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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2019年10月17日 19:45:52
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Business Biotech patents Taking it personally商业 生物技术专利 对人下药A legal fight over a new generation of medicine新一代药品的法律纠纷DRUG research is in dark times, as pipelines dry up and development budgets are cut.但有一束光带来了一线希望。But one shaft of light pierces the gloom.随着新药品种开发减少,药品的研发资金缩减,药品研究正处于黑暗时期。;Personalised medicine; promises to craft drugs for individuals.;个性化药品;承诺为个人定制药品。Genetic tests will identify those who will benefit from specific medicines.基因测试将识别出那些从特制药品中获益的人。Treatment will be more effective; waste will drop.从而加强治疗效果;降低浪费水平。Personalised medicine has sparked excitement among drugmakers, doctors, hospitals and patients.个性化药品让制药商、医生和病人均欣喜若狂。It has also sparked a legal brawl.这也引发了法律纠纷。On December 7th Americas Supreme Court heard arguments in Mayo v Prometheus.2011年12月7日美国高等法院听取了梅奥V普罗米修斯的辩论。The suit, despite a name that suggests an ancient liver sandwich, may be crucial for biotechnology firms.这一诉讼虽然以暗示古代肝三明治的名义进行,但是对于生物公司来说至关重要。America is the worlds hub for drug research.美国是全球药品研究中心。By definition, personalised medicine includes the study of genetic mutations and other personal characteristics.按定义,定制药品包括对于基因突变的研究和其他个性化特征。However, American law bars patents of nature and abstract ideas.但是美国的法律禁止给自然和抽象的概念颁发专利。The question is which discoveries in personalised medicine may be patented.问题在于个性化药品的哪一种发现可能授予专利。Prometheus is part of a series of suits over biotech patents.普罗米修斯公司是陷入一系列生物技术专利权之争的公司之一。Courts have been active because Congress has not.因国会无动于衷,法庭便积极地应对。A recent patent reform provided little clarity.最近的专利改革提供模棱两可的解释。Congress merely ordered a study of genetic testing.国会仅是指示对基因测试进行研究。Judges have been bolder: in July a federal court ruled that genes could be patented.法官们是更加的大胆:7月份联邦法庭裁决基因可获得专利。On December 7th the suits losers appealed to the Supreme Court.12月7日该案件的败诉方上诉至最高法院。But Prometheus may have greater practical import, says Hans Sauer of the Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO), a trade group.生物科技产业组织(BIO)的汉斯.萨奥尔说,但普罗米修斯案可能实际起的作用更大。Firms are studying genetic correlations that might predict a drugs efficacy or determine the cause of a disease.研究遗传相关的公司可能预计到药品的功效或决定疾病的缘由。Prometheus may determine whether methods using such correlations may be patented.普罗米修斯案可能裁定使用这种相关方法是否能授予专利。The fight has attracted the heavyweights of health care.这场官司吸引了卫生保健业重量级人物的眼球。On one side is Prometheus Laboratories, a Californian company that has patented a way to optimise certain drug treatments for individuals.一方是因优化某种个性化药物治疗的方法获得专利的加州普罗米修斯公司,On the other is the Mayo Clinic, a health and research centre.另一方是健康研究中心,梅奥诊所。Prometheuss supporters include BIO and several tech firms.普罗米修斯公司的持者包括BIO和几个高科技公司。Roche and Abbott, two big drugmakers, gave warning against invalidating patents on diagnostic tests.两大医药巨头罗氏制药和雅培公司对诊断试验专利无效提出了警告。Mayos allies include the American Medical Association.梅奥的联盟包括美国医学协会。The patents in question do not concern genetic tests, though the suits outcome will affect them.对于专利权的争议与基因测试无关,尽管这一案件的审理结果会影响到基因测试。They concern tests for the effectiveness of thiopurines, drugs that have long been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohns disease.他们关心的是巯基嘌呤是否适当的测试。巯基嘌呤是一直用来治疗胃肠道功能失调如克罗恩病的药物。Their effect depends on how they are metabolised.该药物的是否有效取决于其是如何新陈代谢的。Neither thiopurines nor tests for metabolites (substances produced by metabolism) were new when Prometheuss patents were filed in 1998.在普罗米修斯公司申请专利时不管是巯基嘌呤还是代谢物(由新陈代谢引起的物质)的测试都不是什么新鲜事物。But the patents cover the process for determining whether a given dose produces concentrations of metabolites within a recommended range.但是这一专利包括决定是否给定的药物剂量在推荐范围内能产生大量的代谢物过程。The dose of thiopurines could be adjusted accordingly.巯基嘌呤的剂量可以随之调整过来。Prometheus sells a test based on its patents to hospitals and clinics.普罗米修斯公司因测试方法申请了专利权而将其卖给医院和诊所。In 2004 Mayo developed a competing test, with different recommended levels of metabolites.2004年梅奥研制出了有竞争力的测试,对代谢物使用不同的推荐指数。Prometheus sued.普罗米修斯公司以此状告梅奥诊所。Mayos lawyers say Prometheus has patented a mere observation of the bodys natural workings.梅奥的律师说普罗米修斯公司申请的仅仅是观察人体自然运行的专利。Let the claim stand, Mayo argues, and firms will win broad patents over basic biological relationships, stifling innovation.梅奥辩道,若让普罗米修斯公司胜诉,公司将超越基本的生物基础而获得广泛意义的专利权从而阻碍创新。Prometheus and its allies warn of an alternative apocalypse.普罗米修斯公司和其联盟则警告这是另一场大灾难。A judgment in Mayos favour, they contend, will undermine existing patents and shrivel investment in personalised medicine.偏向于梅奥的持方争辩道这将破坏现有的专利及导致对个性化药品的投资减少。The Supreme Court may not make such a broad judgment.最高法院可能不会做出广泛的评判。It may instead hand down a narrower ruling that leaves many questions unanswered.相反,最高法院有可能将采用较小范围的裁定使得许多问题悬而未决。A natural phenomenon may not be patented, but which applications of that phenomenon might be?自由现象有可能不会授予专利,但是自然现象的哪种应用属于专利范围呢?When studying genetic correlations, which so-called discoveries are truly novel?在研究遗传相关的命题时,哪一种所谓的发现是真的新鲜出炉?Eventually personalised medicine may transform patients care and firms business models.最终个性化药品可能转变病人的护理和企业的经营模式。In the near future, the greatest beneficiaries may be patent lawyers.在不久的将来,最大的的受益者将是打专利权官司的律师。 /201211/211584

