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  • So infectious diseases, right?

    傳染病,

  • Infectious diseases are still the main cause

    傳染病仍然是全球人類

  • of human suffering and death around the world.

    生病和死亡的主因。

  • Every year, millions of people die of diseases such as T.B., malaria, HIV,

    每一年,全球有百萬人口

  • around the world and even in the United States.

    死於肺結核、瘧疾、愛滋,

  • Every year, thousands of Americans die of seasonal flu.

    甚至在美國, 每年都有成千上萬的人因流感致命。

  • Now of course, humans, we are creative. Right?

    人類不是很有創意嗎?

  • We have come up with ways to protect ourselves against these diseases.

    我們想出不少辦法保護自己,

  • We have drugs and vaccines.

    用藥物和疫苗抵抗傳染病。

  • And we're conscious -- we learn from our experiences

    我們從經驗中學習,

  • and come up with creative solutions.

    不斷想出新的解決方案。

  • We used to think we're alone in this, but now we know we're not.

    我們以為我們為此孤軍奮戰,

  • We're not the only medical doctors.

    我們不是唯一會醫治自己的動物,

  • Now we know that there's a lot of animals out there that can do it too.

    許多動物也有自己的方法,

  • Most famous, perhaps, chimpanzees.

    最有名的例子是黒猩猩,

  • Not so much different from us,

    就像人類,

  • they can use plants to treat their intestinal parasites.

    牠們懂得用藥草驅逐腸胃裡的寄生蟲。

  • But the last few decades have shown us that other animals can do it too:

    過去幾十年間我們發現其它動物也能,

  • elephants, porcupines, sheep, goats, you name it.

    大象、刺蝟、山羊、綿羊,等等。

  • And even more interesting than that is that recent discoveries are telling us

    有趣的是我們最近發現,

  • that insects and other little animals with smaller brains can use medication too.

    昆蟲與其它腦子較小的動物也會用藥。

  • The problem with infectious diseases, as we all know,

    我們都知道,傳染病的問題

  • is that pathogens continue to evolve,

    是病原體不斷演化,

  • and a lot of the drugs that we have developed

    以致我們開發出的藥物

  • are losing their efficacy.

    隨之失效。

  • And therefore, there is this great need to find new ways to discover drugs

    我們迫切需要新方法

  • that we can use against our diseases.

    開發新藥物來治療傳染病。

  • Now, I think that we should look at these animals,

    我認為我們應該研究這些動物,

  • and we can learn from them how to treat our own diseases.

    從牠們身上學習,來治療我們自己。

  • As a biologist, I have been studying monarch butterflies for the last 10 years.

    做為生物學家, 過去十年我致力研究帝王斑蝶,

  • Now, monarchs are extremely famous for their spectacular migrations

    帝王斑蝶以牠們的遷徙習性而出名

  • from the U.S. and Canada down to Mexico every year,

    從加拿大、美國南遷到墨西哥

  • where millions of them come together,

    數量以百萬計,

  • but it's not why I started studying them.

    但這不是我研究牠們的原因。

  • I study monarchs because they get sick.

    而是因為牠們和我們一樣

  • They get sick like you. They get sick like me.

    會罹患傳染病,所以我研究牠們。

  • And I think what they do can tell us a lot about drugs

    我想研究牠們可以學習到

  • that we can develop for humans.

    為人類開發藥物的方法。

  • Now, the parasites that monarchs get infected with

    斑蝶染上的寄生蟲有個很長的名字,

  • are called ophryocystis elektroscirrha -- a mouthful.

    叫 ophryocystis elektroscirrha。

  • What they do is they produce spores,

    它們在蝴蝶表面

  • millions of spores on the outside of the butterfly

    生產數以百萬的孢子,

  • that are shown as little specks in between the scales of the butterfly.

    可以從翅膀上鱗與鱗之間的斑點見到。

  • And this is really detrimental to the monarch.

