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    《中英對照讀新聞》Belgian scientists look for biofuel clues in panda poo 比利時科學家在貓熊便便裡尋找生物燃料線索

    2015/10/03 06:00

    ◎周虹汶

    Belgian researchers are examining the excrement of giant pandas to try to understand how they can digest tough bamboo, hoping for clues on how to develop new generations of biofuel.

    比利時研究者正在檢視大貓熊的糞便,試圖了解牠們如何能夠消化堅硬的竹子,希望得到如何發展新世代生物燃料的線索。

    The genetic make-up of endangered pandas is that of a carnivore but the animals have adapted to a diet consisting almost exclusively of bamboo.

    瀕臨滅絕的貓熊之基因組成與食肉動物相同,但該動物已適應幾乎只由竹子構成的日常飲食。

    While a few scientific studies have looked into the digestive tract of the panda, the researchers say their study is the first to focus on the microorganisms in the animal’s gut.

    雖然有些科學研究已觀察貓熊的消化道,但該些研究者說,他們的研究是第一個聚焦在該動物腸子裡的微生物。

    "We can look for new enzymes which could be used to degrade tough biomass," said Korneel Rabaey, professor for biochemical and microbial technology at Ghent University, standing outside the giant panda enclosure at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Belgium.

    根特大學生物化學與微生物科技教授科尼爾.拉貝艾站在比利時天堂動物園大貓熊區的外頭說:「我們可以尋找能夠用來分解強韌的生物質之新酵素。」

    The results of the study may point to new, cheaper ways to produce so-called second generation biofuels made from plants and biomass not destined for consumption such as corn stalks.

    該研究結果可能指向製造所謂第二代生物燃料之新又便宜的生產方法,由植物與諸如玉米稈等非設定用來消費的生物質所製成。

    Six-year-old panda Xing Hui, whose name means sparkling star, and his female partner Hao Hao, meaning kind, paid little attention to the scientists collecting their droppings on Monday, instead soaking up the sun and chewing through the first stems of their daily 10-kg portion of bamboo.(Reuters)

    6歲貓熊星徽,其名意指閃爍的星星,以及牠的女伴好好,意謂和善,週一對於採集著牠們糞便的該些科學家們不太注意,反而是曬著日光浴以及把牠們每天該吃的10公斤竹子分量之第一根嚼透透。(路透)

    新聞辭典

    tract:名詞,指大片土地、神經束、小冊子、傳單、短文。例句:She wrote a tract on this subject.(她針對這項主題寫了篇短文。)

    destined:形容詞,指命中注定的、預定的。例句:It was destined that they would meet each other.(他們會相遇是命中注定。)

    soak:動詞,指浸泡、滲透、沉浸、酗酒;名詞,指溼透、酒鬼。例句:Don’t soak up everything without thinking.(切勿未經思索就每事照單全收。)

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