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经济学人:伪造犀牛角(1)

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Rhinoceros horns are big business. Traditional Chinese medicine uses them to treat rheumatism and gout,

犀牛角是大生意。中医用它们来治疗风湿病和痛风,
even though they have no actual pharmaceutical properties beyond placebo.
尽管它们除了充当安慰剂之外没有任何实际的药效。
And Yemeni craftsmen carve them into dagger handles. A kilogram can thus command as much as $60,000,
也门工匠将它们雕刻成匕首柄。一公斤可买到6万美元,
so there is tremendous incentive for poachers to hunt the animals.
所以偷猎者有巨大的动机去猎杀这些动物。
Since almost all rhinoceros populations are endangered, several critically, this is a serious problem.
由于几乎所有犀牛都濒临灭绝,一些种类更为危急,这是一个严重的问题。
Some conservationists therefore suggest that a way to reduce pressure on the animals might be to flood the market with fakes.
因此,一些环保人士建议,减少动物压力的一种方法或许是让假货充斥市场。
This, they hope, would reduce the value of real horns and consequently the incentive to hunt rhinos.
他们希望借此降低真犀牛角的价值,从而减少猎杀犀牛的动机。
That would require the fakes to be good. But Fritz Vollrath, a zoologist at Oxford University, reckons his skills as a forger are up to the challenge.
这就要求赝品必须是高质量。但牛津大学动物学家弗利兹·沃拉斯认为,他的伪造技能可以应付这一挑战。

伪造犀牛角(1).jpg

As he writes in Scientific Reports, he and his colleagues from Fudan University, in Shanghai,

正如他在《Scientific Reports》中所写,他和他来自上海复旦大学的同事
have come up with a cheap and easy-to-make knock-off that is strikingly similar to the real thing.
已经想出了一个廉价且易于制造的仿制品,与真品惊人地相似。
The main ingredient of Dr Vollrath's forged horns is horsehair.
沃拉斯博士伪造犀牛角的主要材料是马毛。
Despite their differing appearances, horses and rhinos are reasonably closely related. Horses do not have horns, of course.
虽然它们外面不相同,但马和犀牛有着相当密切的关系。当然马是没有角的。
But, technically, neither do rhinos. Unlike the structures that adorn cattle and bison, which have cores made of bone,
但是,从技术上讲,犀牛也没有。和装饰牛和野牛的结构不同,它们都有由骨头组成的髓部,
the "horns" of rhinoceros are composed of hairs bound tightly together by a mixture of dead cells.
但犀牛的‘角’是由死细胞紧密结合在一起的毛发组成的。
Examination under a microscope showed that hairs collected from horses' tails
显微镜下的检查表明从马尾中收集的马毛
had similar dimensions and symmetry to those found in the horns of rhinos.
和犀牛角中发现的有着相似的尺寸和对称性。
They also shared a spongy core structure. Horse hairs had a scaly layer that was absent from those of the rhino,
它们还有着同样的海绵核心结构。马毛上有一层鳞片,这是犀牛没有的,
but the researchers were able to strip this away with a solution of lithium bromide.
但研究人员可以溴化锂溶液将其除去。

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
layer ['leiə]

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n. 层
vi. 分层
vt. 将某

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cattle ['kætl]

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n. 牛,家畜,畜牲

 
dagger ['dægə]

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n. 短剑,匕首
[印]剑号

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pressure ['preʃə]

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n. 压力,压强,压迫
v. 施压

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acknowledge [ək'nɔlidʒ]

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vt. 承认,公认,告知收到,表示感谢,注意到

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bromide ['brəumaid]

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n. [化]溴化物 n. 陈词滥调 n. 令人讨厌的人,

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placebo [plə'si:bəu]

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n. 安慰剂,安慰话

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adopt [ə'dɔpt]

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v. 采用,收养,接受

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species ['spi:ʃiz]

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n. (单复同)物种,种类

 
composed [kəm'pəuzd]

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adj. 镇静的,沉着的

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