Scientist.
2020年,研究团队用非洲爪蟾胚胎中的细胞,首次创造了一种微型机器人——“异种机器人”。在合适的实验室条件下,其细胞会形成小型结构,并能够自我组合,成群活动,并对环境做出反应。据《新科学家》杂志报道,现在研究人员发现,异种机器人也可以自我复制。

Xenobots straddle an unusual line. Are they living organisms or robots? They are organisms because they are made of stem cells and can reproduce. But they are also robots because they can move on their own and perform physical labor, co-author Sam Kriegman told The Washington Post.
异种机器人跨越了一条不同寻常的界线。它们是活生生的有机体,还是机器人?异种机器人是有机体,因为机器人由干细胞组成,可以繁殖。但联合研究人员山姆·克雷格曼在接受《华盛顿邮报》采访时表示,异种机器人也是机器人,因为它们可以自行移动,并从事体力劳动。

“People have thought for quite a long time that we’ve worked out all the ways that life can reproduce or replicate. But this is something that’s never been observed before,” co-author Douglas Blackiston, a senior scientist at Tufts University in the US, told Science Daily website.
来自美国塔夫茨大学的联合研究人员、资深科学家道格拉斯•布莱克斯顿在接受《科学日报》网站采访时表示:“很长一段时间以来,人类一直认为我们已经找到了繁殖生命或者复制生命的所有方式。但异种机器人是以前从未注意过的。”

The ability to replicate adds a new layer of potential utility to the robots. Kriegman told The Washington Post that while xenobots are not yet commercially useful, they have the potential to provide a number of services, from cleaning up microplastics in the ocean to safely delivering drugs to a specific spot in a person’s body.
机器人拥有复制能力,这为其增加了一层潜在的功用。克雷格曼在接受《华盛顿邮报》采访时表示,虽然异种机器人还没用作商业用途,但其拥有提供一系列服务的潜力,从清理海洋中的微塑料,到将药物安全运送到人体内的特定位置。

However, the creation of xenobots comes with concerns. Some think more advanced future xenobots, especially ones that live longer and reproduce, could out-compete other species, according to The Conversation, an Australia news media.
然而,异种机器人的诞生也引发了一些担忧。据澳大利亚新闻媒体The Conversation报道,一些人认为未来更先进的异种机器人,特别是那些寿命更长、繁殖能力更强的机器人,可能会在竞争中胜过其他物种。

The researchers think these risks are manageable. “If you change the amount of sodium in that water to be too high or too low, they’ll die,” Kriegman told The Washington Post. “If there’s a piece of copper in the dish, they’ll all die. It’s an extremely controllable and stoppable and safe system.”
研究人员认为这些风险是可控的。“如果你把水中的钠含量调得过高或过低,异种机器人就会死亡。”克雷格曼在接受《华盛顿邮报》采访时表示,“如果培养皿里放上一块铜,异种机器人就会全部死掉。这是一个非常可控、可停止的、安全的系统。”

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》高三766期
辞海拾贝
Proceedings论文集 Embryo胚胎
Self-assemble自行组装 Self-replicate自行复制
Straddle跨越 Organisms有机体
Stem cells干细胞 Utility功用
Microplastics微塑料 Sodium
Copper 


 


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