How plants reclaimed Chernobyls poisoned land切尔诺贝利核灾给大自然界带来的出乎意料好处Chernobyl has become a byword for catastrophe. The 1986 nuclear disaster, recently brought back into the public eye by the hugely popular TV show of the same name, caused thousands of cancers, turned a once populous area into a ghost city, and led to an exclusion zone 2,600 sq km (1,000 sq miles) in size.切尔诺贝利(Chernobyl)早就沦落灾祸的代称。这起再次出现在1986的核灾难导致不计其数群众得癌,曾一度人群密集的地域变成了鬼城,危险标志总面积约2600平方千米(1000平方公尺)。近期,一部同名的电视连续剧将这起灾祸新的送到大家的视线。But Chernobyls exclusion zone isnt devoid of life. Wolves, boars and bears have returned to the lush forests surrounding the old nuclear plant in northern Ukraine. And when it comes to vegetation, all but the most vulnerable and exposed plant life survived. Even in the most radioactive areas of the zone, vegetation was recovering within three years.但切尔诺贝利的危险标志内并并不是没性命。


即便是在该地域电磁辐射较弱的地区,植物群落也在三年内彻底恢复了。Humans and other mammals and birds would have been killed many times over by the radiation that plants in the most contaminated areas received. So why is plant life so resilient to radiation and nuclear disaster?处于核污染最相当严重地域的植物,所拒不接受的辐射强度不能让人们、其他喂奶动物及飞禽获救。

那麼,为何植物对电磁辐射和核灾难的抵抗能力这般之强悍呢?To answer this question, we first need to understand how radiation from nuclear reactors affects living cells. Chernobyls radioactive material is unstable because it is constantly firing out high energy particles and waves that smash cellular structures or produce reactive chemicals which attack the cells machinery.要问这个问题,大家最先务必了解核反应堆的电磁辐射不容易对微生物细胞造成 哪些的危害。切尔诺贝利的放射性元素是“不稳定的”,因为它在大大的地出狱高能粒子和波。这种高能粒子和波会损坏细胞构造,或是造成还击细胞器的特异性化合物。

Most parts of the cell are replaceable if damaged, but DNA is a crucial exception. At higher radiation doses, DNA becomes garbled and cells die quickly. Lower doses can cause subtler damage in the form of mutations altering the way that the cell functions – for example, causing it to become cancerous, multiply uncontrollably, and spread to other parts of the body.假如毁损,细胞中的绝大多数全是可更换的,但DNA终究个特别注意。较高使用量的电磁辐射不容易使DNA看起来焦虑,导致细胞迅速丧命。

小剂量的电磁辐射所造成 的损害则更加盘根错节,不容易造成基因变异,变化细胞作用。比如,使细胞病变,控制不了地繁殖,并涌向人体的别的部位。In animals this is often fatal, because their cells and systems are highly specialised and inflexible. Think of animal biology as an intricate machine in which each cell and organ has a place and purpose, and all parts must work and cooperate for the individual to survive. A human cannot manage without a brain, heart or lungs.在动物的身上,这一般来说是恐怖的,由于动物的细胞和系统软件高宽比分裂且不可变更。

把动物想像成一台简易的设备,每一个细胞和人体器官都是有自身的方向和目地。为了更好地生存,各单位必不可少协调工作。没人的大脑、心血管或肺,人们没法生存。Plants, however, develop in a much more flexible way. Because they cant move, they have no choice but to adapt to the circumstances in which they find themselves. Rather than having a defined structure as an animal does, plants make it up as they go along. Whether they grow deeper roots or a taller stem depends on the balance of chemical signals from other parts of the plant and nearby plants, as well as light, temperature, water and nutrient conditions.殊不知,植物的生长发育方法要协调能力得多。


