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  • Thank you. I have two missions here today.

    譯者: Marie Wu 審譯者: Terry Lin

  • The first is to tell you something about pollen, I hope,

    謝謝,我今天有二個任務,

  • and to convince you that it's more than just something that gets up your nose.

    第一是要告訴各位有關花粉的一切,

  • And, secondly, to convince you

    我希望我的演說能讓你不再認為花粉只是引起鼻子過敏的東西。

  • that every home really ought to have a scanning electron microscope.

    第二,我希望能說服你們

  • (Laughter)

    在家裡都放一台電子顯微鏡。

  • Pollen is a flower's way of making more flowers.

    (笑聲)

  • It carries male sex cells

    花粉是植物傳遞下一代的媒介,

  • from one flower to another.

    它能把雄性生殖細胞

  • This gives us genetic diversity,

    從一株植物帶到另一株植物上。

  • or at least it gives the plants genetic diversity.

    這會讓我們看到多樣化的物種,

  • And it's really rather better not to mate with yourself.

    至少會讓植物產生多元的下一代。

  • That's probably true of humans as well, mostly.

    而且植物知道最好不要和自己交配,

  • Pollen is produced by the anthers of flowers.

    我想這也適用於人類。

  • Each anther can carry up to 100,000 grains of pollen,

    花粉是由花粉囊所產生的,

  • so, it's quite prolific stuff.

    每一個花粉囊裡最多可以儲存十萬個花粉,

  • And it isn't just bright flowers

    所以還算是滿多產的。

  • that have pollen; it's also trees and grasses.

    而且不是只有看得見的花朵才會產生花粉,

  • And remember that all our cereal crops are grasses as well.

    樹和禾本植物也會產生花粉。

  • Here is a scanning electron micrograph of a grain of pollen.

    別忘了,所有的穀類農作物都是禾本植物。

  • The little hole in the middle, we'll come to a bit later,

    這是花粉在電子顯微鏡下的樣子,

  • but that's for the pollen tube

    我們待會兒會談到花粉中間的小洞,

  • to come out later on. A very tiny tube.

    那是讓花粉管冒出來的地方,

  • So, that's 20 micrometers across,

    一條非常細的管子。

  • that pollen grain there.

    這個花粉的直徑

  • That's about a 50th of a millimeter.

    大約只有20微米而已,

  • But not all pollen is quite so simple looking.

    也就是50分之一公釐那麼大。

  • This is Morina. This is a plant --

    每一種花粉的形狀都不一樣。

  • which I've always thought to be rather tedious --

    這是莫琳娜,

  • named after Morin,

    我一直覺得這種植物很乏味,

  • who was an enterprising French gardener,

    它是以法國園藝企業家

  • who issued the first seed catalog

    莫林之名來命名,

  • in 1621.

    他在1621年發行了

  • But anyway, take a look at its pollen.

    第一本種子目錄。

  • This is amazing, I think.

    不管怎樣,我們來看看它的花粉。

  • That little hole in the middle there is for the pollen tube,

    很驚人吧!

  • and when the pollen finds its special female spot

    中間的洞是讓花粉管冒出來的地方,

  • in another Morina flower,

    當花粉在另一株同樣品種的

  • just on the right species, what happens?

    莫琳娜花上發現它的

  • Like I said, pollen carries the male sex cells.

    真命天女時,你猜會怎樣?

  • If you actually didn't realize that plants have sex,

    就像我說的,花粉會帶著自己的雄性生殖細胞,

  • they have rampant, promiscuous

    如果你以為植物沒有性交,那就錯了!

  • and really quite interesting and curious sex. Really.

    他們有雜交、亂交

  • (Laughter) A lot.

    和其他各種稀奇古怪的性交方式。

  • My story is actually not about plant propagation,

    (笑聲)

  • but about pollen itself.

    今天的主題其實不是在談植物的繁殖,

  • "So, what are pollen's properties?" I hear you ask.

    而是要談花粉。

  • First of all, pollen is tiny. Yes we know that.

    那麼花粉的功能是什麼?你一定想問吧?

  • It's also very biologically active,

    首先,花粉很微小,大家都知道。

  • as anyone with hay fever will understand.

    花粉同時也很活躍,

  • Now, pollen from plants, which are wind-dispersed --

    有花粉症的人就能瞭解。

  • like trees and grasses and so on --

    只要是藉由風力傳播花粉的植物,

  • tend to cause the most hay fever.