  Floods under Antarctica ice speeding glacious into sea南极冰层下洪流加速冰河流入海中Scientists unveiled the first direct evidence that massive floods deep below Antarcticas ice cover are accelerating the flow of glaciers into the sea. How quickly these huge bodies of ice slide off the Antarctic and Greenland land masses into the ocean help determine the speed at which sea levels rise.科学家首度公布资料,明南极冰川下的巨大洪流正使冰川加速流向海洋。这些体积庞大的冰川正从南极大陆和格陵兰岛流向海洋,它们漂移的速度直接决定了海平面升高的速度。The stakes are enormous: an increase measured in tens of centimeters (inches) could wreak havoc for hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying deltas and island nations around the world.这导致的后果将惊心动魄:即使海平面只上升几十厘米,就足以对世界各地居住在低海拔三角洲和岛国的人民造成毁灭性灾难。Researchers discovered only recently that inaccessible subglacial lakes in Antarctica periodically shed huge quantities of water. They discovered that during the same 14-month period that 1.7 cubic kilometers (0.4 cubic miles) of water cascaded through subglacial waterways, the 75-kilometer (45-mile) long glacier downstream picked up speed, moving about 10 percent faster.研究者近日发现,在南极冰层下隐秘的冰下湖泊会周期性的倾泻大量水流。他们发现在同样的14个月期间,冰层下湖泊溢出了1.7立方千米的水(相当于0.4立方英里),75公里(相当于45英里)长的伯德冰川的移动速度加快了10%。;Our findings provide direct evidence that an active lake drainage system can cause large and rapid changes in glacier dynamics,; the researchers concluded.研究人员由此得出结论:“活跃的湖泊排水系统会导致冰川运动出现大规模、快速的变化,我们的研究结果为此提供了直接据。”The study adds to growing scientific concern about the pace at which glaciers are melting into the seas. The ice sheet that sits atop Greenland, for example, contains enough water to raise world ocean levels by seven meters (23 feet). Even the gloomiest global warming predictions do not include such a scenario.该研究进一步加剧了科学家对冰川融化速度的担忧。例如,光是格陵兰岛表面覆盖的冰层溶化后就能使海平面上升7米(相当于23英尺)。即使最悲观的全球气候变暖预言也没有报道这样的情形。201206/187505

  Science and Technology New transistors Mechanical advantage科技 新型晶体管 机械优势Two new types of transistor may lead to simpler, more efficient computers两种新型晶体管或许会导致更加便捷高效计算机的出现WHEN baking a cake it helps to have all the ingredients within reach, rather than wasting time and energy making frequent trips to the pantry.当你在烧烤蛋糕的时候,它有会让所有的一切都变得触手可及,而不是让你在食品柜繁琐的开关之间浪费时间与精力。Something similar is true of the logic circuits in computers microprocessors.这也同样会真正应用于电脑微处理器中的某些逻辑电路。These could be made faster, and would consume less energy, if they were able to store information themselves instead of fetching it from separate memory chips or hard drives.如果这些微处理器自己能够储存一些信息,用来取代从原来相互独立的芯片或手工操作中获得的信息,它们的速度将会变得更快,能耗将会更低。The problem is that the transistors used to make logic circuits hold their electronic state, and therefore any data they contain, only when powered up.问题是,用来制造逻辑电路的晶体管中保留着它们的电子态,因此当这些晶体管通电的时候,它们会包含任何可能的数据。The choice engineers face is thus between supplying continuous power to a transistor, so that it can retain its memory (which costs energy), and ferrying data that would otherwise be lost to and from so-called non-volatile memory devices that do not require continuous power (which costs time).因此,工程师们面临的选择就是要么对晶体管提供一个持续的电源,让晶体管保持自己的记忆(这会耗费能源),否则从所谓的非易失性半导体存储器中传输的数据就有可能丢失,不过它不需要持续的电源(这会消耗时间)。Cracking this problem—so that transistors can act as their own non-volatile memory—would make all computers faster.解决这个问题——以便于让晶体管使用自身的非易失性半导体存储器——将会让所有的电脑运行速度更快。It would be particularly valuable, though, for mobile devices.虽然这对于移动设备来说,显得特别昂贵。These could be made smaller and lighter, since they would require fewer components.不过移动设备因此可以做得更小,更轻盈,因为它们需要的元件更小。And they could go for longer between charges.并且两次充电的时间间隔将会变得更长。To this end, Hiroshi Mizuta of the University of Southampton, in England, and Tsuyoshi Hasegawa of the National Institute for Material Science in Tsukuba, Japan, are proposing a marriage between two novel types of transistor that could hardly be more different.为此,英国南安普顿大学的Hiroshi Mizuta和日本筑波国立材料科学研究所的Tsuyoshi Hasegawa提出了将两种完全不同新型材料混合起来。One, the atomic transistor, draws on the latest advances in nanoscience.其中一种就是原子晶体管,它利用了最新的纳米科技。