Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Plastics: you know about them, you may not love them,

    譯者: Zoe Chang 審譯者: Helen Chang

  • but chances are you use them every single day.

    塑膠製品:你很清楚 這個東西,可能不是很愛,

  • By 2050, researchers estimate

    可是你每天的生活卻少不了它。

  • that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

    研究人員估計,到 2050 年

  • Despite our best efforts,

    海洋中的塑膠數量 將遠遠超過魚量。

  • only nine percent of all plastic we use winds up being recycled.

    儘管已經盡了最大努力,

  • And even worse,

    我們使用過的塑膠只有 9% 真的有被回收。

  • plastic is incredibly tough and durable

    更糟的是,

  • and researchers estimate

    塑膠是如比的堅固耐用,

  • that it can take anywhere from 500 to 5,000 years

    研究人員表示

  • to fully break down.

    它需要五百至五千年的時間

  • It leaches harmful chemical contaminants into our oceans, our soil,

    才能被完全分解。

  • our food, our water, and into us.

    塑膠釋放出有害的化學物質, 汙染我們的海洋、土地、

  • So how did we wind up with so much plastic waste?

    我們的食物、飲用水, 進入我們的體內。

  • Well, it's simple.

    我們怎麼會累積了 如此多的塑膠垃圾?

  • Plastic is cheap, durable, adaptable, and it's everywhere.

    答案其實很簡單。

  • But the good news is

    因為塑膠便宜耐用, 可塑性強,所以到處都是。

  • there's something else that's cheap, durable, adaptable and everywhere.

    還好,好消息是

  • And my research shows it may even be able to help us

    還有一個東西也一樣便宜耐用, 可塑性強,也無處不在。

  • with our plastic pollution problem.

    我的研究顯示它或許能幫我們

  • I'm talking about bacteria.

    終結塑膠污染的問題。

  • Bacteria are microscopic living beings invisible to the naked eye

    這個東西是細菌。

  • that live everywhere,

    細菌是肉眼看不見的微生物,

  • in all sorts of diverse and extreme environments,

    它無處不在,

  • from the human gut, to soil, to skin,

    各式各樣極端的環境中都有。

  • to vents in the ocean floor, reaching temperatures of 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

    從人體的腸道到土壤,及皮膚表面,

  • Bacteria live everywhere,

    甚至是海底的裂縫 高達華氏 700 度的地方。

  • in all sorts of diverse and extreme environments.

    到處都有細菌,

  • And as such, they have to get pretty creative with their food sources.

    它能存活於各式各樣極端的環境中。

  • There's also a lot of them.

    因此,它們找尋食物來源的 能力也極具巧思。

  • Researchers estimate that there are roughly five million trillion trillion --

    細菌的數量也很龐大。

  • that's a five with 30 zeros after it -- bacteria on the planet.

    研究人員估計細菌總數 大約有 500 萬兆兆之多,

  • Now, considering that we humans produce

    5 後面加上 30 個 0 就是 地球上所有的細菌總數。

  • 300 million tons of new plastic each year,

    想一想,我們人類每年製造

  • I'd say that our plastic numbers

    3 億噸的新塑膠,

  • are looking pretty comparable to bacteria's.

    我敢說我們的塑膠產量的數目

  • So, after noticing this

    跟細菌總數不相上下。

  • and after learning about all of the creative ways

    所以,在注意到這點後,

  • that bacteria find food,

    以及得知細菌尋找食物來源

  • I started to think:

    充滿創意的方式後,

  • could bacteria in plastic-polluted environments

    我開始思考:

  • have figured out how to use plastic for food?

    細菌是否已經在塑膠污染的環境中

  • Well, this is the question that I decided to pursue a couple of years ago.

    找到食用塑膠維生的方法了?

  • Now, fortunately for me,

    這是幾年前我決定開始研究時的問題。

  • I'm from one of the most polluted cities in America,

    幸運的是,

  • Houston, Texas.

    我來自於美國汙染最嚴重的城市之一,

  • (Laughs)

    德州的休士頓。

  • In my hometown alone,

    (笑聲)

  • there are seven EPA-designated Superfund sites.

    光我自己的家鄉,

  • These are sites that are so polluted,

    就有七個美國環境保護署 審定的一級污染地點。

  • that the government has deemed their cleanup a national priority.

    它們的汙染程度嚴重到

  • So I decided to trek around to these sites

    政府決定將它們列為 全國優先清理之處。

  • and collect soil samples teeming with bacteria.

    因此我決定造訪那些地方

  • I started toying with a protocol,

    蒐集一些充滿細菌的土壤樣本。

  • which is fancy science talk for a recipe.

