《中英對照讀新聞》It turns out that plants also have a brain-植物竟然也有腦


2017-06-19

◎劉宜庭

The plants have a long and unexpected line of evolution. Earth plants were formed 450 million years ago. The first flowers appeared in the Cretaceous period. During this time, the plants developed some striking features, and, as the last study carried out by the University of Birmingham shows, the "brain" could also be one of them.

植物有一段漫長且驚人的演化過程。地球上的植物是在4億5000萬年前形成。最早的開花植物出現在白堊紀。在這段期間,植物發展出一些令人印象深刻的特徵,例如英國伯明罕大學發表的最新研究顯示,「腦」就是其中之一。

True, this brain is not in the sense in which it exists, for example, in animals. In plants, it is a set of cells acting as a kind of command center. It was found that these cells, found in sprouts, make key decisions in terms of the life cycle of the plant.

實際上,這裡說的「腦袋」並非真實存在,如同在動物中的那樣。在植物中,它指的是能像指揮中心般運作的細胞。這些在芽中發現的細胞,能在植物生長期間做出關鍵決定。

Describing the discovery in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", the researchers took as an example a plant called Arabidopsis. Its command center consists of two kinds of cells – some cause the seed to remain inactive, and others initiate germination.

這項發現刊載於「美國國家科學院院刊」,研究人員以1種名為「阿拉伯芥」的植物為例。它的指揮中心包含2類細胞,一些導致種子休眠,另一些促成發芽。

Using hormones to transmit information, in almost the same way as brain nerve cells do, plant cells evaluate the surrounding conditions and decide when to start the so-called birth process.

利用激素傳遞訊息,幾乎如同腦神經細胞的運作方式,植物細胞評估周遭環境條件,決定何時啟動所謂的生長過程。

《新聞辭典》

turns out:片語,結果(竟然)、原來是、出現。例句:He painted a tiger but it turned out a dog.(畫虎不成反類犬。)

Cretaceous:專有名詞,白堊紀。例句:Cretaceous period, 145 million years ago, was the age of the dinosaurs.(1億4500萬年前的白堊紀時期,是恐龍的年代。)

germination:名詞,發芽。例句:Botanical orthodoxy holds that plant germination is a purely mechanistic process, driven entirely by external stimuli.(植物正統論認為,植物發芽是一段純粹機械性的過程,由外在刺激所驅動。)

  • 最早的開花植物出現在白堊紀,植物發展出一些令人印象深刻的特徵,例如英國伯明罕大學發表的最新研究顯示,「腦」就是其中之一。圖為綬草。(情境照,記者林欣漢攝)

    最早的開花植物出現在白堊紀,植物發展出一些令人印象深刻的特徵,例如英國伯明罕大學發表的最新研究顯示,「腦」就是其中之一。圖為綬草。(情境照,記者林欣漢攝)

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