The other, the mechanical transistor, sounds as if it has been lifted from the annals of the industrial revolution.另外一种就是机械晶体管,这听起来就像是从工业革命史册中发掘出来的玩意儿。The atomic transistor works, as its name suggests, by shuffling individual atoms around within the device.原子晶体管的工作方式就像它名字所示的那样,是通过移动该元件内部的单个原子进行工作的。The atoms in question are copper,这里所说的原子指的是铜原子,and the result of the shuffling is to create or destroy a conductive pathway between two crucial bits of the transistor, the source and the drain, thus switching the device on or off. That is possible because this part of the transistor is made of tantalum pentoxide, a material whose atoms are arranged in a lattice which contains holes large enough for copper atoms to squeeze through.移动的结果主是在晶体管的两个十字位置构建或消除一个传导通路,它的源极和漏极因此就会开启或关闭。这是有可能实现的,因为这部分晶体管是由五氧化二钽制造的——这种材料可以将它自身的原子排布在晶格中,这些晶格包括一些足够大的孔,可以让铜原子挤过去。The mechanical transistor, more properly called a nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS) transistor, creates and destroys the connection between source and drain mechanically.机械晶体管,更确切地可以称之为纳米电子机械系统(NEMS)晶体管,它可以在源极和漏极之间机械地构建或消除连接。When a voltage is applied across two beamlike electrodes made of aluminium, which are separated by a gap of around 50 nanometres, charge builds up on each, creating an attractive force between them, until a critical point is reached.两个柱状的铝电极间隔约50纳米,当电压加在这两个电极之间时,它们就会相互通电,在二者之间会形成一股引力,直至达到一个临界点。At that moment one of the electrodes flips towards the other, causing the two to make contact. This closes the circuit and turns the transistor on.在达到临界点的那一刻,其中一个电极就会移向另一个电极,这两个电极就会形成通路。Apply the opposite charge and the electrode flips back, breaking the circuit.这样就会接通电路,打开晶体管。利用相反的电荷,电极就会复位,进而断开电路。What makes these two very different types of transistor attractive is that both the copper and the aluminium stay put when the power is turned off.这两种完全不同类型的晶体管如此吸引人的地方就在于断电后,如何让铜原子和铝电极待在原地。They can thus act as memories as well as processors.它们可以应用于储存芯片和处理器。The ;on; state represents one type of binary digit (a one, say) and the ;off; state represents the other (zero).;开;的状态表示二进制中的一个数字(就是;一;),;关;的状态可以表示另一个数字(即;零;)。Dr Mizuta and Dr Hasegawa are therefore using the novel transistors to try to make the worlds first non-volatile processor chip.Mizuta士和Hasegawa士因此都在使用新型的晶体管,力图制造出世界上第一个非易失性处理器芯片。Ideally, such a chip would have only one sort of transistor, since that would mean it was much easier to manufacture.理想的这种芯片将只有一种晶体管类型,因为这意味着它将会更加容易制造。However, transistors come in two varieties, n-type (negative) and p-type (positive).不过,晶体管却有两种,一种是N型(负),一种是P型(正)。Both are needed in a logic circuit, but atomic devices can be only n-type.逻辑电路都需要这两种晶体管,不过在原子设备中,只需要N型。The alternatives, then, are to make the circuit entirely out of NEMS transistors, or to mix the two by using atomic devices where an n-type transistor is needed and NEMS ones where a p-type is required.那么另一个方案就是完全用NEMS晶体管制造电路,或者是将利用N型晶体管的原子设备和利用P型晶体管的NEMS晶体管混合起来。Dr Mizuta and Dr Hasegawa have opted for a mixture, because atomic transistors are much smaller than NEMS ones, and the saving of space outweighs the awkwardness of mixing them together.Mizuta士和Hasegawa士选择了二者的混合,因为原子晶体管比NEMS更加小巧,这样节省的空间就会消除二者的混合的尴尬。If their recipe works, it will mean far fewer electronic trips to the pantry and a quicker baking time for whatever answer the new chip is trying to cook up.如果他们的方案成功的话,这意味着食品柜中的开关将会大大减小,(无论任何口味的饭菜)实现更短的烹饪时间。 /201211/210629。

  

  Obituary;Robert Byrd讣告;罗伯特·伯德Robert C. Byrd, doyen of the ed States Senate, died on June 28th, aged 92罗伯特·C·伯德,资深美国参议院议员,逝世于6月28日,享年92岁WHENEVER Robert Byrd walked the corridors and chambers of the Senate, he went in a crowd of people. Some were his constituents, in camouflage caps and T-shirts, gape-mouthed among the gilt and marble, come to talk to him about the problems of Marsh Fork Elementary School or their uncles black lung. But he also saw Henry Foote of Mississippi wielding his pistol, Sam Houston of Texas whittling wooden hearts for the ladies, and little John Randolph of Virginia strutting past with his hunting dogs; and Cicero in the shadows, and just behind him Cato the younger, whispering “I would not be beholden to a tyrant.”无论什么时候罗伯特·伯德行走在参议院的走廊和房间里,总有一群人相伴而行。一些是他的选民,戴着迷帽,穿着T恤,瞠目于参议员的金碧辉煌,他们是来找他谈马什福克小学或者他们叔叔的黑肺之类的问题。但他也见过密西西比的亨利·富特挥舞手,萨姆·休斯顿为女士们制作木心,还见过矮小的约翰·伦道夫昂首阔步走过参议院;还有阴影中的西塞罗,和他身后的小卡图,喃喃:“我不沾暴君的光。”