    像是樹木或是禾本植物,

  • And the reason for that is they've got to chuck out

    就很容易引起花粉症。

  • masses and masses of pollen to have any chance

    原因在於,這些植物會產生大量、

  • of the pollen reaching another plant of the same species.

    無以計數的花粉,藉以提升花粉

  • Here are some examples --

    到達其他相同植物的機率。

  • they're very smooth if you look at them --

    讓我舉幾個例子。

  • of tree pollen that is meant to be carried by the wind.

    如果你觀察樹木的花粉,你會發現

  • Again -- this time, sycamore -- wind-dispersed.

    他們的表面很光滑,因為這樣較容易被風吹送出去。

  • So, trees: very boring flowers,

    再來,西克莫無花果,也是靠風吹送花粉,

  • not really trying to attract insects.

    這些樹木,沒有漂亮的花朵,

  • Cool pollen, though.

    吸引不到昆蟲,

  • This one I particularly like.

    但是他們有很酷的花粉。

  • This is the Monterey Pine, which has little air sacks

    這個是我最喜歡的,

  • to make the pollen carry even further.

    這是蒙特利松,他的花粉上還有小小的風囊,

  • Remember, that thing is just about 30 micrometers across.

    可以讓花粉被吹送得更遠。

  • Now, it's much more efficient if you can get insects to do your bidding.

    要注意,這些花粉的直徑大約只有30微米而已。

  • This is a bee's leg

    如果可以讓昆蟲幫忙授粉就會更有效率多了。

  • with the pollen glommed onto it from a mallow plant.

    這是蜜蜂的腳,

  • And this is the outrageous and beautiful

    在它飛進某株錦葵科植物時,花粉就附著在它身上。

  • flower of the mangrove palm.

    這是紅樹林棕櫚

  • Very showy, to attract lots of insects to do its bidding.

    最光彩奪目的花朵,

  • The pollen has little barbs on it,

    很顯眼,就為了吸引昆蟲來幫它授粉。

  • if we look.

    如果我們細看這些花粉,

  • Now, those little barbs

    會發現有些細小的芒刺在上面,

  • obviously stick to the insects well,

    這些芒刺很明顯是要

  • but there is something else that we can tell from this photograph,

    黏附在昆蟲身上。

  • and that is that you might be able to see a fracture line

    但這張照片還有其他值得細究的地方,

  • across what would be the equator of this, if it was the Earth.

    你會看到中間好像有一條裂痕,

  • That tells me that it's actually been fossilized, this pollen.

    就像地球上的赤道一樣,

  • And I'm rather proud to say

    這表示這個花粉其實是個化石。

  • that this was found just near London, and that 55 million years ago

    我可以很驕傲地說,

  • London was full of mangroves.

    這個化石是在倫敦附近發現的,也就是在五千五百萬年前,

  • Isn't that cool?

    倫敦其實長滿了紅樹林棕櫚,

  • (Laughter)

    很酷吧?

  • Okay, so this is another species evolved to be dispersed by insects.

    (笑聲)

  • You can tell that from the little barbs on there.

    好,這是另一種利用昆蟲散佈花粉的植物,

  • All these pictures were taken with a scanning electron microscope,

    你可以從上面的芒刺分辨出來。

  • actually in the lab at Kew Laboratories.

    這些照片都是利用電子顯微鏡拍出來的,

  • No coincidence that these were taken

    就在Kew實驗中心的實驗室裡拍攝。

  • by Rob Kesseler, who is an artist,

    攝影師是

  • and I think it's someone with a design and artistic eye

    Rob Kessler,他是個藝術家,

  • like him that has managed to bring out the best in pollen.

    我想像他這樣一位具有設計及藝術眼光的人,

  • (Laughter)

    一定會把花粉的最好一面挖掘出來。

  • Now, all this diversity

    (笑聲)

  • means that you can look at a pollen grain

    花粉有各種不同的形狀,

  • and tell what species it came from,

    也就是說,你可以從花粉的形狀

  • and that's actually quite handy if you

    判斷出產生這種花粉的植物。

  • maybe have a sample and you want to see where it came from.

    如果你恰好拿到一個花粉樣本,

  • So, different species of plants

    你就可以很容易地知道它的來源地在哪裡,

  • grow in different places,

    因為不同的植物

  • and some pollen carries further than others.

    生長在不同的地方。

  • So, if you have a pollen sample,

    雖然有些花粉會被傳送到較遠處,

  • then in principle, you should be able to tell

    但只要你有花粉的樣本,

  • where that sample came from.

    理論上來說,就應該可以推論出

  • And this is where it gets interesting for forensics.

