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白蚁会让你的家毁于一旦 – 译学馆
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白蚁会让你的家毁于一旦

These Termites Turn Your House into a Palace of Poop | Deep Look

That lump on the side of this tree in the Amazon
看亚马逊雨林里的这棵树 树干一侧有一坨东西
It’s packed with termites.
里面全是白蚁
In the rainforest, that’s a good thing.
在雨林里 这是件好事儿
They break down wood into stuff other creatures can eat.
它们把木头分解成其他生物可以吃的东西
But inside our homes, termites are pests.
但在我们的家里 白蚁是害虫
They cost us billions of dollars of damage every year.
它们每年带来数十亿美元的损失
Take these dampwood termites that live on the cool California coast.
比如生活在凉爽的加利福尼亚海岸的湿木白蚁
They eat wood that’s wet or decayed,
它们以潮湿或腐烂的木头为食
maybe from a leak in your house.
这种木头的来源可能是房屋漏水
Slowly, but surely, they gnaw and scrape away.
它们不慌不忙 毫不犹豫地啃噬和挖空这些木头
What comes out the other end isn’t waste.
它们的粪便并不是毫无用处
It serves as a kind of mortar.
可以充当水泥
And dried poop pellets make perfect building blocks for their nests.
而干屎球则是它们筑巢的绝佳砖瓦
In other words, they’re turning your house into theirs.
换句话说 它们正在侵占你的房屋
What’s amazing is that they can digest wood, which is so hard,
难以置信的是 它们可以消化坚硬无比的木头
and get nutrients out of it.
并从中汲取营养
We certainly can’t do that.
我们人类肯定做不到
Termites are one of the only animals that can.
白蚁是为数不多具有这种能力的动物之一
It turns out they don’t do this alone.
事实上光靠它们自己是不行的
Researchers are looking inside termites
研究者正在深度观察白蚁
to figure out who’s actually responsible for this feat.
想找出完成这一壮举的真正幕后人物
At the Exploratorium, in San Francisco,
在旧金山的探索博物馆
museum biologists give the insect a little puff of carbon dioxide.
馆内生物学家给白蚁灌了一股二氧化碳
When it’s nice and relaxed, the termite poops itself.
白蚁在放松状态下自主排便了
Under the microscope, multitudes appear.
显微镜下出现大量东西
Hundreds of species of microbes live packed inside a termite’s gut,
成百种微生物群居在白蚁肠道中
about one one-thousandth of a teaspoon.
总量大约有千分之一茶匙
This big one is called Trichonympha.
这只大的叫做“披发虫”
It’s not an animal, plant or fungus.
它不是动物 植物或真菌
It’s a protist.
它是原生生物
Watch it move with the help of its flagella.
可以看到它靠鞭毛移动
Protists like Trichonympha are essential for termites
原生生物如披发虫属对于白蚁来说
to turn the wood into a source of energy.
是将木头转化为能量来源所必需的
They do this by fermenting the wood,
它们通过发酵木头来实现这一点
much the same way a brewer turns grain into beer.
大致如酿酒师把粮食发酵成啤酒一样
Something else is hidden deep in the termite’s gut:
白蚁肠道深处还隐藏着其他东西:
a powerful bacterium that combines nitrogen from the air
一种强大的细菌可以把空气中的氮
and calories from the wood to make protein.
和木头中的热量合成为蛋白质
That’s like turning a potato into a steak.
这就像把土豆变成牛排
Termites can’t live without their microbes.
白蚁离开体内的微生物不能生存
And many of these microbes can’t live outside the termite.
这些微生物离开白蚁大多也不能生存
So what if we used the microbes against their hosts?
如果用这些微生物对付它们的宿主会怎样?
Right now, when we want to get rid of termites, we fumigate our houses with poison.
如今想要灭蚁 我们会在家里喷杀虫剂
But maybe we could just kill the protists instead.
但也许只要杀死其体内的原生生物就行了
Louisiana State University entomologists are engineering
路易斯安那州立大学的昆虫学家正在研发
a gut bacterium to kill gut protists.
一种肠道细菌来杀死肠道原生生物
They’d sneak the bacteria into the termite colony
他们偷偷地把细菌送入蚁穴
on something the termites would eat.
放在白蚁要吃的东西上
The bacteria would kill the protists that help the termites digest wood,
细菌会杀死那些帮助白蚁消化木头的原生生物
leaving them surrounded by food but starving.
使白蚁们在食物充足的环境中饿死
Hi there. It’s Amy.
嗨 你们好 我是Amy
One other thing about termites and their microbes:
关于白蚁及其体内微生物还有一件事
termites aren’t born with them.
微生物不是白蚁生来就有
Adults feed babies a kind of starter kit when they’re little,
而是成蚁喂给幼蚁的最初辅食
the same way human moms give their babies good microbes in their breast milk.
正如人类母亲通过母乳给婴儿提供益生菌
Thanks for watching.
谢谢观看
And while you’re here, subscribe.
既然看到这儿啦 就订阅吧

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视频概述

介绍了白蚁是如何筑巢和消化木头的,也介绍了一种灭蚁的新思路。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYPQ1Tjp0ew

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