The Roman Senate fascinated Mr Byrd almost as much as the American. When it declined, the Republic fell. And why had it declined? Because it had become passive, failed to raise its voice; and especially because it had handed meekly to Caesar and Sulla the power of the pursestrings. Mr Byrd therefore spent his career—the longest Senate service in American history, incorporating six years as majority whip, 12 years as majority or minority leader and 20 years as chairman or ranking minority member of the Appropriations Committee—learning, describing and expertly applying the rules that kept the Senate a force in government. He was constantly alert both to executive overreach and to weakness in his own beloved chamber, “the anchor of the Republic, the morning and evening star in the American constitutional constellation”.伯德对罗马元老院的着迷不亚于美国参议院。随着元老院的衰退,罗马共和国也灭亡了。它为什么会衰退?因为它变得消极,不再高声疾呼;特别是因为对于凯撒与苏拉,它将财政拱手相让。因此,伯德终其一生——美国历史上任期最长的参议员,包括6年的多数党党鞭,12年多数党或少数党领袖以及20年拨款委员会主席或高级少数党成员——学习,描述,而且巧妙地应用这些规则,使得参议院仍旧是政府的一股力量。他时刻警惕滥用职权和自己受爱戴的内阁的弱点,“共和国之栋梁,美国宪法星座中的启明星和长庚星。”Dignity was his byword: three-piece suits, velvet waistcoats and the rolling oratory of a man who had been a fine lay preacher before he left West Virginia. His courtesy was instinctive, his thank-you notes reliably there the next day. The point of all this, though, was to uphold the worth of the Senate. At meetings with the president he insisted on taking a staff person, because the president had one, and the branches were equal. He kept laptops out of the chamber, but voted for televised proceedings, so that the Senate would be visible to the people to whom it belonged. The constitution, as he reminded listeners, pulling it from his left breast pocket where he kept it over his heart, had made the American people sovereign and mentioned their Congress first. Now, like him, they had to revere and defend it.高雅是他的座右铭:3件套装西,天鹅绒马甲和圆熟的口才——他离开西弗吉尼亚前曾是一个优秀的非神职布道者。他的礼节毫不做作,他的感谢信从不迟到。然而,这一切的意义都在与维护参议院的形象。会见总统时,他坚持要带上一名工作人员,因为三权领导等级相同,而总统带了一个。他不允许在会议室里用笔记本电脑,但却持电视直播议程,好让该看见的人看见参议院的样子。宪法让美国成为一个主权国家,它把国会放在第一位,他在提醒听众时,从左胸口袋里拿出了他一直保存在心上的宪法。现在,像伯德一样,他们也要尊重和维护它。He grappled masterfully with 11 presidents, and liked them less as he got older. George Bush junior he detested, a reckless and arrogant man who, on Iraq, overrode the war-declaring powers of Congress while the Senate stood pitifully by. “In this terrible show of weakness”, Mr Byrd wrote, “the Senate left an indelible stain upon its own escutcheon.” Some Democrats pleased him little better. Though most of his 18,500 votes went with his party, he had an old southerners conservative streak, besides a West Virginians tenderness for coal-mining and steel-making; and party ran second to the Senate, in any case. Bill Clintons bid to seize the pursestrings from Congress in the 1990s with the line-item budget veto was opposed by Mr Byrd in 14 separate one-hour speeches, learned by heart, to slow up debate. He had filibustered before, the old-fashioned way: in 1964 for a straight 14 hours 13 minutes, to try to kill the Civil Rights Act.他巧妙地与11任总统周旋,并且随着年长,越来越不喜欢他们。他憎恶小布什,在伊拉克问题上,布什越过了国会的宣战权,而参议院还在可怜地等待。“在这次严重的示弱行为后,”伯德写道,“参议院在自己的盾上留下了不可磨灭的污点。”有些民主党人也讨不得他的欢喜。虽然他的18500票中,党内人士居多,但他有着老南方的保守性格,和西弗吉尼亚人对炼钢和煤矿的温柔;而且在任何情况下,参议院优先于党。九十年代,比尔·克林顿曾企图通过项目预算否决权,从国会那里接管财政,被伯德反对,并以分别的14个一小时演讲,全部脱稿,拖延了议程。他以前也曾以老式的方式阻挠议事:1964年,一次长达14小时13分钟的演讲,试图遏止人权法案。This he later regretted. He was sorry, too, that he found himself slipping into talk of “white niggers” and “race mongrels”, and that he was exposed as an active member of the Ku Klux Klan, charging 150 friends and colleagues membership and robe-and-hood hire to form a chapter in 1943 in Crab Orchard, West Virginia. He had briefly joined the Klan for its anticommunism, he explained, and for the platform it gave him, a mere butcher and fiddle-player, to organise people locally. This, with his spirited playing of “Rye Whiskey” and “Turkey in the Straw”, soon got him elected to the state House of Delegates in 1946, the US House of Representatives in 1952 and, by 1958, at 40, the Senate, which through almost nine terms he never left.之后他也对此感到后悔。他也对自己不知不觉开始大谈“白黑鬼”和“黑白杂种”,还有他被揭穿是3K党的活跃成员,1943年在西弗吉尼亚州的螃蟹果园。曾向150个朋友和同事收取10美元的会费以及会员必备的绳子和兜帽的3美元租金,表示抱歉。他解释说,他曾经短暂的加入3K党,因为他们的反共和他们提供给他召集本地群众的平台,即屠夫和小提琴手。随着他动人的曲目《黑麦威士忌》和《草丛中的火鸡》,这个平台很快让他在1946年被选入州参议院,1952年被选入美国众议员,而且到了1958年,他40岁的时候,到达了参议院,并且几乎任满9期从未离开。Yet his heart was in West Virginia, a poor and backward state of mountains and coal mines, where foster-parents had brought him up without power or running water and he had finished college, in a decade of night classes, five years after he joined the Senate. His years on Appropriations were spent not just juggling favours and nitpicking on procedure, but also proudly channelling money to the hills and hollows: making gravel tracks into Robert C. Byrd Freeways, turning fetid lock-ups into Robert C. Byrd Correctional Institutions, setting up the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope to look at the stars. This, too, was what the Senate was for.