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被遗忘的太空时代科技可以改变我们生产食物的方式 – 译学馆
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被遗忘的太空时代科技可以改变我们生产食物的方式

A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food | Lisa Dyson

想象你是那些宇航员中的一员
Imagine you are a part of a crew of astronauts
你们前往火星或遥远的行星
traveling to Mars or some distant planet.
这次旅行可能会需要一年的时间
The travel time could take a year
或者更长
or even longer.
飞船上的空间和资源
The space on board and the resources
将会受到限制
would be limited.
于是你和你的团队将不得不弄清楚如何
So you and the crew would have to figure out how to produce food
用最少的给料来生产食物
with minimal inputs.
假如你能携带一小包
What if you could bring with you just a few packets of seeds,
可以在几个小时内成熟的种子?
and grow crops in a matter of hours?
假如那些作物可以产出更多的种子
And what if those crops would then make more seeds,
使你可以仅仅凭借这几包种子
enabling you to feed the entire crew
就可以在旅行期间养活整个团队?
with just those few packets of seeds for the duration of the trip?
美国国家航空航天局的科学家实际上已经找到了这样的方法
Well, the scientists at NASA actually figured out a way to do this.
他们的想法非常有趣
What they came up with was actually quite interesting.
它涉及到微生物
It involved microorganisms,
一些单细胞的有机物
which are single-celled organisms.
而且他们还使用了从水中提炼的氢
And they also used hydrogen from water.
他们使用的那种微生物被称为氢利用菌
The types of microbes that they used were called hydrogenotrophs,
利用这些氢利用菌,你可以创造出有效的碳循环
and with these hydrogenotrophs, you can create a virtuous carbon cycle
有效的碳循环会维持飞船上的生活
that would sustain life onboard a spacecraft.
宇航员们会呼出二氧化碳
Astronauts would breathe out carbon dioxide,
那些二氧化碳会被这些微生物捕捉到
that carbon dioxide would then be captured by the microbes
然后转化为一种有营养的,碳含量高的农作物
and converted into a nutritious, carbon-rich crop.
于是宇航员们可以吃这些含碳量高的作物
The astronauts would then eat that carbon-rich crop
然后再以二氧化碳的形式呼出
and exhale the carbon out in the form of carbon dioxide,
然后再被这些微生物捕捉
which would then be captured by the microbes,
产出营养价值高的作物
to create a nutritious crop,
再由宇航员以二氧化碳的
which then would be exhaled in the form of carbon dioxide
形式呼出
by the astronauts.
于是以这种方式,,一个封闭的碳循环就形成了
So in this way, a closed-loop carbon cycle is created.
为什么碳循环这么重要呢
So why is this important?
作为人类我们需要碳来维持生存
We need carbon to survive as humans,
而且我们从食物中获取碳
and we get our carbon from food.
在远途的空间旅行中
On a long space journey,
你可能在沿途无法获取任何碳物质
you simply wouldn’t be able to pick up any carbon along the way,
所以你不得不想清楚如何在飞船上使碳循环
so you’d have to figure out how to recycle it on board.
这是一个聪明的解决办法,不是吗?
This is a clever solution, right?
但问题在于,那个研究并没有实践应用于任何地方
But the thing is, that research didn’t really go anywhere.
我们还没有去火星,也没有去其他的行星
We haven’t yet gone to Mars. We haven’t yet gone to another planet.
而且这个研究实际上是在60-70年代期间完成的
And this was actually done in the ’60s and ’70s.
我的一个同事,Dr. John Reed和我
So a colleague of mine, Dr. John Reed, and I,
当时对于地球上碳的重复利用非常感兴趣
were interested, actually, in carbon recycling here on Earth.
我们希望可以想出科学的办法
We wanted to come up with technical solutions
来解决气候变化问题
to address climate change.
我们通过阅读60年代的1967年及其以后发表的
And we discovered this research
与这项工作有关的文章
by reading some papers published in the ’60s — 1967 and later —
得到了这样的研究结果
articles about this work.
而且我们认为那是一个非常好的想法
And we thought it was a really good idea.
于是我们提出,地球其实就像一个飞船一样
So we said, well, Earth is actually like a spaceship.