    帝王斑蝶為此受到很大傷害

  • It shortens their lifespan,

    不但縮短了牠們的壽命,

  • it reduces their ability to fly,

    也降低了牠們的飛行能力。

  • it can even kill them before they're even adults.

    甚至能在牠們成熟前就殺死牠們。

  • Very detrimental parasite.

    一種極為可怕的寄生蟲。

  • As part of my job, I spend a lot of time in the greenhouse growing plants,

    我的工作內容包括長時間在溫室養植物

  • and the reason for this is that monarchs are extremely picky eaters.

    因為帝王斑蝶很挑食。

  • They only eat milkweed as larvae.

    帝王斑蝶的幼蟲只吃乳草。

  • Luckily, there are several species of milkweed that they can use,

    好險有幾種不同的乳草可供其食用,

  • and all these milkweeds have cardenolides in them.

    所有的乳草中都有 強心甾 (cardenolides)

  • These are chemicals that are toxic.

    一種對許多動物都有影響的致命毒素。

  • They're toxic to most animals, but not to monarchs.

    但帝王斑蝶例外。

  • In fact, monarchs can take up the chemicals,

    帝王斑蝶甚至能吸收這些化學成份,

  • put it in their own bodies, and it makes them toxic

    以體內毒素抵抗牠們的天敵,

  • against their predators, such as birds.

    例如鳥類。

  • And what they do, then, is advertise this toxicity

    牠們用身上鮮豔的黃黒白斑紋

  • through their beautiful warning colorations

    來廣告自己的毒性,

  • with this orange, black and white.

    一種自然警告標識。

  • So what I did during my job is grow plants in the greenhouse,

    當我在溫室工作善盡己責

  • different ones, different milkweeds.

    種植不同乳草時,

  • Some were toxic, including the tropical milkweed,

    某些毒性很高,像是熱帶乳草,

  • with very high concentrations of these cardenolides.

    有大量的強心甾 (cardenolides),

  • And some were not toxic.

    某些卻沒有毒素。

  • And then I fed them to monarchs.

    在我餵食帝王斑蝶時,

  • Some of the monarchs were healthy. They had no disease.

    某些斑蝶沒有染病,很健康。

  • But some of the monarchs were sick,

    某些斑蝶則生著病,

  • and what I found is that some of these milkweeds are medicinal,

    我發現某些乳草有藥效,

  • meaning they reduce the disease symptoms in the monarch butterflies,

    有效減低帝王斑蝶的症狀,

  • meaning these monarchs can live longer when they are infected

    只要牠們食用這些藥草,

  • when feeding on these medicinal plants.

    就可以延長自己的性命。

  • And when I found this, I had this idea,

    當我發現的時候,

  • and a lot of people said it was a crazy idea,

    我有了一個很多人覺得很瘋狂的想法。

  • but I thought, what if monarchs can use this?

    我想,如果帝王斑蝶可以應用呢?

  • What if they can use these plants as their own form of medicine?

    如果牠們可以把這些乳草當做藥物呢?

  • What if they can act as medical doctors?

    如果牠們可以為自己開藥方呢?

  • So my team and I started doing experiments.

    我的團隊和我開始實驗。

  • In the first types of experiments,

    在第一類實驗裡,

  • we had caterpillars, and gave them a choice:

    我們給幼蟲兩種選擇:

  • medicinal milkweed versus non-medicinal milkweed.

    有藥性的乳草和沒有藥性的乳草。

  • And then we measured how much they ate of each species over their lifetime.

    然後測量牠們一生各自吃了多少。

  • And the result, as so often in science, was boring:

    就像大部分的科學研究結果一樣, 答案很無聊:

  • Fifty percent of their food was medicinal. Fifty percent was not.

    有藥性和沒有藥性的各半。

  • These caterpillars didn't do anything for their own welfare.

    這些幼蟲沒有為自己做出有利的選擇。

  • So then we moved on to adult butterflies,

    於是我們轉為研究成蝶,

  • and we started asking the question

    我們想

  • whether it's the mothers that can medicate their offspring.

