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VOA标准英语2012--Higgs Boson Named Top Science Find of 2012

时间:2012-12-31 11:25来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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Higgs Boson Named Top Science Find of 2012

Each year, editors at Science magazine compile a list of the year’s top achievements in science and technology.

For 2012, their top pick was the long-anticipated confirmation1 of the existence of the so-called "God particle," which is believed to be a building block of the universe.

Science breakthough of 2012

The confirmation of the existence of a sub-atomic particle known as the Higgs boson was named breakthrough of the year by the prestigious2 Science magazine.

The long-sought-after particle - believed to impart mass to all other matter in the universe - was made by researchers at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva, using the $5.5 billion atom smasher called the Large Hadron Collider.

In a podcast interview on the magazine’s website, Science deputy news editor Robert Coontz said the discovery fills an important gap in our understanding of the physical structure of the universe.

“The Higgs boson is a fundamental particle that completes physicists’ standard model, which describes all the fundamental particles and the forces with which they interact.”

Coontz said the discovery, first hypothesized by physicist3 Peter Higgs 40 years ago, may spark a new round of discoveries in particle physics.

“That’s what the scientists at CERN are going to be looking for," he said, "that beyond the standard model lies this theory; one of them is called ‘super symmetry’ in which every particle in the standard model has another particle that hasn’t been discovered yet.” 

Matter and anti-matter

Another major breakthrough listed by Science was further proving the existence of so-called anti-matter particles which annihilate4 themselves.

These elusive5, short-lived particles may have practical applications in information technology, and the development of the so-called quantum computer. 

“Computers that are based on things called qubits instead of bits," Coontz said. "So, it could well be that these will turn out to be the key to these super-duper computers unlike anything else we have, and that will be a breakthrough of the year, if it happens. This year all they’ve got is quasi particles that have these properties.”

Quantum computers would be vastly more efficient at storing and processing data than today’s silicon-chip computers, according to Coontz.

Denisovan genome

An ancient finger bone found in a Siberian cave, believed to be from an extinct early human species known as Denisovan, made the Science list in 2011 and again this year.

Last year, DNA6 was extracted from the fossilized bone. This year, researchers managed to sequence the complete genome using a new technique that revealed as much genetic7 detail as could be obtained from a living person. 

The genome allowed scientists to construct the profile of a three-year-old girl with brown hair, brown eyes and brown skin who lived about 80,000 years ago, who had a similar genetic makeup8 to people who today live in parts of Asia and the Pacific.

“They find out that some of them have Denisovan genes9 in them and that means that our ancestors interbred with some of them,” Coonz said.

Brain machine interface10

The research team that previously11 showed how the mind could be used to move a cursor on a computer screen demonstrated an even greater feat12 in 2012. 

They showed that people paralyzed by injuries or disease could use their minds to move an electro-mechanical arm, with their thought-impulses conducted over wires surgically13 implanted in their brains.

“The progress that took place in 2012 is very hopeful, and I’m sure that we’ll see a lot more," Coonz said. "Now that they’ve managed to make this technology work, it will just get cheaper and better and more graceful14 and more useful as time goes by.”

Other achievements

Among the year’s other major advances recognized by the Science editors was the ingenious landing system that enabled NASA’s car-sized Curiosity rover to set down, flawlessly, on the surface of Mars.

Also, there's a new instrument which gives scientists the ability to alter genes in fish, toads15 and other animals.