然而他的心仍在西弗吉尼亚,一个多山,多煤矿的,贫穷落后的州,在那里,他的养父母在没有电和自来水的情况下把他养大,而在他进入参议院5年后,他为期10年的夜校课程,才算读完了。他在拨款委员会的几年,不只是尽力帮人的忙和挑剔手续,他还把资金送到了丘陵和洼地:让石子路变成了罗伯特·C·伯德高速公路,把恶臭的拘留所变成了罗伯特·C·伯德惩教所,设立罗伯特·C·伯德绿堤望远镜用来观星。这些,也都是参议员存在的意义。On the mountain top在山巅上In one of his weekly online columns he mused on the beauty of mountains, where God had revealed himself to Moses and Elijah had challenged the false prophets of Baal. A blogger or two pointed out that the lopped-off, naked mountains in the south of his state owed much to Mr Byrds votes for uninhibited mining. He was unrepentant. Mining brought jobs, and burning coal kept America going. The people powered America; the Senate was the peoples house; and the man who preserved the Senate, in all its glory and prodigality and arcane complexity, was Robert C. Byrd, King of Pork and senator senatorum.有一次,在他的每周线上论坛上,他赞叹山的壮丽,上帝就是在山上向西展示真身,而以利亚也是在山上挑战巴力神的假先知的。几位客作家指出,他们南方家乡的斑驳光秃的山都归咎于伯德对无限制采矿的持。他却并不后悔。采矿带来工作,而燃煤保障美国的前进。人民赋予美国力量;参议院是人民的议院;而保护参议院所有的荣光,奢侈和深不可测的那个人,正是猪肉王,参议员中的参议员,罗伯特·C·伯德。 201207/192861

  Mike: Did you drop Angela and Simon a line to remind them about the barbeque tomorrow night? 迈克:你写信给安吉拉和西蒙了吗?提醒他们不要忘了明天晚上的烤肉计划。Amanda: Sure. I also scribbled down some things we should go and pick up from the supermarket when weve got time later. 阿曼达:当然写了。我还写了一些稍后我们若有时间要去超市买的东西。Mike: Lets not buy that ubiquitous barbeque sauce that people always slather all over their meat. I want to try making my own marinades. I could do a sweet one for chicken and a spicy one for the steak. Ill also wrack my brains and see if I can come up with a Moon Festival cocktail. 迈克:我们不买那些普通的沙茶酱。人们总是在烤肉上涂上厚厚一层沙茶酱。我想自己做卤汁。我给鸡肉做些稍甜一些的卤汁,给牛排做些稍辣的卤汁。我还会开动脑筋,看看我是否能弄点中秋节鸡尾酒。Amanda: Great idea. We better get all the ingredients now because at this time of year everything sells like hotcakes. One more thing, remind me to get some kind of groundsheet or well end up getting filthy. 阿曼达:好主意。我们最好弄齐所有所需的原料,因为每年的这个时候一切都太抢手了。还有一件事,记着提醒我买一些露营的防潮布,不然烧烤结束时我们都会弄得脏乱不堪。Mike: Shall we go to one of the riverside parks rather than brave the hordes in the city? 迈克:我们去河滨公园吧?不在城市里和大家挤来挤去的。Amanda: Hmm. I think Angela wants to stay in the city. You know she loves being around people. I know thats probably not what you had in mind. 阿曼达:嗯。我觉得安吉拉希望是在城市里。你知道她喜欢热闹。我知道你可能不想待在城里。Mike: Not at all! The world and his wife will be out barbequing. Therell be screaming kids everywhere, not to mention all that noxious barbecue smoke. Looks like Ill be spending the whole evening biting my tongue.迈克:一点也不想!到时候,人人都出来烤肉。到处是尖叫的孩子,更何况还有有毒的烧烤烟雾。那样会让我整晚都郁郁寡欢。201203/176003

  Mammals developed from land-based reptiles two hundred million years ago, and most of the mammals we see today are still land based. A notable exception are the cetaceans, which we all know as dolphins and whales. How did they move from land to sea?两亿年前的哺乳动物由陆地爬行动物进化而来,如今我们所看到的大多数哺乳动物仍然是陆生生物。鲸类动物,正如我们知道的海豚和鲸鱼则是个显著的例外。它们是如何从陆地搬到海洋的呢?The ancestor of modern whales moved into the water about fifty-two million years ago. One whale fossil, about forty million years old, provides an interesting snapshot from this gradual change. This early whale fossil had rudimentary legs growing from its sides.现代鲸鱼的祖先大约在五千两百万年前就从陆地移民到海洋。一块四千万年前的鲸鱼化石为这个渐进的变化提供了有趣的线索。这个早期的鲸鱼化石两侧长有退化的腿。These were puny compared to the bulk of the whale, so they were probably vestigial, in the slow process of disappearing. Moving from land to salt water requires more changes than simply trading in legs for fins, however. For example, the kidney of a modern whale allows it to drink salt water, but early whales must have been restricted to fresh water like other mammals.与鲸鱼庞大的躯体相比这些腿显得微不足道,因此它们可能是漫长退化过程中正在消失的腿部。然而,鲸类想要从陆地迁往咸水区域需改变更多,而不仅仅只是把双腿换成鳍。例如,现代鲸鱼的肾脏可以承受咸水,但是早期鲸鱼则像其他哺乳动物一样只能依靠淡水生存。Scientists have recently discovered that this important kidney change happened about forty eight million years ago to a whale called Indocetus. Kidneys dont leave behind fossils like bones do, so how can these scientists be sure?科学家们最近发现有一类叫做 Indocetus 的鲸鱼,它们的肾脏于四千八百万年前发生重大改变。肾脏不能像骨头那样形成化石,因此科学家们是如何确定的呢?The answer comes from the ancient whales tooth enamel. Oxygen in an animals tooth records information about the type of water they drank. The very earliest proto-whales had tooth enamel that indicated a fresh water diet. They probably lived in rivers, or at least returned to rivers to drink. Indocetus, however, had teeth that indicated a salt water diet. This means it had specialized kidneys, and was probably the first mammal to swim the open ocean. Thats a lot of information from some old teeth!从古鲸鱼的牙釉质里可以找到。动物牙齿内的氧记录了它们的饮水信息。最早的原始鲸鱼牙齿上有牙釉质,明它具有淡水饮食习惯。它们可能生活在河里,或者至少从河里取水。然而,Indocetus 的牙齿表明它饮用咸水。这就意味着它的肾脏专门用来喝咸水,它可能就是第一个游向海洋的哺乳动物。古老的牙齿确实藏有大量的信息!原文译文属!201209/199346

