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  • The search for alien life in the Universe

    尋找宇宙中的外星生命

  • is one of the most intriguing quests of our time.

    是我們這個時代最耐人尋味的任務之一。

  • From UFOs and little green aliens

    從UFO和綠色小外星人

  • to the possibility of life in the underground aquifers of Mars,

    到火星地下含水層中存在生命的可能性。

  • there's no end to speculation as to what form this life could take

    對這種生命可能採取的形式的猜測是無止境的。

  • and how it could have developed.

    以及它可能如何發展。

  • There's even a raft of videos on the internet

    互聯網上甚至有很多視頻

  • speculating that aliens must have visited

    猜測外星人一定訪問過

  • ancient civilisations on Earth,

    地球上的古代文明。

  • because otherwise, how else could the Mayans have built

    因為否則,瑪雅人怎麼可能建造出

  • their incredible temples.

    他們令人難以置信的寺廟。

  • Spoiler - there is no evidence at all for this.

    劇透--根本沒有證據證明這一點。

  • Frankly, if I was a Mayan stoneworker from 250AD,

    坦率地說,如果我是公元250年的瑪雅石匠。

  • I would find it deeply insulting.

    我會覺得這是對我的深深侮辱。

  • But a more interesting theory, and one which has more credibility,

    但一個更有趣的理論,也是一個更有可信度的理論。

  • is that of panspermia.

    是泛生論的觀點。

  • That life exists throughout the Universe

    宇宙中存在生命

  • and can be transported through space from one location to another.

    並能通過空間從一個地方傳送到另一個地方。

  • Although it's certainly not proven,

    雖然這肯定沒有得到證實。

  • a team of prominent scientists from MIT and Harvard

    一個由麻省理工學院和哈佛大學的著名科學家組成的團隊

  • have been working on a theory that some form of life

    一直在研究一種理論,即某種形式的生命

  • was actually delivered to Mars in this way.

    實際上是以這種方式被送到火星上的。

  • Here's what we know.

    以下是我們知道的情況。

  • Life is incredibly adaptable, just look at the way our own species

    生命具有令人難以置信的適應性,只要看看我們自己的物種如何

  • has managed to thrive across the globe,

    已經成功地在全球範圍內茁壯成長。

  • and microorganisms, such as archaea and bacteria,

    和微生物,如古菌和細菌。

  • over the course of millions of years of evolution

    在數百萬年的進化過程中

  • have been able to modify themselves

    已經能夠修改自己

  • in order to adapt to a vast range of conditions.

    以適應廣泛的條件。

  • This means that today there are microbes that can survive

    這意味著,今天有一些微生物可以生存在

  • on a variety of diets - sulphur, ammonia, the metal manganese,

    在各種飲食中--硫、氨、金屬錳。

  • and in the presence or absence of oxygen.

    並在有或沒有氧氣的情況下。

  • Some even survive in the most extreme conditions Earth has to offer.

    有些人甚至在地球所能提供的最極端條件下生存。

  • Pyrococcus furiosus (don't you love that name?)

    憤怒的火球菌(你不喜歡這個名字嗎?)

  • thrives in hydrothermal vents on the seafloor.

    在海底的熱液噴口中茁壯成長。

  • It's optimal growing temperature is 100 degrees Celsius.

    它的最佳生長溫度是100攝氏度。

  • Whereas the Antarctic psychrobacter frigidicola

    而南極的精神細菌frigidicola

  • prefers things decidedly chillier.

    他喜歡更冷的東西。

  • You can also find these extremophiles hanging out in hot acid,

    你還可以發現這些極端的嗜熱菌在熱酸中閒逛。

  • or surviving desiccation in salt-crusted deserts.

    或在鹽殼化的沙漠中生存的乾燥。

  • And some of these microbes can even deal with several extremes at once.

    而這些微生物中的一些甚至可以同時處理幾個極端的情況。

  • Deinococcus radiodurans can be found in both hot springs

    放射性球菌可在兩種溫泉中發現

  • and Antarctic soil,

    和南極的土壤。

  • survive desiccation, and is one of the most radiation-resistant

    在乾燥中生存,並且是抗輻射能力最強的動物之一。

  • organisms we know.

    我們知道的生物體。

  • So these extremophiles are probably the most oven-ready organisms

    是以,這些極端嗜水生物可能是最適合烘烤的生物體

  • to survive and, potentially, colonise the hostile environments

    以求得生存,並有可能在惡劣的環境中進行殖民。

  • of other planets and moons,

    的其他行星和衛星。

  • as long as there's liquid water at least some of the time.

    只要至少在某些時候有液態水,就可以。

  • How would these tiny microbes

    這些微小的微生物將如何

  • even make the journey to these other places?

    甚至去這些其他地方的旅程?

  • Well, the easiest way is to hitch a ride with us

    好吧,最簡單的方法是搭我們的便車

  • as we explore our solar system and beyond.

    當我們探索我們的太陽系和其他地方時。

  • Tersicoccus phoenicis is a becterium

    嗜血桿菌是一種細菌

  • discovered in Nasa spacecraft cleaning facilities.

