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细胞理论的怪异历史 – 译学馆
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细胞理论的怪异历史

The wacky history of cell theory

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(Music)
关于科学研究,最伟大的一件事是
One of the great things about science
当科学家有一项科学发现,
is that when scientists make a discovery,
并不一定是循规蹈矩的实验结果,
it’s not always in a prescribed manner,
例如,在实验室严格按照实验步骤做实验,
as in, only in a laboratory under strict settings,
穿著白色实验服和使用各种精巧的实验仪器
with white lab coats and all sorts of neat science gizmos
"嘟!"聲的專門儀器。
that go, "Beep!"
实际上,
In reality,
这些科学家和他们伟大的科学发明
the events and people involved in some of the major scientific discoveries
都有些奇趣和不尋常。
are as weird and varied as they get.
我要说的是:
My case in point:
奇趣的细胞学说简史。
The Weird History of the Cell Theory.
细胞学说包含 3 条个方面。
There are three parts to the cell theory.
第一: 所有生物体都是由细胞构成。
One: All organisms are composed of one or more cells.
第二: 细胞是所有生物体结构和功能的基本单位。
Two: The cell is the basic unit of structure and organization in organisms.
第三: 新细胞可以从老细胞中产生
And three: All cells come from preexisting cells.
说实话,这些听起来很无聊
To be honest, this all sounds incredibly boring
直到我们深入了解到微生物的世界是怎样的
until you dig a little deeper into how the world of microscopic organisms
和這理論的來歷說起。
and this theory came to be.
最初在 17 世纪早期,
It all started in the early 1600s,
在荷兰,据说有一个叫詹森的眼镜商
in the Netherlands, where a spectacle maker
制造出世界上第一台显微镜
name Zacharias Jansen is said to have come up with the first compound microscope,
和第一台望远镜。
along with the first telescope.
但這兩樣儀器的發明者還有待確認,
Both claims are often disputed,
因為很顯然的,[br]楊森不是那時唯一喜歡玩鏡片的傢伙。
as apparently he wasn’t the only bored guy with a ton of glass lenses to play with at the time.
尽管如此,
Despite this,
显微镜很快就成为了一个热门的玩意儿
the microscope soon became a hot item
那時的每個博物學家或科學家都想擁有一個,
that every naturalist or scientist at the time wanted to play with,
其受歡迎的程度跟現代的 iPad 有得比。
making it much like the iPad of its day.
有一位叫做
One such person
列文虎克 (Anton van Leeuwenhoek) ,
was a fellow Dutchman by the name of Anton van Leeuwenhoek,
對顯微鏡這玩意兒興趣很高,
who heard about these microscope doohickies,
但他不想去买一个
and instead of going out and buying one,
所以他决定自己做一个。
he decided to make his own.
這的確是一個奇異的小玩意兒,
And it was a strange little contraption indeed,
因為它看上去像是太陽鏡片大小的小槳。
as it looked more like a tiny paddle the size of a sunglass lens.
如果他將兩個粘在一起,[br]它有可能是一副絕妙的太陽眼鏡……
If he had stuck two together, it probably would have made a wicked set of sunglasses …
完全能防止陽光侵透。
that you couldn’t see much out of.
話說回來,當列文虎克完成了他的顯微鏡
Any-who, once Leeuwenhoek had his microscope ready,
他到了城裡,什麼都用他的新顯微鏡拿來研究一番,
he went to town, looking at anything and everything he could with them,
包括他牙齒上的汙垢。
including the gunk on his teeth.
對,你沒聽錯。
Yes, you heard right.
他就是如此而發現了細菌,
He actually discovered bacteria by looking at dental scrapings,
當然,你要知道當時的人不常刷牙,
which, when you keep in mind that people didn’t brush their teeth much,
或者可以說是完全不刷牙的,
if at all, back then,
所以他有滿嘴的細菌來研究。
he must have had a lovely bunch of bacteria to look at.
當他報告這發現時,
When he wrote about his discovery,
他並不稱呼這些"汙垢"為"細菌"。
he didn’t call them bacteria, as we know them today.
他叫它們"動物分子",
But he called them animalcules,
因為它們看起來像小動物。
because they looked like little animals to him.
列文虎克在研究他牙齒的汙垢的同時,
While Leeuwenhoek was staring at his teeth gunk,
他寫了一封信給一位在英國
he was also sending letters to a scientific colleague in England,
叫虎克 (Robert Hooke) 的科學同好。
by the name of Robert Hooke.
虎克的科學研究興趣很廣泛,
Hooke was a guy who really loved all aspects of science,
其中包括了物理,化學和生物。
so he dabbled in a little bit of everything, including physics, chemistry and biology.
所以"細胞" (cell) 這名稱就是拜虎克所賜。
Thus it is Hooke who we can thank for the term "the cell,"
這名稱來自他用顯微鏡觀察到的軟木片結構,
as he was looking at a piece of cork under his microscope,
他覺得這些植物細胞結構有如教士們住的單人房,
and the little chambers he saw reminded him of cells,
英文名稱為 monasteries
or the rooms monks slept in in their monasteries.
教士的單人房有如沒有電視、電腦,[br]和吵鬧室友的大學宿舍。
