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  • In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, there's a banishment spell that declares, "Be far from me, O vile cockroach.”

    譯者: Leigh Yapp 審譯者: Bruce Sung在古埃及的《亡靈書》中 有一段驅逐咒是這麼說的

  • More than 3,000 years later, we're still trying to oust these insects.


  • But from poison traps to hastily brandished slippers, cockroaches seem to weather just about everything we throw at them.

    三千多年過後,我們仍舊 嘗試著要趕走這些昆蟲只是,從毒餌陷阱到 揮舞中的拖鞋

  • So what makes cockroaches so hard to kill?

    蟑螂似乎能夠經受起 我們對牠們做出的一切

  • There are nearly 5,000 cockroach species.

    那麼,是什麼原因 讓蟑螂這麼難被殺死?

  • 99% of them live in a range of habitats where they play important ecological roles by recycling dead or decaying organic matter and nourishing other animals.

    世界上有將近五千種 蟑螂的品種99% 的品種在一系列的棲息地中 發揮了重要的生態作用 牠們回收死亡或腐爛的有機物

  • But a couple dozen species adapted to live in close association with humans.


  • German and American cockroaches are among the most common.

    但有幾十個物種已經適應了 與人類密切相關的生活

  • And they owe their resilience to a combination of physical and chemical adaptations.

    德國蟑螂和美國蟑螂就包含在 最常見的這幾個品種當中牠們的復原能力歸功於一個組合

  • When it comes to old-fashioned removal methods, they're troublingly tenacious.


  • An American cockroach's sensory hairs or structures pick up subtle air currents and rapidly send signals to its central nervous system.

    牠們頑強對抗的程度可是令人擔憂美國蟑螂可以利用感覺毛或是 感覺結構去捕捉細微的氣流

  • The roach can then turn and sprint away within a few milliseconds.

    然後迅速發出訊號 給體內的中樞神經系統

  • And it's among the fastest invertebrates ever recorded, reaching speeds of up to 50 body lengths per second.

    蟑螂可以在幾毫秒內轉身 然後飛奔離開牠們是有紀錄以來 速度最快的無脊椎動物之一

  • This would be the human equivalent of running more than 300 kilometers per hour.

    移動速度高達 每秒五十倍體長的距離

  • And finding a hiding place is no problem.


  • With its flattened, flexible body, an American cockroach can squeeze into spaces less than a quarter of its height.


  • Even if we do land a hit, it can withstand compressive forces of up to 900 times its own weight by distributing the impact along its body.

    一隻美國蟑螂可以擠進一個 不及其身高四分之一的空間裡即使我們真的要打蟑螂,牠也能 承受自身重量九百倍的壓縮力

  • And the cockroach's toughness doesn't end there.

    因為牠會把這股力量 分散到全身各處

  • Cockroaches can eat a variety of organic matter, including hair, dead skin, adhesives, and paper.


  • This is made possible by an expansive set of digestive enzymes.


  • Cockroaches are able to thrive even in nutrient-poor environments.

    牠們能以這些東西為食,是因為 一組廣泛的消化酵素的關係

  • Roaches often eat decaying foods that are low in nitrogenan essential component of DNA and proteins.

    蟑螂即便待在營養匱乏的環境中 一樣可以活得好好的蟑螂通常是吃腐爛的食物 其氮元素的含量很低

  • But they survive by storing nitrogen-containing wastes in their bodies and having a resident group of bacteria recycle the nitrogen into useful molecules for them.

    氮對於 DNA 和蛋白質來說 是不可或缺的元素蟑螂藉著在體內儲存 含有氮的廢物來生存 並且讓體內的常駐菌群

  • Meanwhile, German cockroaches will eat their own poop, vomit, and dead or dying colony members without hesitation.

    將氮回收轉化為有益的分子德國蟑螂會吃下自己的大便和嘔吐物 還有那些死亡的,或垂死的同伴

  • An American cockroach will frolic in sewers, consuming excrement and toting microbes like Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli.

    一點兒都不會猶豫美國蟑螂會在地下水道尋樂 大快朵頤排泄物

  • But they'll rarely suffer any consequences.

    身上還攜帶著像是金黃色葡萄球菌 或是大腸桿菌的病原

  • This is because they're equipped with genes that provide immunity against numerous pathogens.


  • These genes are often duplicated many times over.


  • So when infected, the cockroach's immune system efficiently unleashes many antimicrobial molecules.


  • Cockroaches also have a slew of defenses against pesticides.

    牠們的免疫系統就會釋放出 許多抗微生物的分子

  • When a non-resistant roach walks on a surface that's been sprayed with a pyrethroid insecticide, for example, the results will likely be fatal.

    蟑螂也有一連串可以 對抗殺蟲劑的防禦措施例如,一隻無抗藥性的蟑螂走過一片 被噴灑了類除蟲菊精 殺蟲劑的表面時

  • Once absorbed, the chemical binds to sodium channel proteins, which help propagate nerve impulses.

    可能會有致命的結果一旦殺蟲劑被吸收,其化學物質 就會與鈉離子通道蛋白結合

  • The pyrethroid keeps the sodium channels open, so the nerves fire repeatedly.

    進而傳播神經衝動類除蟲菊精可以 讓鈉離子通道保持開通

  • And soon, the cockroach dies.


  • But if a resistant roach is exposed to pyrethroids, it'll be just fine.


  • Genetic mutations have given them sodium channels that the pyrethroids can't bind to.

    但若是有抗藥性的蟑螂接觸到 類除蟲菊精,牠們會毫髮無傷基因突變使得牠們有了 另外一種鈉離子通道

  • The cockroach also produces more detoxification enzymes, which render the pesticide harmless, and the cockroach simply excretes it as a waste.

    讓類除蟲菊精無法和通道蛋白結合牠們還產生了更多的解毒酵素 使得殺蟲劑對牠們不具作用

  • Because German cockroaches reproduce especially quickly, populations may evolve resistance to a new pesticide within months.

    牠們只是把殺蟲劑 當成廢物一樣排出體外因為德國蟑螂繁衍的速度特別快

  • So far, they're already resistant to 43 different chemicals.

    各群體可能在幾個月內 就會對新的殺蟲劑產生抗藥性

  • But contrary to popular belief, cockroaches would probably not survive a nuclear apocalypse.

    至今,牠們已經對四十三種 不同的化學物質產生抗藥性但,與大眾看法相反的是

  • Compared with other insects, cockroaches are only mildly tolerant to radiation.


  • They would die near the sites of nuclear explosions and would still be severely compromised miles away.


  • Moreover, disasters that threaten humanity also jeopardize the habitats and buffets we provide roaches.

    並且在數英里之外 依然還會受到嚴重的損害此外,威脅到人類的災難

  • Perhaps the only way to beat them is through our mutual destruction.

    也會危及到我們供給蟑螂的 棲息地和食物來源

  • Or maybe cockroaches would find even more surprising ways to thrive long after we're gone.

    也許唯一能戰勝牠們的方法 是透過我們互相毀滅又或是,蟑螂會自己找到 令人驚奇的活路

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, there's a banishment spell that declares, "Be far from me, O vile cockroach.”

譯者: Leigh Yapp 審譯者: Bruce Sung在古埃及的《亡靈書》中 有一段驅逐咒是這麼說的


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Why are cockroaches so hard to kill? - Ameya Gondhalekar

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    たらこ 發佈於 2022 年 04 月 17 日