Blowing bubbles: Soapy spheres pop pollen on fruit trees 科學家吹泡泡受啟發:肥皂泡可為果樹授粉

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日本的研究人員已經成功地利用肥皂泡薄膜中攜帶的花粉為梨樹授粉。由於全世界蜜蜂數量的減少,科學家們一直在尋找給作物授粉的替代方法。

Beloved by children and many adults, soap bubbles would hardly seem to be the most robust vehicle for pollinating fruit and vegetables. But Japanese researchers have found that these delicate spheres can each carry up to 2,000 grains of pollen, and their gentle kiss is strong enough to fertilise a flowering pear tree.

深受兒童和許多成年人的喜愛,肥皂泡似乎不是給果蔬授粉的最有力的載體。但日本的研究人員們發現,這些易碎的球體每個都能攜帶多達2000個花粉顆粒,它們溫柔的輕吻足以使一棵開花的梨樹受粉。

The lead researcher had previously experimented with drones for pollination without much success. But one day, while blowing bubbles with his young son in a park, inspiration literally popped up in front of his face.

這項研究的首席研究員曾實驗過用無人機授粉,但成效不大。但是有一天,當他和年幼的兒子在公園裡吹泡泡的時候,靈感頓時出現在他的面前。

After a few chemical alterations to the soapy mixture, the scientists loaded up their bubble guns and headed to a local pear orchard. Sixteen days later, young fruits started to form at a similar rate to trees pollinated by hand.

在對肥皂混合物做出了一些化學改變之後,科學家們把肥皂混合物裝進汽泡槍,前往當地的一個梨園。16天後,幼果開始形成,其速度與人工授粉的樹木不相上下。

While scientists agree that natural pollination is the best method of fertilising fruit and veg, the Japanese team believe that drones armed with soap bubble sprayers could, in future, take some of the strain from hardworking bees.

雖然科學家們一致認為自然傳粉是給果蔬授粉的最佳方法,但這個日本的研究小組認為,配有肥皂泡噴灑器的無人機將來可能會減輕勤勞工作的蜜蜂的壓力。

詞彙

soap bubbles 肥皂泡
robust 結實的,耐用的
vehicle 載體
pollinating 對……授粉
spheres 球體
fertilise 使受粉
flowering 開花的
drones 無人機
blowing bubbles 吹泡泡
inspiration 靈感,啟發
chemical alterations 化學改變
mixture 混合物
bubble guns 玩具泡泡槍

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. True or false? Scientists agree that the best method of fertilising fruit and vegetables is pollination by hand.

2. How many grains of pollen can each soap bubble carry?

3. Where did the lead researcher get his inspiration from?

4. What do the Japanese team think of using drones with soap bubble sprayers to fertilise fruit and vegetables?

答案

1. True or false? Scientists agree that the best method of fertilising fruit and vegetables is pollination by hand.
False. Scientists agree that natural pollination is the best method of fertilising fruit and vegetables.

2. How many grains of pollen can each soap bubble carry?
Each soap bubble can carry up to 2,000 grains of pollen.

3. Where did the lead researcher get his inspiration from?
The lead researcher got his inspiration while blowing bubbles with his young son in a park.

4. What do the Japanese team think of using drones with soap bubble sprayers to fertilise fruit and vegetables?
The Japanese team believe that drones armed with soap bubble sprayers could, in future, reduce some of the pressure on hardworking bees.