Additionally, the list includes a laser that's one billion times brighter than conventional x-rays. The scanning technology was used to determine the structure of an enzyme16 required by the parasite17 that causes African sleeping sickness, raising hope for new treatments.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 confirmation ZYMya     
n.证实,确认,批准
参考例句:
  • We are waiting for confirmation of the news.我们正在等待证实那个消息。
  • We need confirmation in writing before we can send your order out.给你们发送订购的货物之前,我们需要书面确认。
2 prestigious nQ2xn     
adj.有威望的,有声望的,受尊敬的
参考例句:
  • The young man graduated from a prestigious university.这个年轻人毕业于一所名牌大学。
  • You may even join a prestigious magazine as a contributing editor.甚至可能会加入一个知名杂志做编辑。
3 physicist oNqx4     
n.物理学家,研究物理学的人
参考例句:
  • He is a physicist of the first rank.他是一流的物理学家。
  • The successful physicist never puts on airs.这位卓有成就的物理学家从不摆架子。
4 annihilate Peryn     
v.使无效;毁灭;取消
参考例句:
  • Archer crumpled up the yellow sheet as if the gesture could annihilate the news it contained.阿切尔把这张黄纸揉皱,好象用这个动作就会抹掉里面的消息似的。
  • We should bear in mind that we have to annihilate the enemy.我们要把歼敌的重任时刻记在心上。
5 elusive d8vyH     
adj.难以表达(捉摸)的;令人困惑的;逃避的
参考例句:
  • Try to catch the elusive charm of the original in translation.翻译时设法把握住原文中难以捉摸的风韵。
  • Interpol have searched all the corners of the earth for the elusive hijackers.国际刑警组织已在世界各地搜查在逃的飞机劫持者。
6 DNA 4u3z1l     
(缩)deoxyribonucleic acid 脱氧核糖核酸
参考例句:
  • DNA is stored in the nucleus of a cell.脱氧核糖核酸储存于细胞的细胞核里。
  • Gene mutations are alterations in the DNA code.基因突变是指DNA密码的改变。
7 genetic PgIxp     
adj.遗传的,遗传学的
参考例句:
  • It's very difficult to treat genetic diseases.遗传性疾病治疗起来很困难。
  • Each daughter cell can receive a full complement of the genetic information.每个子细胞可以收到遗传信息的一个完全补偿物。
8 makeup 4AXxO     
n.组织;性格;化装品
参考例句:
  • Those who failed the exam take a makeup exam.这次考试不及格的人必须参加补考。
  • Do you think her beauty could makeup for her stupidity?你认为她的美丽能弥补她的愚蠢吗?
9 genes 01914f8eac35d7e14afa065217edd8c0     
n.基因( gene的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • You have good genes from your parents, so you should live a long time. 你从父母那儿获得优良的基因,所以能够活得很长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Differences will help to reveal the functions of the genes. 它们间的差异将会帮助我们揭开基因多种功能。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 生物技术的世纪
10 interface e5Wx1     
n.接合部位,分界面;v.(使)互相联系
参考例句:
  • My computer has a network interface,which allows me to get to other computers.我的计算机有网络接口可以与其它计算机连在一起。
  • This program has perspicuous interface and extensive application. 该程序界面明了,适用范围广。
11 previously bkzzzC     
adv.以前,先前(地)
参考例句:
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
12 feat 5kzxp     
n.功绩;武艺,技艺;adj.灵巧的,漂亮的,合适的
参考例句:
  • Man's first landing on the moon was a feat of great daring.人类首次登月是一个勇敢的壮举。
  • He received a medal for his heroic feat.他因其英雄业绩而获得一枚勋章。
13 surgically surgically     
adv. 外科手术上, 外科手术一般地
参考例句:
  • Unsightly moles can be removed surgically. 不雅观的痣可以手术去除。
  • To bypass this impediment an almost mature egg cell is removed surgically. 为了克服这一障碍,通过手术,取出一个差不多成熟的卵细胞。
14 graceful deHza     
adj.优美的,优雅的;得体的
参考例句:
  • His movements on the parallel bars were very graceful.他的双杠动作可帅了!
  • The ballet dancer is so graceful.芭蕾舞演员的姿态是如此的优美。
15 toads 848d4ebf1875eac88fe0765c59ce57d1     
n.蟾蜍,癞蛤蟆( toad的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • All toads blink when they swallow. 所有的癞蛤蟆吞食东西时都会眨眼皮。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Toads have shorter legs and are generally more clumsy than frogs. 蟾蜍比青蛙脚短,一般说来没有青蛙灵活。 来自辞典例句
16 enzyme cPozF     
n.酵素,酶
参考例句:
  • Above a certain temperature,the enzyme molecule will become unfolded.超过一定温度,酶分子将会展开。
  • An enzyme that dissolves the fibrin of blood clots.能溶解血凝块中的纤维的酶。
17 parasite U4lzN     
n.寄生虫;寄生菌;食客
参考例句:
  • The lazy man was a parasite on his family.那懒汉是家里的寄生虫。
  • I don't want to be a parasite.I must earn my own way in life.我不想做寄生虫,我要自己养活自己。
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TAG标签:   VOA标准英语  find
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