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荷蘭訓練蜜蜂嗅出新冠病毒

來源:chinadaily 編輯:Villa   可可英語APP下載 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet

Scientists in the Netherlands have trained bees to identify COVID-19 through their sense of smell, according to a press release from Wageningen University.

瓦赫寧根大學發佈新聞稿稱,荷蘭科學家已成功訓練蜜蜂通過嗅覺識別新冠病毒。

The research was conducted on more than 150 bees in Wageningen University's bio-veterinary research laboratory.

科學家在瓦赫寧根大學的生物獸醫研究實驗室對150多隻蜜蜂展開了研究。

The scientists trained the bees by giving them a treat — a sugar-water solution — every time they were exposed to the scent of a mink infected with COVID-19. Each time the bees were exposed to a non-infected sample, they wouldn't get a reward (a process known as Pavlovian conditioning).

科學家通過獎勵糖水溶液來訓練蜜蜂,每次蜜蜂在聞到感染新冠病毒的貂身上的氣味時都會得到獎勵。如果蜜蜂聞到的是沒被感染病毒的氣味樣本,則不會得到獎勵,這一過程被稱作巴甫洛夫條件反射作用。

Eventually, the bees could identify an infected sample within a few seconds — and would then stick out their tongues like clockwork to collect the sugar water.

最終,這些蜜蜂可以在幾秒鐘內識別出感染新冠病毒的樣本,而且它們的舌頭會像發條一樣伸出來喝糖水。

Bees aren't the first animals to detect COVID-19 by scent. Researchers have also trained dogs to distinguish between positive and negative COVID-19 samples from human saliva or sweat with fairly high levels of accuracy. A small German study found that dogs could identify positive COVID-19 samples 94% of the time.

蜜蜂不是第一種通過氣味識別新冠病毒的動物。研究人員也曾訓練狗來分辨人類唾液和汗液樣本中是否有新冠病毒,準確率相當高。德國的一項小型研究發現,狗識別出新冠病毒陽性樣本的準確率為94%。

That's because metabolic changes from the coronavirus make an infected person's bodily fluids smell slightly different than those of a non-infected person.

這是因為新冠病毒帶來的新陳代謝變化會讓感染者的體液氣味與非感染者略有不同。

But researchers still aren't sure whether animals are the best bet for sniffing out COVID-19 cases outside the lab.

不過研究人員還不確定在實驗室之外動物能否準確無誤地嗅出新冠肺炎病例。

"No one is saying they can replace a PCR machine, but they could be very promising," Holger Volk, a veterinary neurologist, told Nature. PCR machines are what lab technicians use to process standard COVID-19 swab tests.

獸醫神經學家霍爾格·沃爾克告訴《自然》雜誌説:“我們不是説動物嗅覺可以取代聚合酶鏈式反應儀,但是動物檢測方式前景十分廣闊。”聚合酶鏈式反應儀被實驗室技術人員用來做標準化拭子新冠核酸檢測。

At the very least, certain animals could be useful for identifying COVID-19 in places or countries in which high-tech laboratory equipment is scarce or inaccessible.

至少,在高科技實驗室設備稀缺或無從獲取的地區或國家,可以用某些動物來識別新冠病毒。

Wageningen scientists are working on a prototype of a machine that could automatically train multiple bees at once, then uses their skills to test for coronavirus aerosols (tiny virus-laden particles) in the surrounding environment.

瓦赫寧根大學的科學家正在研發一種可以一次自動訓練多隻蜜蜂的機器,然後這些蜜蜂就可以利用它們的技能來檢測周圍環境中是否有氣溶膠(含有病毒的微小顆粒物)。

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stick [stik]

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n. 枝,杆,手杖
vt. 插於,刺入,豎起<

 
solution [sə'lu:ʃən]

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n. 解答,解決辦法,溶解,溶液

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metabolic [.metə'bɔlik]

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adj. 新陳代謝的

 
distinguish [dis'tiŋgwiʃ]

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vt. 區別,辨認,使顯著

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multiple ['mʌltipl]

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exposed [iks'pəuzd]

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automatically [.ɔ:tə'mætikəli]

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identify [ai'dentifai]

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