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这位疯狂的科学家用苹果做出了耳朵 – 译学馆
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这位疯狂的科学家用苹果做出了耳朵

This scientist makes ears out of apples | Andrew Pelling

我承认
I’ve got a confession.
我喜欢翻人们扔掉的垃圾
I love looking through people’s garbage.
这不是什么怪癖
Now, it’s not some creepy thing.
我只是经常找些能带回
I’m usually just looking for old electronics,
工作间的旧电子器件 然后把它们拆了
stuff I can take to my workshop and hack.
我的确痴迷于光盘驱动器
I do have a fetish for CD-ROM drives.
每一个驱动器都有三个不同的马达
Each one’s got three different motors,
这样你就能组装一些可以动的东西了
so now you can build things that move.
驱动器还有开关 让你能够实现启动和关闭功能
There’s switches so you can turn things on and off.
它甚至还有一个怪异的激光器
There’s even a freaking laser,
让你能把一个看起来还不错的机器人变得炫酷无比
so you can make a cool robot into an awesome robot.
我已经用废弃材料造出了许多东西
Now, I’ve built a lot of stuff out of garbage,
而且其中一些还是很有用的
and some of these things have even been kind of useful.
不过事实上
But here’s the thing,
对我来说 废品只是提供了一个玩转的机会
for me, garbage is just a chance to play,
让我富有创造力 打造自娱自乐的东西
to be creative and build things to amuse myself.
这是我的兴趣所在 所以我把它融入了我的一部分日常工作
This is what I love doing, so I just made it part of my day job.
我带领着一个大学的生物研究实验室
I lead a university-based biological research lab,
我们把好奇心和探究精神摆在首位
where we value curiosity and exploration above all else.
我们不专注于任何特定的问题
We aren’t focused on any particular problem,
也没有尝试去解决任何特定的疾病
and we’re not trying to solve any particular disease.
这只是一个人们可以来
This is just a place where people can come
提出奇妙的问题并找到答案的地方
and ask fascinating questions and find answers.
很久以前我就意识到
And I realized a long time ago
如果我挑战别人用我找到的废品
that if I challenge people to build the equipment they need
造出他们需要的设备
out of the garbage I find,
这是一种很好的培养创造力的方式
it’s a great way to foster creativity.
后来
And what happened
全世界的艺术家和科学家们
was that artists and scientists from around the world
开始纷纷来到我的实验室
started coming to my lab.
并不只是因为我们重视新奇的想法
And it’s not just because we value unconventional ideas,
更是因为我们要用科学的严谨
it’s because we test and validate them
验证那些想法
with scientific rigor.
有一天我正在拆解东西
So one day I was hacking something, I was taking it apart,
我突然产生了这样的想法:
and I had this sudden idea:
我能不能把生物体当作硬件?
Could I treat biology like hardware?
我能不能拆解一个生物系统
Could I dismantle a biological system,
把这些部件混合匹配
mix and match the parts
然后用一些新的创造性的方式 把它们还原到一起呢
and then put it back together in some new and creative way?
我的实验室着手研究这件事
My lab started working on this,
我现在想向你们展示一下我们的成果
and I want to show you the result.
你们有谁能够告诉我这是什么水果吗?
Can any of you guys tell me what fruit this is?
观众:苹果!
Audience: Apple!
安德鲁·佩林:没错 这就是一个苹果
Andrew Pelling: That’s right — it’s an apple.
现在 事实上 我想你们也注意到了
Now, I actually want you to notice as well
这一个比大部分的苹果都要红
that this is a lot redder than most apples.
原因是我们在其中植入了人类细胞
And that’s because we grew human cells into it.
我们把一个完全没问题的旭苹果(加拿大品种)
We took a totally innocent Macintosh apple,
移除掉它所有的细胞和DNA
removed all the apple cells and DNA
然后植入人类细胞
and then implanted human cells.
在移除了苹果的所有细胞之后
And what we’re left with after removing all the apple cells
剩下的是纤维素骨架
is this cellulose scaffold.
正是纤维素保证了植物的形状和质感
This is the stuff that gives plants their shape and texture.
还有你们看到的这些小孔
And these little holes that you can see,
就是苹果细胞原来所在的地方
this is where all the apple cells used to be.
然后我们继续试验
So then we come along,
植入了一些哺乳动物细胞 你们可以看到是蓝色的
we implant some mammalian cells that you can see in blue.
接下来 它们开始繁殖
What happens is, these guys start multiplying
渐渐的 它们填满了整个的骨架
and they fill up this entire scaffold.
就是这么的不可思议
As weird as this is,
这的确能使我们联想到人体的组织排列方式
it’s actually really reminiscent of how our own tissues are organized.
我们在临床前试验时发现
And we found in our pre-clinical work
你可以把这些纤维素骨架植入体内
that you can implant these scaffolds into the body,
而身体会提供细胞和血液供应
and the body will send in cells and a blood supply
来维持其生命活动
and actually keep these things alive.
这个时候 人们开始问我
This is the point when people started asking me,
安德鲁 你能用苹果做出身体部位么
“Andrew, can you make body parts out of apples?”
我答道:“你来对地方了”
And I’m like, “You’ve come to the right place.”
(笑声)
(Laughter)
事实上 我也这样问过我的妻子
I actually brought this up with my wife.
她是一名乐器制造者
She’s a musical instrument maker,
也把制作木雕当成一种职业