  Business.商业。British law firms.英国律师事务所。Taking the magic abroad.进军梦幻般的国外市场。Londons big law firms are expanding their global footprints.伦敦的大型律师事务所正在进行全球扩张。LAWYERS are cautious folk. So the recent collapse of Dewey amp; Leboeuf, a big American law firm, has scared them. Dewey failed because it tried to grow too fast, by borrowing too much money. Other firms still want to grow, but they are doing so slowly and carefully.律师是十分谨慎的人群。因此,最近美国大型律师事务所Dewey amp; Leboeuf的倒闭已经吓坏了他们。Dewey律师事务所(后文简称Dewey)之所以倒闭,是因为急切扩张,借贷了大量贷款。其他事务所仍然寻求发展,但他们做的比较缓慢和小心。Consider Londons top five law firms, known as the ;magic circle;. Allen amp; Overy and Clifford Chance released results early this week, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters were expected to do so later. (Slaughter and May does not release public results.) Allen amp; Overy had a good year, with its revenues growing by 6% and its profits by 7%. Clifford Chance, the biggest, did even better, with revenues up by 7% and profits up by 13%.以伦敦最大的五家律师事务所为例,他们被称为;梦幻集团;。Allen amp; Overy和Clifford Chance在周初发布了他们的业绩报告,Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 和 Linklaters随后也将发布业绩报告。(Slaughter and May没有发布公开的业绩报告。)Allen amp; Overy事务所的收益不错,总收入增长6%,利润增长7%。最大的Clifford Chance事务所表现的更好,总收入增长7%,利润增长13%。Emerging markets are where the growth is. Allen amp; Overy now gets 22% of its revenue from such places, up from 15% a few years ago. It opened an office in Vietnam a month ago and another in Jakarta 17 months previously. As for China, so many Western firms have piled in that they have competed each others fees down, but Wim Dejonghe, Allen amp; Overys (Belgian) boss, is still optimistic: the centre of gravity has moved from Shanghai to Beijing, he says, as the focus has shifted from inbound mergers and investment to Chinese money flowing out.这种增长来自于新兴市场。Allen amp; Overy事务所来自于新兴市场的收入从几年前的15%增长到22%。它一个月前在越南开了一个营业处,17个月前在雅加达同样开了另一个(营业处)。对于中国,涌入了如此多的事务所以至于他们相互低价竞争。但Allen amp; Overy的比利时老板Wim Dejonghe仍然很乐观,他表示:市场的中心已经从上海转移到北京,因为焦点已经从入境兼并和投资转移到中国资金的外流。David Childs, the boss of Clifford Chance, is also bullish on China. His firm cut partners during the recession, but not in Asia, the Middle East or Brazil. As for downward pressure on fees, Mr Childs says, slowly, ;They are very careful buyers…in Asia,; before insisting that his firm has no trouble with pricing there. The firms revenues grew by 28% in Asia this year, thanks in part to a push into Australia. Next year will be tougher: though bank regulatory work and dispute resolution are providing steady fees, ;Id much rather have healthy transaction flows.;Clifford Chance的老板David Childs同样看好中国市场。在经济萧条期间他的公司削减了合作伙伴,但不是在亚洲,中东和巴西。就收费走低的压力的问题,Childs先生缓缓地说:;亚洲人是很谨慎的买家。;随后他坚持,在亚洲他的公司没有定价方面的困扰。今年公司在亚洲地区的收入增长了28%,部分是得益于进入澳大利亚市场。明年的形式可能会困难一些:尽管监管工作和调解纠纷在提供稳定的酬金,我更希望拥有可观的交易佣金收入。The magic circle may be getting a new competitor. Herbert Smith, a second-tier firm, announced a merger with Freehills, one of Australias biggest, on June 28th. With revenues of over billion, the merged firm will be bigger than Slaughter and May. It will push for work related to Austrialias commodity boom and Asian capital markets. But David Willis, Herbert Smiths boss, is keen to stress the firms un-Dewey-like gradualism: ;Were not expecting a huge increase in earnings in year one. Thats not why were doing this.;梦幻集团可能会有一个新的竞争者。6月28日,位于行业第二集团的Herbert Smith事务所宣布与Freehills事务所进行合并,后者是澳大利亚最大的律师事务所之一。合并后的事务所将以10亿美元的收入超过Slaughter and May事务所。它将推进与澳大利亚商品市场和亚洲资本市场等相关的工作的发展。但Herbert Smith的老板David Willis着重强调公司不同于Dewey的增长模式:;我们不期望在一年之内实现收入的大幅增长。这不是我们进行合并的原因。; /201209/198873。

  Science and technology.科技。Climate change.气候变化。Good news at last?终于来了好消息?The climate may not be as sensitive to carbon dioxide as previously believed.气候对二氧化碳的敏感性可能低于先前的预期。CLIMATE science is famously complicated, but one useful number to keep in mind is ;climate sensitivity;. This measures the amount of warming that can eventually be expected to follow a doubling in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its most recent summary of the science behind its predictions, published in 2007, estimated that, in present conditions, a doubling of CO2 would cause warming of about 3°C, with uncertainty of about a degree and a half in either direction. But it also says there is a small probability that the true number is much higher. Some recent studies have suggested that it could be as high as 10°C.气候科学的复杂程度众所周知,但把一个指标记在脑中非常好用,那就是;气候敏感性;。该指标表示预计大气中二氧化碳浓度翻倍所能引致的升温量。政府间气候变化专门委员会(IPCC)在其最近一次关于其预测背后的科学性的概要中(发布于2007年)估计,在如今的情况下,二氧化碳浓度翻倍将造成3°C左右的升温,上下误差在1.5度左右。