我们拥有有限的空间和有限的资源
We have limited space and limited resources,
而且在地球上,我们着实需要想清楚
and on Earth, we really do need to figure out
如何更好地循环利用碳
how to recycle our carbon better.
于是我们有了一个主意
So we had the idea,
我们能不能利用这些美国航空航天局的思路并把他们应用于
can we take some of these NASA-type ideas and apply them
我们地球上的碳问题?
to our carbon problem here on Earth?
我们能不能培养他们所谓的那种微生物
Could we cultivate these NASA-type microbes
使我们能够在地球上生产有价值的产品
in order to make valuable products here on Earth?
于是我们创办了一个公司做这件事
We started a company to do it.
在那个公司里,我们发现这些氢利用菌
And in that company, we discovered that these hydrogenotrophs —
(我把它称为自然界碳资源的超级循环器)
which I’ll actually call nature’s supercharged carbon recyclers —
我们发现他们是一类强大的微生物
we found that they are a powerful class of microbes
这类微生物曾一直被忽视并被作为替补
that had been largely overlooked and understudied,
我们还发现他们可以创造一些非常有价值的产品
and that they could make some really valuable products.
于是我们开始在实验室里制造这些产品,这些微生物
So we began cultivating these products, these microbes, in our lab.
我们发现我们能够利用这种微生物
We found that we can make essential amino acids from carbon dioxide
从二氧化碳中得到基础的氨基酸
using these microbes.
我们甚至制造出一种富含蛋白质的粉
And we even made a protein-rich meal
这种粉有一种氨基酸的外形,就像你可能会从
that has an amino acid profile similar to what you might find
一些动物蛋白中看到的那样
in some animal proteins.
我们开始更深层次的培养他们
We began cultivating them even further,
于是我们发现我们能够制造出油
and we found that we can make oil.
油可以用来加工很多产品
Oils are used to manufacture many products.
我们制造了一种类似于柠檬油的油
We made an oil that was similar to a citrus oil,
它可以被用来调味或用于香水中
which can be used for flavoring and for fragrances,
但是它也可以被用于一种具有生物降解功能的清洁剂
but it also can be used as a biodegradable cleaner
或者是一种喷气燃料
or even as a jet fuel.
而且我们还生产了一种类似于粽榈油的油
And we made an oil that’s similar to palm oil.
棕榈油被用于供给
Palm oil is used to manufacture
很大范围的生态消费者和制造一些工业商品
a wide range of consumer and industrial goods.
我们开始和制造商一起工作以扩大这项技术的规模
We began working with manufacturers to scale up this technology,
而且我们现在依然和他们一起合作
and we’re currently working with them
把一些产品推向市场
to bring some of these products to market.
我们相信这种科技的确可以帮到我们
We believe this type of technology can indeed help us
合理的回收二氧化碳,并用于有价值的产品
profitably recycle carbon dioxide into valuable products —
而这些产品对地球是有益的
something that’s beneficial for the planet
对我们的商业也是很有益的
but also beneficial for business.
那就是我们现在正在做的事情
That’s what we’re doing today.
但是未来,如果我们把这种技术和对这种微生物的利用
But tomorrow, this type of technology and using these types of microbes
应用到下一个层次的话,这着实可以帮到我们
actually could help us do something even greater
做到更环保
if we take it to the next level.
我们相信这种技术
We believe that this type of technology
其实也可以帮我们解决农业上的问题
can actually help us address an issue with agriculture
这种技术使我们能够创造出一种可持续的农业模式
and allow us to create a type of agriculture that’s sustainable,
那将使我们扩大规模以满足未来的需求
that will allow us to scale to meet the demands of tomorrow.
为什么我们需要一个可持续的农业模式呢?
And why might we need a sustainable agriculture?
实际上,有人预测
Well, actually, it is estimated
截止2050年人口数量将会达到100亿
that the population will reach about 10 billion by 2050,
我们提出我们将需要增加70%
and we’re projecting that we will need to increase food production
的食品产量
by 70 percent.
除此之外,我们将需要更多资源和原材料
In addition, we will need many more resources and raw materials
来制造消费品和工业化商品
to make consumer goods and industrial goods.
那么我们应该如何扩大范围以满足这样的需求呢?
