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2018年10月20日 01:46:40来源:健步对话

  • Science and technology科学技术Solar-powered flight太阳能动力飞行Its moment in the sun日间时刻An attempt to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane尝试驾驶太阳能飞机环游世界A REVOLUTIONARY solar-powered aircraft touched down recently at Moffett Airfield, in the heart of Silicon Valley.一架革命性的太阳能飞机近日在硅谷中心的墨菲特联邦机场着陆。No champagne corks were popped, however, for it arrived disassembled in the belly of a 747 cargo jet.可却没有香槟酒庆贺,因为这是一架由波音747喷气式货机运输的解体飞机。The aircraft will be reassembled by the end of March and then begin flight tests.它会在三月底重新组装,继而进行飞行测试。If all goes well, by May it should be y to fly across America, stopping in four cities before landing in New York.万事顺利的话,它将在5月底横越美洲,途径四座城市,最终抵达纽约。However, this aircraft is just an experimental prototype for a much bigger exploit.然而,人们希望利用这架供以实验的原型机实现更加宏伟的目标。The team behind the project, called Solar Impulse, are using their prototype to learn what will be required to build a second aircraft capable of circumnavigating the globe using only the power of the sun.作为此次计划的执行团队—太阳驱动,通过研究该原型机,获得了一系列能使太阳能飞机实现环球飞行的参数。After carrying out a number of successful test flights of the prototype from their base at an airfield in Payerne, Switzerland, construction of their second aircraft began.团队成员在位于佩耶纳某一机场的总部对原型机进行了一系列成功的飞行测试后,便开始着手建造第二架太阳能飞机。But last July the Solar Impulse project suffered a big setback.但就在去年七月,太阳脉冲团队遭受了一个巨大的挫折。The second aircraft failed a critical safety check.第二架飞机的一项关键性安全检查不达标。Its main wing spar, the backbone of any aeroplane, broke during structural tests.在结构测试中,撑飞机的主翼梁发生了断裂。There is always a risk of pushing technology too far when doing something new.不切实际地尝试新技术总会留下隐患。Bertrand Piccard, one of Solar Impulses founders, had been in the same situation before and knew that success comes by learning from mistakes and moving on.太阳驱动的创始人之一—伯特兰·皮卡德也曾深陷此境,他深知技术的推进只能是吃一堑,长一智。In 1999 he co-piloted Orbiter 3, the first balloon to circumnavigate the globe.1999年,皮卡德曾担任轨道飞行器3号的副驾驶,这是第一个实现环球飞行的热气球。It was when he landed in the Egyptian desert with just 40kg of propane left from the 3.7 tonnes he had taken off with 20 days earlier that Mr Piccard decided his next challenge would be to repeat the flight using no fuel at all.在飞行了20天以后,气球在埃及的沙漠中着陆,此时原本携带的3.7吨丙烷就只剩下40千克,这激发了皮卡德向无燃料环球飞行发起挑战。He teamed up with Andre Borschberg, a fighter pilot and engineer, to form the Solar Impulse project.于是他与战斗机飞行员兼工程师—安德烈·尔施伯格通力合作,共同发起了太阳驱动计划。Mr Piccard comes from a line of adventurers.皮卡德来自探险之家。His grandfather, Auguste, was the first to fly a balloon into the stratosphere.他的祖父,奥古斯特,是驾驶气球飞入平流层的第一人。His father, Jacques, plunged to record depths in a deep-sea submersible.而他的父亲,雅克,专注于深海潜探,并创造了下潜深度的历史记录。Making the most of it万般皆有用The problem with the wing spar has set back the team a year.这个团队花费了一年时间来解决翼梁故障。Making a new one, completing the second aircraft and waiting for suitable weather means that the round-the-world flight is now scheduled for 2015.在实现环球飞行之前,他们必须制造一架新飞机,完成第二架飞机的组装,在适宜的天气下试航,所有这一切都要在2015年才能完成。In the meantime, the team decided to make the best of their enforced delay by flying their prototype across America.