但该概要也声称,真实数据有少许可能还要高得多。一些近期的研究也猜测气温上升可能达到10°C之高。If that were true, disaster beckons. But a paper published in this weeks Science, by Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University, suggests it is not. In Dr Schmittners analysis, the climate is less sensitive to carbon dioxide than was feared.如果这种猜测属实,灾难说来就来了(直译:灾难朝我们挥手)。但美国俄勒冈州立大学的安德烈亚斯-施密特纳在本周《科学》杂志上刊登的一篇报告认为,情况并非如此。在施密特纳士的分析中,气候并不像先前人们所担忧的那样对二氧化碳那么敏感。Existing studies of climate sensitivity mostly rely on data gathered from weather stations, which go back to roughly 1850. Dr Schmittner takes a different approach. His data come from the peak of the most recent ice age, between 19,000 and 23,000 years ago. His group is not the first to use such data (ice cores, fossils, marine sediments and the like) to probe the climates sensitivity to carbon dioxide. But their paper is the most thorough. Previous attempts had considered only small regions of the globe. He has compiled enough information to make a credible stab at recreating the climate of the entire planet.现有的关于气候敏感性的研究主要基于气象站收集的数据,可以追溯到公元1850年左右。施密特纳士采用了另外一种方法。他的数据来源于最近一次冰河时期的顶峰(介于一万九千到两万三千年前之间)。他的团队不是第一个使用这些数据(冰芯,化石,海洋沉积物诸如此类)来探测气候对二氧化碳的敏感性的团队。但他们的报告是最全面彻底的。过去的研究只考虑了全球的小部分地区。而他汇编了足够的信息,可以确凿地尝试一下重建整个地球的气候模型。The result offers that rarest of things in climate science-a bit of good news. The groups most likely figure for climate sensitivity is 2.3°C, which is more than half a degree lower than the consensus figure, with a 66% probability that it lies between 1.7° and 2.6°C. More importantly, these results suggest an upper limit for climate sensitivity of around 3.2°C.研究的结果给出了气候科学中最为罕见之物——一丁点好消息。该研究组给出最有可能的气候敏感性数字是2.3°C,比公认的数据低了半度多,并且该数字有66%的几率位于1.7°C到2.6°C之间。更重要的是,研究结果指出,气候敏感性的上限在3.2°C左右。Before you take the SUV out for a celebratory spin, though, it is worth bearing in mind that this is only one study, and, like all such, it has its flaws. The computer model used is of only middling sophistication, Dr Schmittner admits. That may be one reason for the narrow range of his teams results. And although the studys geographical coverage is the most comprehensive so far for work of this type, there are still blank areas-notably in Australia, Central Asia, South America and the northern Pacific Ocean. Moreover, some sceptics complain about the way ancient data of this type were used to construct a different but related piece of climate science: the so-called hockey-stick model, which suggests that temperatures have risen suddenly since the beginning of the industrial revolution. It will be interesting to see if such sceptics are willing to be equally sceptical about ancient data when they support their point of view.但是在你把SUV开出去兜风以作庆祝之前,要记住这只是一项研究而已,并且——就如同所有这类研究一样——研究自身也有缺陷。施密特纳士承认,该研究采用的电脑模型的复杂程度一般。这可能也是他的团队实验结果范围较窄的一个原因。而且,尽管这项研究的地理覆盖范围是迄今为止同类中最大的,它仍有空白区域——尤其指澳洲,中亚,南美和北太平洋地区。此外,一些怀疑论者对这些远古数据被用来构建一个不同的但是相关的气候学分:所谓的;曲棍球棒模型;(认为气温自从工业革命以后就突然上升)满腹牢骚。看看当远古数据持这些怀疑论者的观点时,这些人是否还愿意以同等的怀疑态度对待,这一定会非常有趣。 /201208/195752

  The Real Final Frontier真正的边界Don: You know what amazes me? Voyager!你知道是什么东西让我大开眼界吗?Voyager!Yaeuml;l: Me too! Did you see the one were seventh of nine gets a face-lift?我也是呢。你看到被做了大幅度改造的那一期了吗?D: I dont mean that TV show. I mean the real thing—the Voyager spacecraft launched by NASA twenty-six years ago. For years this probe sent back amazing pictures of the outer planets in our solar system before sailing off into space. Now, Voyager is ninety times as far from the sun as we are, and is about to reach the Termination Shock.我说的不是电视节目,是真的东西——美国航空航天局(NASA)26年前发射的旅行者号探测器。在飞出太阳系之前,数年来,旅行者号不断地传回太阳系内让人叹为观止的图片。现在,旅行者号距离地球非常遥远,相当于地球与太阳距离的90倍,快要达到太阳系的终点(Termination Shock)了。Y: The Termination Shock? You sure this isnt a sci-fi?极限?你确定这不是在讲科幻故事?D: Not at all. The Termination Shock is one of two proposed boundaries to our solar system. You can say that the solar system ends with Pluto. Astrophysicists, however, think of the solar system as extending farther out to include two less obvious, but just as real, outer edges.完全不是。Termination Shock是人类提出的太阳系的两个边界点之一。你可以说太阳系的边界是冥王星。然而,我们的天文物理学家们认为,太阳系不断向外外延伸至两个不是很明显但是确确实实存在的边界点。One is the Termination Shock, where the charged particles blown out by the sun—and known as the ;solar wind;—slow down abruptly, thanks to the pressure from other charged particles coming from deep space. Beyond that is the edge of the Heliosphere, which is where the solar wind finally ends.一个就是我们的Termination Shock,由于深层空间内射出的带电粒子流所形成的气压的作用,太阳所射出的离子体带电粒子流——也就是我们所熟知的“太阳风”——在这里骤然减速。除此之外,另外一个就是日光层的的边缘,太阳风最终会在这里完全停下来。The Voyager probe is just now crossing the Termination Shock. In another fifteen years or so it will pass the outer edge of the Heliosphere—a human-made object moving for the first time in history into true interstellar space. Its an awesome thought.旅行者号探测器现在正在穿越Termination Shock。再过15年左右,旅行者号将会穿过更的日光层,成为史上首个进入星际空间的人造物体。这真的太让人惊叹了!Y: That is cool!真的很酷呢! /201209/198377