Critically, unlike animal cells, almost all plant cells have the capacity to create new cells of any type the plant needs. This is why a gardener can grow new plants from cuttings, with roots sprouting from what was once a stem or leaf.植物细胞差别于动物细胞最重要的一点是,彻底全部的植物细胞都是有工作能力造成植物所务必的一切种类的新细胞。这就是为何新萌能够从扦插中培养更新的植物,从曾一度的茎或叶中长根出带根来。All of this means that plants can replace dead cells or tissues much more easily than animals, whether the damage is due to being attacked by an animal or to radiation. 全部这一切都意味著,植物比动物更非常容易拆换病亡的细胞或的机构,不管这种损伤的缘故是因为动物还击還是电磁辐射造成。

And while radiation and other types of DNA damage can cause tumours in plants, mutated cells are generally not able to spread from one part of the plant to another as cancers do, thanks to the rigid, interconnecting walls surrounding plant cells. Nor are such tumours fatal in the vast majority of cases, because the plant can find ways to work around the malfunctioning tissue.尽管电磁辐射和其他类型的DNA损伤能够导致植物身体宽出带恶性肿瘤,但因为植物细胞周边的细胞壁是刚度的且相连接,基因变异细胞一般来说没法像癌病那般从植物的一个部位涌向另一个部位。在绝大部分状况下,那样的恶性肿瘤并不恐怖,由于植物能够找寻方式,越过不灵的机构。Interestingly, in addition to this innate resilience to radiation, some plants in the Chernobyl exclusion zone seem to be using extra mechanisms to protect their DNA, changing its chemistry to make it more resistant to damage, and turning on systems to repair it if this doesnt work. Levels of natural radiation on the Earths surface were much higher in the distant past when early plants were evolving, so plants in the exclusion zone may be drawing upon adaptations dating back to this time in order to survive.有趣的是,除开对电磁辐射有与生俱来的抵抗能力以外,切尔诺贝利雷区内的一些植物也许也有附加的体制维护保养DNA,变化其成分,使其能抵御电磁辐射。


假如这失灵,他们还不容易起动整修系统软件。在太远的以往,初期植物演变的情况下,地球大气层的自然界电磁辐射水准要低得多,因此 雷区内的植物为了更好地生存,有可能运用了这一阶段留存下来的适应力。Life is now thriving around Chernobyl. Populations of many plant and animal species are actually greater than they were bef
ore the disaster.如今,切尔诺贝利周边的生命已经迅猛发展。

很多动物与植物的总数具体比灾祸前也要多。Given the tragic loss and shortening of human lives associated with Chernobyl, this resurgence of nature may seem surprising. Radiation does have demonstrably harmful effects on plant life, and may shorten the lives of individual plants and animals. But if life-sustaining resources are in abundant enough supply and burdens are not fatal, then life will flourish.切尔诺贝利恶性事件导致了悲剧的损害,延长了大家的使用寿命,相比之下,大自然界的死而复生令人吃惊。电磁辐射显而易见对绿色植物有明显的危害,并有可能延长某些绿色植物和动物的寿命。可是,如果有充足的資源维持生命,且所遭受的危害并不是恐怖的,那麼生命终将健康成长。

Crucially, the burden brought by radiation at Chernobyl is less severe than the benefits reaped from humans leaving the area. Now essentially one of Europes largest nature preserves, the ecosystem around the wrecked power plant supports more life than before, even if each individual cycle of that life lasts a little less.尤为重要的一点是,人类离开该地域所带来的好处比切尔诺贝利核电厂电磁辐射带来的危害也要大。如今这一地区沦落了欧州仅次的保护区之一,毁损核电厂周边的生态体系比之前更加生机盎然,即便是动物与植物的生命周期比之前延长了一些。

In a way, the Chernobyl disaster reveals the true extent of our environmental impact on the planet. Harmful as it was, the nuclear accident was far less destructive to the local ecosystem than we were. In driving ourselves away from the area, we have created space for nature to return.在也许上,切尔诺贝利之伤表明了人类对地球上环境危害的实际水平。虽然此次核事故导致了损害,但它对本地生态体系的损坏相比之下超过人类不负责任造成 的损坏。在人类将自身驱逐出带这片地区的全过程中,为大自然界创设了彻底恢复的室内空间。



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