So how will we scale to meet that demand?
当然,仅仅靠现代农业无法实现持续化来满足那样的需求
Well, modern agriculture simply cannot sustainably scale to meet that demand.
这其中有很多理由
There are a number of reasons why.
其中一个原因就是现代农业是温室气体的
One of them is that modern agriculture is one of the largest emitters
一大发射源
of greenhouse gases.
事实上,由现代农业所释放的温室气体
In fact, it emits more greenhouse gases
要比我们的汽车、卡车、飞机和火车
than our cars, our trucks, our planes
加起来还要多
and our trains combined.
另一个原因是仅仅是现代农业就占据了很大的土地
Another reason is that modern ag simply takes up a whole lot of land.
我们为种植业和家畜提供了1940万平方英里的土地
We have cleared 19.4 million square miles for crops and livestock.
那看起来有多大呢?
What does that look like?
那几乎是南美与非洲加起来那么大
Well, that’s roughly the size of South America and Africa combined.
让我给你举一个具体的例子
Let me give you a specific example.
在印度尼西亚,大量的原始森林被清除
In Indonesia, an amount of virgin rainforest was cleared
总计有大约爱尔兰岛那么大的面积
totaling the size of approximately Ireland,
那是发生在2000到2012年之间的
between 2000 and 2012.
想象在这个过程中,所有的物种及其多样性
Just think of all of the species, the diversity,
无论是植物,昆虫还是动物
that was removed in the process,
都在这个过程中被迁移
whether plant life, insects or animal life.
于是一个天然的碳池会就被移走了
And a natural carbon sink was also removed.
请让我告诉你这个事实
So let me make this real for you.
那被清理的土地主要被用来种植大片的棕榈树
This clearing happened primarily to make room for palm plantations.
就像我前边提过的那样,
And as I mentioned before,
棕榈油能够被用来制造许多产品
palm oil is used to manufacture many products.
事实上,估计有超过50%烦人消费产品在制造过程中
In fact, it is estimated that over 50 percent of consumer products
使用棕榈油
are manufactured using palm oil.
那些商品包括冰淇淋,曲奇饼干…
And that includes things like ice cream, cookies …
包括食用油,
It includes cooking oils.
还包括洗涤液,洗衣液和肥皂
It also includes detergents, lotions, soaps.
我们可能在我们的
You and I both probably have numerous items
厨房和浴室里有大量的
in our kitchens and our bathrooms
使用棕榈油制造的产品
that were manufactured using palm oil.
所以我们也都是雨林被移除的直接受益者
So you and I are direct beneficiaries of removed rainforests.
现代化农业有一些问题,
Modern ag has some problems,
如果我们想要稳定的扩张,我们需要解决方法
and we need solutions if we want to scale sustainably.
我认为那种微生物可以是一种解决方案
I believe that microbes can be a part of the answer —
具体而言,就是那些超动力碳元素回收者
specifically, these supercharged carbon recyclers.
这些超动力碳元素回收者,
These supercharged carbon recyclers,
就像植物一样,充当着自然的反复循环器
like plants, serve as the natural recyclers
在他们所生存的生态系统中
in their ecosystems where they thrive.
他们生活在地球上非常独特的地方
And they thrive in exotic places on Earth,
就像深海热泉或是温泉里
like hydrothermal vents and hot springs.
在这些生态系统中,他们吸收碳元素并回收它
In those ecosystems, they take carbon and recycle it
把碳元素转换为那个生态系统中所需要的营养物质
into the nutrients needed for those ecosystems.
于是这些生态系统就富含了营养物质
And they’re rich in nutrients,
例如油和蛋白质,矿物质和碳水化合物
such as oils and proteins, minerals and carbohydrates.
事实上,微生物已经成为我们生活中不可或缺的一部分
And actually, microbes are already an integral part of our everyday lives.
如果你想在一个漫长劳累的一周后的周五晚上
If you enjoy a glass of pinot noir on a Friday night,
来一杯黑比诺(葡萄品种之一)葡萄酒
after a long, hard work week,
其实你就是在享受微生物的产品
then you are enjoying a product of microbes.