    花粉的來源,

  • Pollen is tiny. It gets on to things, and it sticks to them.

    這讓科學鑑識變得有趣起來。

  • So, not only does each type of pollen look different,

    花粉很小,它會附著在物品上,也會牢牢地吸附住。

  • but each habitat has a different combination of plants.

    不只花粉有不同的形狀,

  • A different pollen signature, if you like,

    每一個地方的植物組成也不同,

  • or a different pollen fingerprint.

    這就形成了獨一無二的花粉印鑑,

  • By looking at the proportions and combinations

    你也可以稱之為花粉指紋。

  • of different kinds of pollen in a sample,

    你只要看一看某件物品上的花粉種類

  • you can tell very precisely where it came from.

    及各種花粉的數量,

  • This is some pollen embedded in a cotton shirt,

    你就可以精確地判斷出它的來源地。

  • similar to the one that I'm wearing now.

    這是一些花粉附著在一件棉質襯衫上的照片,

  • Now, much of the pollen will still be there

    很像我現在穿在身上的這一件,

  • after repeated washings.

    就算重複洗過幾次,

  • Where has it been?

    大部分的花粉還是會繼續附著在上面。

  • Four very different habitats might look similar,

    這件襯衫的主人到過哪裡?

  • but they've got very different pollen signatures.

    這四個地方看起來都很像,

  • Actually this one is particularly easy, these pictures were all taken

    但是他們各自的花粉指紋都不同,

  • in different countries.

    要判斷出來源地還滿容易的,因為這四個地方

  • But pollen forensics can be very subtle.

    分處於不同的國家。

  • It's being used now to track

    利用花粉指紋來進行鑑識是非常精確的,

  • where counterfeit drugs have been made,

    現在被用來追踨

  • where banknotes have come from,

    偽藥的來源、

  • to look at the provenance of antiques

    鈔票的來源、

  • and see that they really did come from the place

    古董的來源,

  • the seller said they did.

    以及古董是否真如賣家所宣稱

  • And murder suspects have been tracked

    來自某地。

  • using their clothing,

    在英國,則利用謀殺案嫌犯

  • certainly in the U.K., to within an area

    的衣物進行追蹤,

  • that's small enough that you can send in tracker dogs

    就可將區域縮小到一定範圍,

  • to find the murder victim.

    然後讓偵察犬去

  • So, you can tell from a piece of clothing

    尋找受害者。

  • to within about a kilometer or so,

    所以,你可以利用一小片衣物,

  • where that piece of clothing has been recently

    鎖定某個一公里左右的範圍,

  • and then send in dogs.

    確定那片衣物最近曾出現在那兒,

  • And finally, in a rather grizzly way,

    然後再派出偵察犬。

  • the Bosnia war crimes;

    最後,花粉還被用在一種令人不甚愉快的鑑識上 --

  • some of the people brought to trial were brought to trial

    波士尼亞戰爭。

  • because of the evidence from pollen,

    有些人被起訴,

  • which showed that bodies had been buried,

    起訴的證據是花粉,

  • exhumed and then reburied somewhere else.

    因為花粉顯示出某些屍體曾被埋葬、

  • I hope I've opened your eyes,

    而後又被挖掘出來,然後又被埋到另一個地點。

  • if you'll excuse the visual pun, (Laughter)

    我希望今天能讓你們大眼界,

  • to some of pollen's secrets.

    請原諒我開了一些玩笑,

  • This is a horse chestnut.

    希望你們都瞭解花粉的奧祕。

  • There is an invisible beauty all around us,

    順便提一下,這是七葉樹。

  • each grain with a story to tell ...

    在我們週遭存在著許多我們看不見的美麗事物,

  • each of us, in fact, with a story to tell

    每一個花粉背後都有一個故事,

  • from the pollen fingerprint that's upon us.

    事實上,我們身上所存在的花粉指紋

  • Thank you to the colleagues at Kew,

    也能告訴我們一些故事。

  • and thank you to palynologists everywhere.

    謝謝Kew實驗中心的同仁,

  • (Applause)

    也謝謝世界各地的花粉研究專家。

Thank you. I have two missions here today.

譯者: Marie Wu 審譯者: Terry Lin

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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED 花粉 植物 昆蟲 指紋 花朵

【TED】喬納森-德羅裡:每一粒花粉都有一個故事(喬納森-德羅裡:每一粒花粉都有一個故事)。 (【TED】Jonathan Drori: Every pollen grain has a story (Jonathan Drori: Every pollen grain has a story))

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