  Business商业报道Bookselling售书业前景Spine chilling令人胆战心惊Mass-market retailing changed publishing before the e-bookE书时代近在眼前,纸书商改出版策略SNAZZY technology is a twist in a narrative aly several chapters long.先进科技已经在小说故事中纠结了好几个章回。Mass-market retailing has changed the publishing industry:图书市场零售业改变了自己的出版业策略:these days books are as likely to be found beside steaks and saucepans as they are to be bought in specialist stores.现如今,人们在牛排、炖锅旁找到售书点的概率就如在专门店买到书的概率一样小。The story turns on whether broader changes in bookselling will stifle literature.故事发展成售书业的变化日益扩大,它是否会扼杀文学这一问题。Dan Brown will survive. Would Dante?丹布朗能够幸免于难,但丁也会么?For most of the past century, governments across Europe protected book prices; many still do.在前一世纪大部分的时间里,欧洲的政府都在保护图书的价格,很多国家依然这么做。Even in America, apart from dime-store romances, few titles were sold outside bookshops.甚至在美国,除了小商品店里的言情小说,其他种类的图书在书店以外的地方几乎绝迹了。But in the 1970s stores like Borders and Barnes amp; Noble applied a supermarket maxim to print:但在20世纪70年代,诸如鲍德斯、巴诺这样的书店却都奉行着超市售书箴言:pile them high and watch them fly.只要把书摞高,人们就会抢光它。Waterstones did the same thing in Britain and top titles started selling in the hundreds of thousands, even millions.英国的华特史东书店也这样做,这使得畅销书开始了以成百上千甚至是百万册的数量销售的历史。Just as book superstores forced out many independents,就像超级书店独立出来很多自立门户的店铺一样。so supermarkets and other mass retailers have since crowded the book chains.超市还有其他的零售商业也开了很多图书连锁店。In Britain, when price regulation was disbanded in 1997, supermarkets rushed in and now sell a quarter of all books, according to the way that Nielsen, a market-research outfit, calculates it.根据市场调研机构Nielsen的统计,在英国,97年价格管制被撤消的时候,超市蜂拥而入并开始销售市场1/4的图书。Belgium and Finland mimicked this trend.比利时以及芬兰也纷纷效仿这一趋势。This has been good for ers:这对于读者来说是个好消息。in Britain the average price of a book has fallen by 15% since 2003, reckons BML Bowker, a book-marketing consultancy.图书市场顾问鲍克出版社的数据显示,03年英国图书的平均售价下降了15%。And demand has grown: consumers spend the same amount on books, so they must be buying more.而图书需求量也上升了:消费者在图书上花费同样多的钱,图书的价格降了,这样他们购买的书更多了。Those independent bookshops that survived the chain war in America and Britain have held sales and prices steady.那些在美国、英国连锁店之战中幸存的个体书店,久维持着图书的销量还有价格的稳定。Meanwhile, mass retailers find books such a draw that they lure in customers by selling some titles at a loss.同时,销售商发现一个赚钱的方法,他们以亏本地销售一些图书来吸引顾客购书。Higher turnover should also be positive for publishers.按理说出版商应该也得到更高的利润。But mass retailers demand discounts of up to 60% for bulk orders, shrinking margins.但大批订货的商家向出版商索要高达60%的数量折扣,这反而使得利润减少了。All sides prosper when books sell quickly.只要书卖得快,各家都会得利。But, unlike groceries, if books dont sell, retailers return them to the publisher—and do not pay.但是,与日常用品不同,如果书籍卖不出去的话,零售商就把书返回给出版商—并且不付返回的书费。So, when a book with a large print run flops, publishers end up with an expensive pile of recycling.这样,当一本大量印刷的书籍不好买,出版商就得最终以高价来回收它。That is why some publishers have stopped doing new deals with the likes of Costco, an American warehouse retailer, which likes to order very large print runs.这就是为什么一些出版商停止与类似于美国的科思科这样的连锁店做生意的原因。因为这些商店喜欢订购大宗的货物。Few people will mourn publishers;losses from increased price competition and new technology like e-ers.像e书读者一样,很少有人来吊唁出版商因日趋激烈的价格竞争以及日益发达的科技而导致的损失。The question is whether these trends undermine the quality of books which are being published, by breaking a business model that has let firms focus on variety and range.问题是,这些趋势会不会扰乱商业模式—使出版商不再专注于扩大图书规模增加图书种类,从而降低出版的书籍的质量。Publishers have good reason to shiver at the decline of traditional bookshops.在传统书店数量减少的情况下,出版商感到害怕是正常的。To fund the discovery and promotion of new authors, they have relied on books that sell steadily over a number of years.为了资助发掘和宣传新作家,出版商们依靠那些很多年来都销售平稳的书籍来维持运营。Yet mass retailers stock a few hundred new blockbusters.但是,零售书商们也储存着几百个新的畅销巨作。At first sight there is no reason for concern.乍一看,图书业没什么让人担心的问题New works are abundant—40% more titles came out in Britain in 2010 than in 2001.新作品很多—英国10年出版的新作品数量比01年高出了40%,But this obscures a starker trend: “mid-list” titles are selling in smaller numbers in America and Britain.但是它掩盖了一个严峻的趋势:“销售量居中”的图书,在美国和英国的销售量少了。This matters for cultural life, because most literary fiction and serious non-fiction falls into that bracket and much of it could become uneconomical to publish.这会影响到人们的文化生活,因为大部分的文学小说还有严肃类非小说作品都属于这一范畴,以至于很多这种书出版起来可能毫无利益可言。 点击此处下载本期经济学人讲解PDF与音频字幕 /201303/232421

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