    母蝶會對自己的幼蟲用藥嗎?

  • Can the mothers lay their eggs on medicinal milkweed

    牠們會把卵產在有藥效的乳草上,

  • that will make their future offspring less sick?

    減輕幼蟲的症狀?

  • We have done these experiments now over several years,

    我們複製這個實驗多年,

  • and always get the same results.

    得到一樣的結果。

  • What we do is we put a monarch in a big cage,

    我們把帝王斑蝶放進大籠子裡

  • a medicinal plant on one side, a non-medicinal plant on the other side,

    一邊是的乳草是有藥性的,一邊沒有,

  • and then we measure the number of eggs that the monarchs lay on each plant.

    然後測量牠們在兩種乳草上的產卵數,

  • And what we find when we do that is always the same.

    獲得的結果是一致的。

  • What we find is that the monarchs strongly prefer the medicinal milkweed.

    我們發現帝王斑蝶偏好藥性乳草。

  • In other words, what these females are doing

    換句話說,

  • is they're laying 68 percent of their eggs in the medicinal milkweed.

    雌蝶把 68% 的卵產在藥性乳草上。

  • Intriguingly, what they do is they actually transmit the parasites

    事實上,在牠們產卵的時候,

  • when they're laying the eggs.

    也不可避免的

  • They cannot prevent this.

    傳播了寄生蟲。

  • They can also not medicate themselves.

    牠們不能治療自己。

  • But what these experiments tell us

    但這個實驗告訴我們

  • is that these monarchs, these mothers, can lay their eggs on medicinal milkweed

    帝王斑蝶把卵產在有藥性的乳草上,

  • that will make their future offspring less sick.

    減輕幼蟲的病況。

  • Now, this is a really important discovery, I think,

    我覺得這個發現很重要。

  • not just because it tells us something cool about nature,

    不只是因為它顯示了大自然的奧妙

  • but also because it may tell us something more about how we should find drugs.

    更提醒我們應該如何開發藥物。

  • Now, these are animals that are very small

    這些動物都很小,

  • and we tend to think of them as very simple.

    我們曾經覺得牠們構造單純,

  • They have tiny little brains,

    牠們的大腦很小,

  • yet they can do this very sophisticated medication.

    但牠們卻懂得利用自然草藥。

  • Now, we know that even today, most of our drugs

    直到今日,

  • derive from natural products, including plants,

    我們從自然中提取藥物,包括植物,

  • and in indigenous cultures,

    在一些原始文化中,

  • traditional healers often look at animals to find new drugs.

    傳統療法時常借鏡動物來找新藥。

  • In this way, elephants have told us how to treat stomach upset,

    大象教我們如何治療腸胃不適,

  • and porcupines have told people how to treat bloody diarrhea.

    刺蝟教我們如何處理腹瀉。

  • What I think is important, though, is to move beyond

    我想,最重要的是,

  • these large-brained mammals and give these guys more credit,

    除了那些大腦發達的哺乳類動物外,

  • these simple animals, these insects that we tend to think of

    我們也應該更加注重

  • as very, very simple with tiny little brains.

    那些構造簡單的動物、昆蟲。

  • The discovery that these animals can also use medication

    發現這些動物懂得用藥,

  • opens up completely new avenues,

    讓我們進入全新領域。

  • and I think that maybe one day, we will be treating human diseases

    也許有一天,

  • with drugs that were first discovered by butterflies,

    我們會用蝴蝶找到的藥物來治療人類,

  • and I think that is an amazing opportunity worth pursuing.

    我想這個機會是值得把握的。

  • Thank you so much.

    謝謝各位。

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

So infectious diseases, right?

傳染病,

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED 幼蟲 動物 藥物 傳染病 寄生蟲

【TED】Jaap de Roode:蝴蝶如何自我治療(Jaap de Roode:蝴蝶如何自我治療)。 (【TED】Jaap de Roode: How butterflies self-medicate (Jaap de Roode: How butterflies self-medicate))

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