    我開始玩一個科學實驗,

  • And what I was trying to cook up was a carbon-free media,

    有點類似食譜,冠以一個科學的說法。

  • or a food-free environment.

    我想煮的是一道零碳的培養介質,

  • An environment without the usual carbons, or food,

    或者說一個沒有食物的環境。

  • that bacteria, like us humans, need to live.

    一個缺少尋常可見的 碳及食物的環境,

  • Now, in this environment,

    讓那些細菌像我們人類一樣 在其中想辦法生存。

  • I would provide my bacteria with a sole carbon, or food, source.

    在這個環境中,

  • I would feed my bacteria polyethylene terephthalate,

    細菌只有單一的碳(食物)來源。

  • or PET plastic.

    我餵它們的東西是 聚乙烯對苯二甲酸酯,

  • PET plastic is the most widely produced plastic in the world.

    俗稱 PET 塑膠。

  • It's used in all sorts of food and drink containers,

    PET 塑膠是全世界 最廣泛生產的塑膠。

  • with the most notorious example being plastic water bottles,

    被用來做食物及飲料的包材,

  • of which we humans currently go through at a rate of one million per minute.

    其中最惡名昭彰的是塑膠瓶裝水,

  • So, what I would be doing,

    人類平均每分鐘消耗一百萬瓶。

  • is essentially putting my bacteria on a forced diet of PET plastic

    所以,我所做的

  • and seeing which, if any, might survive or, hopefully, thrive.

    基本上就是強迫我的細菌 吃 PET 塑膠瓶,

  • See, this type of experiment would act as a screen

    看它們能不能生存下來, 甚至蓬勃茁壯。

  • for bacteria that had adapted to their plastic-polluted environment

    這類型的實驗也可 作為一種篩選方式,

  • and evolved the incredibly cool ability to eat PET plastic.

    找出能適應塑膠污染環境的細菌,

  • And using this screen,

    以及能演變出以 PET 塑膠為食的細菌。

  • I was able to find some bacteria that had done just that.

    利用這樣的篩選方式,

  • These bacteria had figured out how to eat PET plastic.

    我找到了那些具有 這些特性的細菌種類。

  • So how do these bacteria do this?

    它們找到了吞噬 PET 塑膠的方法。

  • Well, it's actually pretty simple.

    所以它們是怎麼辦到的?

  • Just as we humans digest carbon or food into chunks of sugar

    其實很簡單。

  • that we then use for energy,

    類似人類把碳或食物 消化成小塊的醣類,

  • so too do my bacteria.

    那之後再轉化成能量,

  • My bacteria, however, have figured out how to do this digestion process

    我的細菌們所做的正是如此。

  • to big, tough, durable PET plastic.

    它們找到如何用這個消化程序,

  • Now, to do this, my bacteria use a special version

    去化解又大又硬 又堅固的 PET 塑膠。

  • of what's called an enzyme.

    要做到這點,它們運用了

  • Now, enzymes are simply compounds that exist in all living things.

    一種特殊的酶。

  • There are many different types of enzymes,

    酶是一種存在於生物體中的化合物。

  • but basically, they make processes go forward,

    它的種類眾多,

  • such as the digestion of food into energy.

    基本的功能就是推動過程的進展,

  • For instance, we humans have an enzyme called an amylase

    例如將食物轉成能量的消化過程。

  • that helps us digest complex starches, such as bread,

    比方說,人體中有一種澱粉酶,

  • into small chunks of sugar that we can then use for energy.

    幫助消化麵包之類的 複合澱粉類的食物,

  • Now, my bacteria have a special enzyme called a lipase

    將它分解為小塊的醣類, 人體能夠轉變成可用的能量。

  • that binds to big, tough, durable PET plastic

    我的細菌們擁有一個 特殊的酶叫做脂肪酶,

  • and helps break it into small chunks of sugar

    它們可以附著纏繞在那些 又大又硬又堅固的 PET 塑膠上,

  • that my bacteria can then use for energy.

    將之分解成小塊的醣,

  • So basically,

    再轉成它們所需的能量。

  • PET plastic goes from being a big, tough, long-lasting pollutant

    所以基本上,

  • to a tasty meal for my bacteria.

    又大又硬又堅固的 PET 塑膠

  • Sounds pretty cool, right?

    變成我的細菌們的可口大餐。

  • And I think, given the current scope of our plastic pollution problem,

    聽起來很酷吧?

  • I think it sounds pretty useful.

    以目前塑膠汙染的規模來說,

  • The statistics I shared with you

    我覺得這個方法相當實用。

  • on just how much plastic waste has accumulated on our planet

    我所分享的這些數據

  • are daunting.

    顯示出我們的地球上 目前累積的塑膠垃圾

  • They're scary.