and she does a lot of wood carving for a living.
所以我问她
So I asked her,
你可不可以用苹果给我们
“Could you, like, literally carve some ears
雕刻一些耳朵么
out of an apple for us?”
然后她就帮我们做了
And she did.
后来我带着她雕刻的耳朵去了实验室
So I took her ears to the lab.
我们开始着手准备
We then started preparing them.
是的 我知道(这看起来很惊悚)
Yeah, I know.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
伙计们 这是一个非常棒的实验
It’s a good lab, man.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
然后 我们给它们植入细胞
And then we grew cells on them.
然后 这就是研究的成果
And this is the result.
注意 我的实验室不是在经营耳朵制造业
Listen, my lab is not in the ear-manufacturing business.
人们已经在这方面研究了几十年
People have actually been working on this for decades.
这里存在一个问题
Here’s the issue:
商业支架可能会非常的昂贵而且存在一些问题
commercial scaffolds can be really expensive and problematic,
因为它们来自于专利产品
because they’re sourced from proprietary products,
动物和尸体
animals or cadavers.
我们用的是一个苹果 而且只花费几分钱
We used an apple and it cost pennies.
还有非常酷的地方就是
What’s also really cool here
制造这些东西并不是很难
is it’s not that hard to make these things.
你所需要的设备可以由废品打造
The equipment you need can be built from garbage,
而且关键的加工步骤只需肥皂和水
and the key processing step only requires soap and water.
于是 我们把制作教程公开上传到网上
So what we did was put all the instructions online as open source.
然后我们成立了一家身负使命的公司
And then we founded a mission-driven company,
并且我们在开发一些工具包 让它变得更简单
and we’re developing kits to make it easier
任何人 只要有水槽和烙铁
for anyone with a sink and a soldering iron
就可以在家里做这些东西
to make these things at home.
我真正好奇的是会不会有一天
What I’m really curious about is if one day,
我们用厨房里做的材料
it will be possible to repair, rebuild and augment our own bodies
就可以修复 改造 强化我们自己的身体
with stuff we make in the kitchen.
说到厨房
Speaking of kitchens,
这儿有一些芦笋
here’s some asparagus.
它们很好吃 但会让你的尿有股味儿
They’re tasty, and they make your pee smell funny.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
有一次 我在我的厨房里发现
Now, I was in my kitchen, and I was noticing
当你观察芦笋茎秆那一端(的截面)
that when you look down the stalks of these asparagus,
你会看到这些细小的导管
what you can see are all these tiny little vessels.
而当我们在实验室里观察它们时
And when we image them in the lab,
你会发现纤维素是如何形成这些结构的
you can see how the cellulose forms these structures.
这个影像让我想起了两件事
This image reminds me of two things:
我们的血管
our blood vessels
和我们的神经和脊髓的结构组织
and the structure and organization of our nerves and spinal cord.
那么问题来了:
So here’s the question:
我们能否在这些小隧道里培植神经轴突或神经元呢
Can we grow axons and neurons down these channels?
如果我们可以
Because if we can,
也许我们就能用芦笋来形成全新的节点
then maybe we can use asparagus to form new connections
连接损伤或切断的神经末梢
between the ends of damaged and severed nerves.
或者甚至可以是脊髓
Or maybe even a spinal cord.
不要误会——
Don’t get me wrong —
这极具有挑战性
this is exceptionally challenging
非常难操作
and really hard work to do,
而且我们并不是唯一研究这方面的人
and we are not the only ones working on this.
但我们却是唯一在用芦笋做研究的人
But we are the only ones using asparagus.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
现在我们已经有了非常有前景的实验数据
Right now, we’ve got really promising pilot data.
正在与人体组织工程师
And we’re working with tissue engineers
神经外科医生一起
and neurosurgeons
寻找什么是真正可以实现的
to find out what’s actually possible.
听我说 我向你们展示的所有作品
So listen, all of the work I’ve shown you,
也就是像台上我周围摆放的这些东西
the stuff that I’ve built that’s like all around me on this stage
和我实验室所涉及到的其他项目
and the other projects my lab is involved in
都是从玩转你们的垃圾而来的
are all a direct result of me playing with your garbage.
玩——玩是我科学实践的一个关键部分
Play — play is a key part of my scientific practice.
它能训练我的大脑突破常规 富有创意
It’s how I train my mind to be unconventional and to be creative
让我下定决心制作人类的苹果耳朵
and to decide to make human apple ears.
所以 下一次当你们看到一些旧的
So, the next time any of you are looking at some old,
破损的 不好用的 废铜烂铁一样的科技产品
broken-down, malfunctioning, piece-of-crap technology,
我希望你们想起我
I want you to think of me.
因为 我想要它
Because I want it.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
说真的 请一定想办法跟我联系
Seriously, please find any way to get in touch with me,
看看我们能造出什么东西
and let’s see what we can build.
谢谢
Thank you.
(掌声)
(Applause)

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视频概述

一位喜欢翻看别人扔掉的垃圾的疯狂的科学家,用苹果做出了耳朵

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LPJrzZaoZg

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