    在美國國家航空航天局的航天器清潔設施中發現。

  • Could we have already accidentally introduced bacteria from Earth

    我們是否已經意外地從地球上引入了細菌?

  • to the Moon and Mars?

    到月球和火星?

  • Another possible way

    另一種可能的方式

  • for these microbes to get around the solar system

    為這些微生物在太陽系中游走

  • is by hitchhiking on meteoroids.

    是通過搭上流星體的便車。

  • When these crash on a planet,

    當這些東西在一個星球上崩潰時。

  • rocks and debris are shot into space, generating more meteoroids.

    岩石和碎片被射入太空,產生了更多的流星體。

  • So far, 313 Martian meteorites have been found on Earth,

    到目前為止,地球上已經發現了313塊火星隕石。

  • and an Earth rock was also found on the Moon,

    並且在月球上也發現了一塊地球岩石。

  • therefore we know there has been interplanetary transfer of rocks.

    是以,我們知道存在著行星間的岩石轉移。

  • Once in space, the cold and lack of oxygen

    一旦進入太空,寒冷和缺氧的環境下

  • are easily dealt with

    容易處理

  • by our hardy voyagers,

    由我們堅韌的航行者。

  • and even regular bacteria can enter a state of dormancy

    甚至普通細菌也能進入休眠狀態

  • under extreme conditions,

    在極端條件下。

  • creating thick-walled internal safe rooms for their DNA called spores.

    為它們的DNA創造厚壁的內部安全室,稱為孢子。

  • Heat, cold, acid, drought and UV-resistant packets

    耐熱、耐寒、耐酸、耐旱、耐紫外線的包裝材料

  • of bacterial DNA voyaging through space.

    細菌的DNA在太空中航行。

  • Another big problem is that space is brimming with ionising radiation

    另一個大問題是,太空中充滿了電離輻射

  • that rips DNA to shreds.

    將DNA撕成碎片。

  • Not a problem for deinococcus. Clumps of this little fellow

    對脫氧核糖核酸來說,這不是一個問題。這個小傢伙的團塊

  • have survived three years of exposure to outer space.

    經歷了三年的外太空暴露後,已經倖存下來。

  • Others have survived up to six years in spore form.

    還有一些以孢子形式存活了六年之久。

  • Yet another problem is time.

    然而,另一個問題是時間。

  • Space is big,

    空間是很大的。

  • so travelling anywhere takes a long time.

    是以,到任何地方旅行都需要很長的時間。

  • That said, in 2020, Japanese scientists revived bacteria

    也就是說,在2020年,日本科學家恢復了細菌

  • that had laid dormant at the bottom of the ocean

    蟄伏在海底的 "小魚"。

  • for 100 million years.

    1億年來。

  • So perhaps the extraordinary distances aren't such a problem

    是以,也許非凡的距離並不是一個問題。

  • for these tiny space travellers.

    為這些微小的太空旅行者。

  • The final step is surviving the crash landing onto your new home.

    最後一步是在墜落到你的新家時倖存下來。

  • And bacteria have been shown to be able to do just that...

    而細菌已被證明能夠做到這一點......

  • As long as they are in deep fractures in the cosmic rock.

    只要它們是在宇宙岩石的深層裂縫中。

  • So it's entirely possible that microbial life

    所以完全有可能出現微生物生命

  • has already travelled to somewhere like Mars.

    已經旅行到像火星這樣的地方了。

  • Conditions there were remarkably similar to Earth

    那裡的條件與地球非常相似

  • 3.8 billion years ago.

    38億年前。

  • Could these extremophile microbes

    這些極端嗜好的微生物會不會

  • have already colonised the underground aquifers of Mars?

    已經對火星的地下水層進行了殖民統治?

  • If they're already there,

    如果他們已經在那裡了。

  • have they adapted to their new environment?

    他們是否適應了新的環境?

  • Or maybe life on Earth actually originated on Mars

    或者,地球上的生命實際上起源於火星

  • then travelled over to our planet?

    然後到我們的星球上旅行了?

  • They may not be little green aliens,

    他們可能不是綠色的小外星人。

  • or intelligent life as we understand it,

    或我們所理解的智能生命。

  • but the very possibility that life could have transferred

    但是,生命可能已經轉移的可能性

  • across the solar system and beyond is deeply intriguing.

    跨越太陽系和超越太陽系,這一點深深地吸引著人們。

  • And as the James T Webb telescope begins its search

    隨著詹姆斯-T-韋伯望遠鏡開始搜索

  • for tell-tale signs of distant life on other planets,

    尋找其他星球上遙遠生命的蛛絲馬跡。

  • could we perhaps find out that life is far more inevitable

    我們是否可以發現,生命是更不可避免的

  • than we once thought?

    比我們曾經認為的要好?

The search for alien life in the Universe

尋找宇宙中的外星生命

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B2 中高級 中文

我們對外星生命的思考是否完全錯誤?| BBC創意 (Are we thinking about alien life all wrong? | BBC Ideas)

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    Summer 發佈於 2023 年 01 月 17 日
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