    有多麼驚人。

  • And I think they highlight

    這些是很可怕的數據。

  • that while reducing, reusing and recycling are important,

    我覺得它們除了凸顯出

  • they alone are not going to be enough to solve this problem.

    減量、再利用、及回收的重要性外,

  • And this is where I think bacteria might be able to help us out.

    也顯示出光靠這三個方法 無法解決問題。

  • But I do understand why the concept of bacterial help

    因此我覺得細菌或可派上用場。

  • might make some people a little nervous.

    但是我也理解為什麼 借助細菌來幫忙的理論

  • After all, if plastic is everywhere and these bacteria eat plastic,

    會讓某些人有一點點不安。

  • isn't there a risk of these bacteria getting out in the environment

    畢竟,塑膠到處都有, 一旦這些以塑膠為食的細菌,

  • and wreaking havoc?

    流到外在環境中, 是不是會形成一種風險,

  • Well, the short answer is no, and I'll tell you why.

    造成更大的破壞?

  • These bacteria are already in the environment.

    最簡短的回答是不會, 我告訴你們為什麼。

  • The bacteria in my research are not genetically modified frankenbugs.

    這些細菌原本就已經 存在於我們的環境中。

  • These are naturally occurring bacteria

    我研究中使用的細菌並非基改, 科學怪人之類的細菌。

  • that have simply adapted to their plastic-polluted environment

    它們都是天然存在的細菌,

  • and evolved the incredibly gnarly ability to eat PET plastic.

    僅只是適應了塑膠污染的環境,

  • So the process of bacteria eating plastic is actually a natural one.

    同時進化出驚人的 消化 PET 塑膠的能力。

  • But it's an incredibly slow process.

    所以其實這個細菌吃塑膠的 過程是完全天然的。

  • And there remains a lot of work to be done

    但是這是一個極度緩慢的過程。

  • to figure out how to speed up this process to a useful pace.

    也尚有很多未完的工作,

  • My research is currently looking at ways of doing this

    例如怎樣把過程速度 加快到有用的速度。

  • through a series of UV, or ultraviolet, pretreatments,

    我目前正在實驗

  • which basically means we blast PET plastic with sunlight.

    用一系列的 UV 紫外線 做前置處理,

  • We do this because sunlight acts a bit like tenderizer on a steak,

    基本上就是用太陽光 曝曬摧毀 PET 塑膠。

  • turning the big, tough, durable bonds in PET plastic

    這麼做是因為陽光像是 煎牛排用的嫩化劑,

  • a bit softer and a bit easier for my bacteria to chew on.

    將 PET 塑膠中的又大又硬 又堅固的聚合物軟化,

  • Ultimately, what my research hopes to do

    更容易讓我的細菌們咀嚼。

  • is create an industrial-scale contained carbon-free system,

    最終,我希望能將我的實驗

  • similar to a compost heap,

    發展成一個工業規模的零碳系統,

  • where these bacteria can thrive in a contained system,

    類似有機堆肥堆的作法,

  • where their sole food source is PET plastic waste.

    讓細菌可以在一個 控制的系統中成長茁壯,

  • Imagine one day being able to dispose of all of your plastic waste

    而唯一的食物來源就是 PET 塑膠垃圾。

  • in a bin at the curb

    想像有一天能夠將你的塑膠垃圾

  • that you knew was bound for a dedicated bacteria-powered plastic waste facility.

    丟入路邊的垃圾桶,

  • I think with some hard work this is an achievable reality.

    知道它會被送去使用 細菌分解塑膠的處理設施。

  • Plastic-eating bacteria is not a cure-all.

    我覺得再多努力一下, 這目標應可達成。

  • But given the current statistics, it's clear that we humans,

    吃塑膠的細菌不是萬靈丹。

  • we could use a little help with this problem.

    可是以現有數據來看,

  • Because people,

    顯然人類可以借助 細菌的幫忙來解決此一問題。

  • we possess a pressing problem of plastic pollution.

    因為我們人類

  • And bacteria might be a really important part of the solution.

    所面臨的塑膠汙染情勢緊迫。

  • Thank you.

    而細菌可能是解決方案中 那個很重要的角色。

  • (Applause)

    謝謝。

Plastics: you know about them, you may not love them,

譯者: Zoe Chang 審譯者: Helen Chang

字幕與單字

影片操作 你可以在這邊進行「影片」的調整,以及「字幕」的顯示

B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED 塑膠 細菌 環境 食物 汙染

TED】摩根-瓦格。這些細菌吃塑膠(這些細菌吃塑膠|摩根-瓦格)。 (【TED】Morgan Vague: These bacteria eat plastic (These bacteria eat plastic | Morgan Vague))

  • 69 7
    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
影片單字