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  • What if I told you that there's a plan to bring back wooly mammoths back to Siberia?

    如果我告訴你,現在有一個想讓猛獁象重回西伯利亞的計劃,你會怎麼想?

  • Wild right?!? And if resurrecting a 6-ton creature that's been extinct for about 4,000 years isn't crazy enough, wait till you hear this:

    很瘋狂對吧?而如果你覺得復活一個已經滅絕了約 4000 年,重達 6 噸的生物還不夠瘋狂,那好好聽著以下消息:

  • They're hoping to enlist these shaggy creatures to help us solve a mammoth-sized problem.

    他們希望徵召這些毛茸茸的生物來幫助我們解決一個跟猛獁象一樣龐大的問題。

  • But before we get to that particular issue, we've got to rewind, about 20,000 years ago.

    但在我們具體討論這個問題之前,我們得先倒回去到大約兩萬年前左右。

  • Let's hit the scene!

    讓我們去現場看看吧!

  • It was a time when giant woolly mammoths roamed the grasslands of Northern Siberia.

    那是個巨大的猛獁象還在北西伯利亞草原上游蕩的時代。

  • During this time, much of the water on the planet was busy being ice,

    在這段時期,地球上大部分的水都處於結冰狀態,

  • which made the rest of the northern hemisphere a dry grassland ecosystem that was sorta like a cold-weather version of the African Savanna.

    使得北半球的其他地區變成了乾燥的草原生態系統,有點像是寒冷氣候版的非洲疏林草原那樣。

  • It's known as the Mammoth Steppe, and the abundant grassland was perfect for large grazing herbivores like bison, oxen, reindeer, and of course, the wooly mammoth.

    這樣的地貌被稱為猛獁象草原,而這個資源豐富的草場是如野牛、黃牛、馴鹿,還有當然也名列其中的猛獁象等大型食草動物的完美選擇。

  • Mammoths were great ecosystem engineers.

    猛獁象是傑出的生態系工程師。

  • They knocked down trees and shrubs, making room for light colored grasses that reflected more sunlight than the darker trees, keeping ground temperatures cooler.

    牠們會推倒樹木和灌木,為與深色樹木相比能反射更多陽光的淺色草地騰出空間,保持地面的溫度維持在較低狀態。

  • In the winter, they trampled through the snow, exposing the ground to the arctic chill.

    在冬天,牠們會踐踏雪地,將地面暴露在北極的寒風中。

  • By maintaining their grassland home, they also protected a perpetually-frozen layer of carbon-rich soil underneath, called permafrost.

    在維護它們的草原家園的同時,牠們也保護了一個富含碳元素,被稱為「永凍土」的永久凍結土層。

  • By the end of the last Ice Age though, most of the mammoths vanished, and the grasses of the steppe did too.

    然而到了上個冰河時期末期,大部分的猛獁象與草原上的草都消失了。

  • We don't know whether to point the finger at humans, climate, or some other cause, but what we do know is that the ecosystem changed significantly.

    我們不知道應該把矛頭指向人類、氣候或其他原因,但我們所知道的是,當時的生態系統發生了重大變化。

  • Fast forward to today, and the arctic is warmer and wetter. That poses a serious problem for our climate.

    一路快轉到到今天,北極地區變得更加溫暖且潮溼。這給我們的氣候帶來了一個嚴重的問題。

  • The human-induced rise in global temperatures is causing the permafrost to melt.

    人類引起的全球氣溫上升正在導致永凍土的融化。

  • During an almost twenty year period, scientists saw the arctic permafrost lose approximately 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon each winter.

    在近 20 年的時間裡,科學家們發現北極的永凍土層每年冬天大約會釋放處 17 億公噸的二氧化碳。

  • And if it continues to thaw, that carbon-rich soil will decompose, emitting enormous amounts of greenhouse gases, equivalent to burning all the forests on the planet three times.

    如果它繼續解凍,這些富含碳元素的土壤將被分解,並排放出大量的溫室氣體,其數量相當於重複燃燒地球上所有的森林整整三次。

  • By reintroducing thousands of woolly mammoths back to Siberia, scientists hope to restore the grasslands that once protected the permafrost.

    通過重新引入成千上萬的長毛象回到西伯利亞,科學家們希望能藉此恢復曾經保護永凍土的草場。

  • But to do that, they need to start with one woolly mammoth, and we're all out at the moment, so I guess someone's got to make one!

    但要做到這一點,他們首先需要有一頭長毛象,而我們現在連一隻也沒有,所以得先有人變一隻出來才行!

  • A new company called Colossal is up to the challenge.

    一家名為 Colossal 的新公司正準備面對這個挑戰。

  • Leading the team is George Church, a key member of the Human Genome Project, who pioneered the genomic sequencing techniques that we use today.

    領導這個團隊的是喬治·丘奇,他是「人類基因組計劃」中的關鍵人員,開創了我們今天所使用的基因組測序技術。

  • The team hopes to use ancient DNA recovered from unearthed mammoths to fight the climate crisis.

    該團隊希望利用從出土的猛獁象身上找到的古代 DNA 來對抗氣候危機。

  • Only problem is? DNA degrades over time, getting damaged by water, radiation, and exposure to air.

    唯一的問題是?DNA會隨著時間的推移而退化,被水、輻射和空氣所破壞。

  • Even the very best samples are missing data, so the DNA can't be used to make an exact clone.

    即使是非常好的樣本也依然缺少一些數據,所以無法單用 DNA 來製作出做一個精確的複製品。

  • So, the team turned to the Asian elephant, the mammoth's closest living relative.

