One step closer to cyborgs 我們離半機械人時代又近了一步

Do we have the technology to become cyborgs?

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多年來,科幻小說一直在不斷地為我們描繪各種體能超強的半機械人類生活在未來的場景。隨著生物科技的迅速發展,半機械人類的時代離我們又近了一步。最新的一項生物科技突破是否証明集成技術的發展前景無限光明?本集《隨身英語》帶你走進生物科技。

課文內容

Vocabulary: biotechnology 詞匯: 生物技術

I am a massive science fiction geek. Ever since I was young, I’ve been captivated by tales of interstellar adventure, aliens, robots, and cutting-edge technology. I always loved the concept of cyborgs. That’s a human-robot hybrid. They are ordinary humans who have been enhanced in some way by technology; more intelligence, faster speed or better resilience to disease and damage. Great ideas, but I never thought I’d see them in my lifetime. 

Well, I stand corrected. Integrated biology and technology is already here and people have wasted no time utilising it to re-engineer their bodies. Take, for example, Neil Harbisson, who has an antenna protruding from his head that allows him to hear colour, or Moon Ribas, who has an implant that allows her to sense seismic activity. Now, neither are abilities that I particularly covet, but it’s a start.

And it doesn’t end there. As technology increases so too will our ability to enhance ourselves through it. One of the latest developments is the graphene tattoo. Not an actual tattoo at all, but more like a patch, the graphene tattoo could revolutionise biomedical monitoring.

It looks much like a transparent plaster, but with a gold coloured circuit board contained within it. This circuit is the graphene. Graphene is a form of carbon, but it’s 200 times stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than gold, which is the component typically used in electronics.

The human body is basically an electrical machine. When in contact with the skin, the graphene in the plaster is able to read and conduct the electricity – allowing it to easily be used as a medical monitor for heart-rate and pulse, among other things. And even more, graphene tattoos can be used as bioelectronic controllers, as demonstrated by one engineer who attached them to his eyelids in order to direct which way a drone flew, just by looking with his eyes!

I know that biotechnology is a long way from allowing humans to be able to lift a car or run half-way around the world in a single day, like I wanted to be able to do when I was a child. But, it’s improving all the time and once the price of graphene falls, who knows what else we’ll be able to do? I’ll see you in the future!

詞匯表

geek 呆子,極客
interstellar 星際的
cutting-edge 前沿的
cyborg 半機械人
hybrid 混合體
enhanced 強化的,增強的
integrated 合成一體的
re-engineer 重建,重新組合
antenna 觸角
protrude 伸出
implant 植入
seismic 地震的,造成嚴重破壞的
covet 渴望,貪求    
graphene 石墨烯
patch 貼布,貼片
transparent 透明的
circuit board 電路版
carbon 碳
conduct 傳導(電)
component 零部件,組成部分
bioelectronic 生物電子的

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to the article, what is a cyborg?

2. Which enhancements do the two cyborgs mentioned in the article have?

3. Why is graphene such a useful material?

4. Apart from biomedical applications, what other use can graphene have?

5. True or false: The human body is exactly the same as a battery.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. Ask John anything you want about music in the 1960s. When it comes to that stuff, he’s such a ______.

cyborg       geek       hybrid       integrated

2. Don’t have any electronics in the bathroom. Water ______ electricity and you could get hurt.

re-engineers       implats       transparent       conducts

3. I love their latest album. They’re always at the ______ of what anyone is doing in the music industry.

cutting-edge       implant       patch       biotechnology

4. One day technology will advance so far that ______ travel will be a daily occurrence. We’ll be able to go to other solar systems!

cutting-edge       cyborg       integrated       interstellar

5. This species of tomato is actually a ______ of the American and European varieties.

cyborg       hybrid       seismic       patch

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。 

1. According to the article, what is a cyborg?
A cyborg is a human-robot hybrid. They are ordinary humans who have been enhanced in some way by technology. 

2. Which enhancements do the two cyborgs mentioned in the article have?
One has an antenna protruding from his head which allows him to hear colours. The other has an implant that allows her to sense seismic activity. 

3. Why is graphene such a useful material?
It’s 200 times stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than gold.

4. Apart from biomedical applications, what other use can graphene have?
Apart from biomedical applications, graphene tattoos can also be used as controllers for electronics.

5. True or false: The human body is exactly the same as a battery.
False. The human body is basically an electrical machine.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. Ask John anything you want about music in the 1960’s. When it comes to that stuff, he’s such a geek.

2. Don’t have any electronics in the bathroom. Water conducts electricity and you could get hurt.

3. I love their latest album. They’re always at the cutting-edge of what anyone is doing in the music industry

4. One day technology will advance so far that interstellar travel will be a daily occurrence. We’ll be able to go to other solar systems!

5. This species of tomato is actually a hybrid of the American and European varieties.

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