Think college dorm rooms, but without the TV’s, computers and really annoying roommates.
那時的虎克並不是一位被賞識的科學家。
Hooke was something of an under-appreciated scientist of his day,
這要歸咎於
something he brought upon himself,
他跟史上最有名的科學家之一,
as he made the mistake of locking horns with one of the most famous scientists ever,
牛頓 (Sir Isaac Newton) 的論爭。
Sir Isaac Newton.
還記得我說過虎克的科學興趣很廣泛嗎?
Remember when I said Hooke dabbled in many different fields?
當時牛頓出版了一本劃時代的論著,
Well, after Newton published a groundbreaking book
講述包括萬有引力的 「論宇宙的系統」,
on how planets move due to gravity,
虎克聲稱牛頓的理論是
Hooke made the claim that Newton
受到他物理研究成果的啟發。
had been inspired by Hooke’s work in physics.
當然了,牛頓非常的憤怒,
Newton, to say the least, did not like that,
即便在虎克死後,兩人的關係仍舊緊張,
which sparked a tense relationship between the two that lasted even after Hooke died,
且不只是針對虎克的研究成果,
as quite a bit of Hooke’s research,
因為牛頓的關係,[br]皇家學會拆除了虎克僅存的肖像。
as well as his only portrait, was "misplaced," due to Newton.
還好,在牛頓去世後,虎克的理論又重被世人重視,
Much of it was rediscovered, thankfully, after Newton’s time,
但他的肖像卻永遠消失,[br]使得後人無法得知虎克的樣貌。
but not his portrait, as sadly no one knows what Robert Hooke looked like.
我們現在跳到 19 世紀,
Fast-forward to the 1800s,
有兩位德國科學家,[br]他們的發現用現代眼光來看
where two German scientists discovered something that today we might find rather obvious,
可能非常理所當然,[br]但對當代細胞理論有著極大貢獻。
but helped tie together what we now know as the cell theory.
第一位是施萊登 (Matthias Schleiden),
The first scientist was Matthias Schleiden,
他是喜歡用顯微鏡研究植物結構的植物學家。
a botanist who liked to study plants under a microscope.
從他多年觀察各種植物的結構,
From his years of studying different plant species,
他發現所有植物都是
it finally dawned on him that every single plant he had looked at
由細胞構成的。
were all made of cells.
同時,在德國的另一端,
At the same time, on the other end of Germany,
有一位叫施旺 (Theodor Schwann) 的科學家,
was Theodor Schwann,
他專門用顯微鏡研究動物細胞,
a scientist who not only studied slides of animal cells under the microscope,
施旺細胞就是以他名字命名的[br]一種特殊類型的神經細胞,
and got a special type of nerve cell named after him,
不只如此,他也發明了給消防隊員用的呼吸器
but also invented rebreathers for firefighters
並留有引人注目的兩鬢鬍鬚。
and had a kickin’ pair of sideburns.
他多年觀察動物細胞的心得是
After studying animal cells for a while,
每種動物都是由細胞構成的。
he too came to the conclusion that all animals were made of cells.
因為當時推特 (Twitter) 還有待發明,
Immediately, he reached out via snail mail,
所以他當下馬上將這概念用郵寄 (蝸牛信)的方式
as Twitter had yet to be invented,
跟其他的科學同好分享,
to other scientists working in the same field,
包括施萊登。[br]於是他們開始合作產生細胞理論的原型。
met with Schleiden, who got back to him, and the two started working on the beginnings of the cell theory.
但細胞理論的第三法則,
A bone of contention arose between them
成為了他們爭論的焦點。
as for the last part of the cell theory,
所有細胞是否繁衍於已存在的細胞?
that cells come from preexisting cells.
施萊登不完全支持這概念,
Schleiden didn’t exactly subscribe to that thought,
他主張細胞是自發形成的,
as he swore cells came from free cell formation,
類似自發結晶而產生的。
where they just kind of spontaneously crystalized into existence.
當下,另一位名叫菲爾紹 (Rudolph Virchow) 的科學家,
That’s when another scientist, named Rudolph Virchow,
提出了研究證明 ─ 所有細胞繁衍於已存在的細胞,
stepped in with research showing that cells did come from other cells,
但這研究成果 ─ 哎呀,要怎麼說呢? ─ 是抄襲於
research that was actually — hmm, how to put it? — borrowed without permission
一位名叫雷馬克 (Robert Remak) 的猶太裔科學家,
from a Jewish scientist by the name of Robert Remak,
因此這又造就了兩位不合的科學家。
which led to two more feuding scientists.
所以從牙齒的汙垢到惱怒的牛頓,
Thus, from teeth gunk to torquing off Newton,
從結晶到施旺細胞,
crystallization to Schwann cells,
演變而來的細胞理論是現代生物學一門重要的學問。
the cell theory came to be an important part of biology today.
有些現代科學理論可能讀起來很無趣,
Some things we know about science today may seem boring,
但是他們的發展可以說是耐人尋味。
but how we came to know them is incredibly fascinating.
所以任何無趣的事,
So if something bores you,
如果你仔細探索,
dig deeper.
你有可能偶然發現他們背後一些耐人尋味的奇趣。
It’s probably got a really weird story behind it somewhere.

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