    因此,研究小組把目光投向了亞洲象,也就是目前仍存在的生物中,親緣關係最接近猛獁象的動物。

  • Even though there's a difference of 1.4 million DNA letters between the two species, they still share 99.6% of their genetic makeup.

    儘管這兩個物種之間有 140 萬個 DNA 字串的差異,牠們仍共享了 99.6% 的基因組成。

  • The group selected more than 50 traits that helped mammoths tolerate the cold,

    該小組選擇了 50 多個能幫助猛獁象忍受寒冷氣候的特徵,

  • like smaller ears and shorter tails to reduce heat loss and frostbite, a thick layer of fat to stay warm, and their signature fur coat.

    例如較小的耳朵和較短的尾巴以減少熱量損失和凍傷、一層厚厚的脂肪來保持溫暖,以及牠們標誌性的厚重毛皮。

  • Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, they're cutting the specific sections of the Asian elephant DNA, and copying and pasting the mammoth traits in their place.

    利用 CRISPR/Cas9 基因編輯技術,他們正在分割出亞洲象 DNA 的特定部分,然後將猛獁象的特徵複製並黏貼上去。

  • Next, they'll need to transfer an elephant nucleus with the hybrid DNA into an elephant egg cell, which has never been done before.

    接下來,他們需要將帶有混合 DNA 的大象細胞核轉移到一個大象的卵細胞中,而這是尚未有人達成的創舉。

  • Electrical pulses simulate fertilization, causing the egg to divide and create an embryo. And here's where things get even more interesting.

    電子脈衝會模擬受精過程,導致卵子分裂並創造出一個胚胎。接下來事情便會開始變得更加有趣起來。

  • The plan is for the embryo to develop in an artificial womb.

    該計劃是讓胚胎在人工子宮中發育。

  • This technique was already tested back in 2017 on premature lambs,

    這項技術早在 2017 年就曾在早產的羔羊身上進行過測試,

  • but building an artificial uterus big enough to house a 2000-pound-mega-fetus for its entire 22-month development has yet to be attempted.

    但還沒有人嘗試過打造一個能在整個 22 個月的發育過程中,足以容納一個 2000 磅重的巨型胎兒的人工子宮。

  • If they're successful, the result will be a mammoth-elephant hybrid that some are calling a "mammophant", orelemoth”.

    如果他們成功了,結果將會是猛獁象與大象的混合體,有些人把牠稱為「猛毛象」或是「大獁象」。

  • If Colossal's hybrids are going to protect the permafrost, they'll need to get started quickly.

    如果 Colossal 創造出的混血象想要保護永凍土的話,那他們可得趕快開始。

  • But with a timeline of 5 years for the birth of the first calf, and at least 14 until the animal is old enough to reproduce,

    但是他們預計還要 5 年才能產下第一隻幼象,而且還至少要再等 14 年牠才會有生育能力,

  • these hybrid elephants might not be helping us solve our climate crisis anytime soon.

    這些混血大象短時間內可能沒辦法幫助我們解決氣候危機。

  • In the meantime, the tech can still be used for a bunch of really game-changing research.

    但於此同時,該技術仍可用於許多能真正改變世界的研究。

  • Like improving artificial wombs to help premature infants, helping the endangered Asian elephant become more resilient to disease,

    例如改進人工子宮以幫助早產兒、幫助瀕臨滅絕的亞洲大象,讓牠們更不容易生病,

  • and making genetic tweaks to animal organs so they're more suitable for transplant into humans.

    還有對動物的器官進行基因微調,好讓它們更適合用來移植到人類身上。

  • While this all sounds really cool, there are a lot of technical hurdles and ethical questions that remain unanswered, like should we even bring back an extinct species?

    雖然這一切都聽起來非常的酷,但其中也有很多技術上的障礙和倫理上的問題仍未得到解決,比如我們到底應不應該復育已經絕種的物種?

  • So while we wrestle with these questions, this visionary program could inspire equally ambitious projects that we'll need to tackle the climate crisis in the years to come.

    在我們苦苦思索這些問題的同時,這個有遠見的計劃可以激發其他能幫助我們在未來數年解決氣候危機,同樣雄心勃勃的項目。

  • And who knows, one day we may see our woolly friends walk the earth again.

    而誰知道呢,搞不好有一天我們真的能再次看到我們的毛茸茸朋友們再次在地球上昂首闊步。

  • If my mention of artificial wombs piqued your curiosity, check out this video on why scientists grew a lamb in a bag!

    如果我剛才提到的人造子宮激起了你的好奇心,那就看看這部影片,了解科學家們為什麼要再一個袋子裡培養一隻羊吧!

  • So can we just hitundoon the extinction of animals like the woolly mammoth? Should we even be doing that?

    所以,我們真的能像是按下「復原」鍵那樣重現像是毛茸茸猛瑪象這樣的絕種動物嗎?我們真的該這麼做嗎?

  • Let us know in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe and thanks for watching Seeker.

    在下面的評論中告訴我們你的想法吧。請務必記得訂閱,並感謝你觀看 Seeker。

What if I told you that there's a plan to bring back wooly mammoths back to Siberia?

如果我告訴你,現在有一個想讓猛獁象重回西伯利亞的計劃,你會怎麼想?

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讓長毛象迴歸的瘋狂計劃 (The Wild Plan To Bring Back Woolly Mammoths)

  • 11 1
    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 20 日
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