与此同时,尽管受客观条件制约,团队成员还是决定利用此次机会驾驶原型机飞跃美洲。This will provide more valuable operating experience and help with the development of the technologies they will need.此举不仅能提供更多弥足珍贵的操作经验,还能推动所需技术的改良。Plus, if anything goes wrong, it is easier to land on dry land than the ocean.再者说,如果飞行遭遇意外,陆地着降总要比海面着降轻松许多。Solar-powered aircraft are not new.太阳能飞机由来已久。One of the earliest, Solar Challenger, flew across the English Channel in 1981.早在1981年,太阳挑战号就成功飞越英吉利海峡。It was built by the late Paul MacCy, an American aeronautical engineer.这架飞机由已故美国航空工程师保罗?麦卡克莱迪建造。Its 14.3-metre wing was covered in photovoltaic cells.其14.3米长的机翼上布满了光生伏打电池。These powered two electric motors, which in turn drove a single propeller.推动唯一螺旋桨发动的两台电动机正是由这些电池供电。The Solar Impulse project is a very different beast.然而太阳驱动计划却开辟了一片新天地。The prototype aircraft which will fly across America has a wingspan of 63.4 metres, which is as big as a jumbo jets.飞越美国的原型机翼展宽达63.4米,与巨型喷气式飞机同宽。Yet its fuselage is as slender as a gliders and its single-person cockpit is cramped.而其机身却与滑翔机一般大小,窄小的驾驶舱只能容下一名飞行员。The wings are covered in almost 12,000 photovoltaic cells, which can simultaneously run its four electrically driven propellers while charging four packs of lithium-polymer batteries.机翼覆盖着12000块光生伏打电池,在为四组锂聚合物电池充电的同时,还能一同撑四个电驱动螺旋桨运转。The batteries are needed because the aircraft has to be able to fly through the night.之所以携带电池,是因为飞机需要在晚间飞行。The second aircraft will have to do that non-stop for five-to-six days at a time.第二架在建的环球航行飞机需实现一连5、6天不间断飞行。The plan is to take off in an easterly direction and land on every continent that touches the Tropic of Cancer.飞机将于东部地区起飞,随后在北回归线附近的每一块陆地降落。This will involve long flights across oceans.期间包括漫漫的洋面飞行。With only as much power as a motor scooter, the planned aircraft will cruise at just 70kph.按计划飞行动力与小型托车一般,因而只能以70km/h的速度匀速行驶。Its ultimate range will be limited by the physical ability of the pilot to remain alert, with little room to move or to store much food and water.狭小的机内空间,加之有限的食物与饮用水,飞机的最大航行距离就完全取决于飞行员自身的身体素质。With current technology, the team reckon, a two-person solar plane would be too heavy.团队成员认为,以目前的技术,双驾驶太阳能飞机负重过大。To give Mr Piccard and Mr Borschberg room to exercise and lie down, the next aircraft will be about 15% bigger than the prototype, which tips the scales at just 1,600kg.为了给皮卡德和尔施伯格足够的空间移动和躺卧,新的飞机将比原型机大15%,总重达1600千克。Weight is the critical factor.重量是关键性问题。The wing spar that broke had been redesigned with an ultralight carbon-fibre process to shed the grams.先前破损的翼梁用超轻型碳纤维材料重新打造以降低克重。But we went too close to the limits, confesses Mr Borschberg.尔施伯格不得不承认,这已是我们所能之极限。There is little scope for a full autopilot system, and it would weigh too much.完整的自动驾驶系统会使飞机不堪重负。However, Altran, an engineering consultancy based in France and one of the projects supporters, is developing a partial system.不过项目持商之一的法国Altran工程咨询公司,部分解决了自动驾驶问题。In calm weather, it will keep the aircraft pointing in the right direction.风和日丽之时,这套系统会帮助飞机沿着正确的方向前行。And if turbulence causes a wing to dip by more than five degrees, a cuff on the pilots right or left arm will vibrate to tell him which way to correct course.