如果你在品味来自你们当地酿酒厂的啤酒
If you enjoy a beer from your local microbrewery —
它其实也是微生物的作品
a product of microbes.
或者像面包,奶酪,酸奶
Or bread, or cheese, or yogurt.
他们也都是微生物的产品
These are all products of microbes.
但是这些超动力碳元素回收循环器的美和力量
But the beauty and power associated with these supercharged carbon recyclers
在于它们能够在几个小时内
lies in the fact that they can actually produce in a matter of hours
生产几个月的产量
versus months.
那就意味着我们可以比现在更快地
That means we can make crops
种植作物
much faster than we’re making them today.
这些微生物在黑暗中生长
They grow in the dark,
所以他们可以在任何一个季节
so they can grow in any season
在任何地形地势,任何位置生长
and in any geography and any location.
他们还可以在极小的容器中生长
They can grow in containers that require minimal space.
于是我们能够得到一种立体农业
And we can get to a type of vertical agriculture.
代替我们传统的需要占据
Instead of our traditional horizontal agriculture
很多土地的水平农业
that requires so much land,
我们可以在垂直方向上扩张
we can scale vertically,
这样一来,我们在单位面积的土地上就可以产出更多的产品
and as a result produce much more product per area.
如果我们使用了这种方法并且使用这些碳元素循环器
If we implement this type of approach and use these carbon recyclers,
我们将不需要移除更多的雨林
then we wouldn’t have to remove any more rainforests
来制造我们消耗的食物和商品
to make the food and the goods that we consume.
因为,在大规模上,
Because, at a large scale,
你在单位土地上实际上可以实现原来10000倍的产出
you can actually make 10,000 times more output per land area
例如,如果你种植大豆,
than you could — for instance, if you used soybeans —
如果你在同样面积的土地
if you planted soybeans on that same area of land
在一年中种植一期大豆
over a period of a year.
10000倍于一年一期的大豆产量
Ten thousand times over a period of a year.
这就是我想通过一种新型农业表达的想法
So this is what I mean by a new type of agriculture.
这也是我为什么说要发展一个
And this is what I mean by developing a system
允许我们持续扩大规模以满足未来100亿的需求
that allows us to sustainably scale to meet the demands of 10 billion.
那么这种新型农业的产品将会是什么呢
And what would be the products of this new type of agriculture?
事实上,我们已经生产出一种蛋白质粉
Well, we’ve already made a protein meal,
因此你可以想象出像豆粉,
so you can imagine something similar to a soybean meal,
玉米粉或面粉之类的东西
or even cornmeal, or wheat flour.
我们也已经产出了油
We’ve already made oils,
所以你可以想象一些像椰子油,
so you can imagine something similar to coconut oil
或橄榄油,豆油之类的产品
or olive oil or soybean oil.
所以这种作物可以生产营养品
So this type of crop can actually produce the nutrients
从而为我们提供面食和面包,
that would give us pasta and bread,
蛋糕等各种各样的营养品
cakes, nutritional items of many sorts.
而且,由于油被用于生产制造多种产品
Furthermore, since oil is used to manufacture multiple other goods,
工业产品和消耗品
industrial products and consumer products,
你可以想象一下使用这种作物来
you can imagine being able to make detergents, soaps, lotions, etc.,
制造洗涤剂,肥皂或洗衣液等等
using these types of crops.
我们目前不仅仅在渐渐用尽我们的土地
Not only are we running out of space,
而且,如果我们还要继续维持在
but if we continue to operate under the status quo
现代农业这一现状中的话
with modern agriculture,
我们还将使后代失去一个漂亮的地球
we run the risk of robbing our progeny of a beautiful planet.
但是我们不必要这么做
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
我们可以想象一个富余的未来
We can imagine a future of abundance.
让我们创造这样的系统,
Let us create systems that keep planet Earth, our spaceship,
使我们的地球和飞船不仅可以免受冲撞,
not only from not crashing,
而且还让我可以研发出生存的系统和方式
but let us also develop systems and ways of living
那将有利于我们自己的生存
that will be beneficial to the lives of ourselves
和截止2050年存在的100亿人类的生存
and the 10 billion that will be on this planet by 2050.
非常感谢
Thank you very much.
(掌声)
(Applause)

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