如若飞机机翼受气流影响下沉角度超过5度,它就会通过振动驾驶员某一膀臂上的袖带来指引正确的行驶方向。He must react quickly to keep control.驾驶员的反应速度决定着飞机平稳与否。This system will be tried out on the prototype flight in America.这套系统将在横越美洲的原型机上试用。The ground crew can monitor both the flight and the pilot with telemetry.地勤人员可以通过遥测装置对飞机和飞行员进行监控。When circumnavigating the globe the pilot will be able to lower a seat to lie down and take catnaps of up to 20 minutes.在环球飞行时,飞行员可以将座位调低,这样便可以躺在上面小憩20多分钟。That is enough, the team calculate, to ward off some of the effects of sleep deprivation.团队成员通过计算认为这些时间足够抵御睡眠不足带来的不利影响。The pilot must not be too groggy if he has to swing suddenly into action.当飞行员突然驾驶时,他一定不可以过于疲劳。This procedure has been tested in a flight simulator for 72 hours non-stop, and seems to work.这套流程已在模拟飞行器中进行了72小时不间断测试,效果卓著。A typical flight involves taking off in the early morning, when winds are light, and ascending to 10,000 metres to stay above any stormclouds.普通的飞行包括在风速平稳的清晨起飞,随后上升至10000米的高空以躲避暴风云层。At this altitude, though, the air is thin and an oxygen supply is needed.由于海拔较高,空气稀薄,必须提供足够的氧气。The pilot has to wear an oxygen mask because pressurising the cockpit, as an airliner does with air from its jet engines, is not possible.飞行员只得佩戴氧气罩,因为太阳能飞机无法像普通大型客机那样利用喷气引擎的气流保持驾驶舱的气压平稳。Nor do the team want to carry heavy oxygen cylinders.氧气瓶也因为过于沉重而不切实际。As an alternative Air Liquide, an industrial-gases firm, is developing a solar-powered system to generate oxygen.与法国液化空气公司类似的一家工业用气公司正在研制如何利用太阳能产生氧气。At night the pilot descends slowly, carefully using up the power until dawn.夜晚时,飞机缓缓下降,在黎明前用尽所有燃料。Once the sun returns the batteries can recharge in three hours as the plane ascends again.当太阳升起时,电池会在三个小时内充满,然后飞机便再次起飞。Landings are also left until the early evening, when winds are light.同起飞一样,降落也挑选在风速平稳的傍晚。The flight across America will give the teams meteorologists an opportunity to see how their weather models stand up.飞越美洲的航行也可以验团队中气象学家的天气模型是否成立。Sometimes it is necessary for the pilot to delay a landing to wait for optimum conditions.有时,飞行员必须延迟降落时间以寻求最佳时机。Mr Piccard and Mr Borschberg have learned an interesting technique to do that.皮卡德和尔施伯格用一种有趣的方式进行观察。Flying slowly, they turn the nose into a headwind, which can make the aircraft fly backwards.他们会逆风缓慢飞行,这样飞机就会受气流影响向后移动。It is not the sort of thing to try in a jumbo jet.而这在巨型喷气式飞机上是不可想象的。 /201309/258577。
  • Business this week 一周商业要闻Sep 28th 2013 |From the print editionAfter admitting in August that it was considering its options, BlackBerry announced that it had agreed to a .7 billion buy-out from a consortium headed by its biggest shareholder. (The deal is not final; the board may explore alternative bids.) The company’s announcement came after it reported a 0m write-down because of poor sales of its latest touchscreen phone. Once so addictive it was dubbed “CrackBerry”, BlackBerry’s share of the global smartphone market has fallen to less than 3%, from 11% in 2011.在八月份承认其正在考虑其选择之后,黑莓宣布同意以其最大股东为首的财团47亿美元的收购。(交易还没最终确定,董事会可能会选择其他出价。)由于最新款的触屏手机销量不佳导致其产生了9.6亿美元的减记,此后黑莓宣布了出售的消息。曾经一度如此流行并冠名为“CrackBerry”的黑莓全球智能手机市场的份额从2011年的11%下降到了如今的不到3%。Anger mounted in Finland, Nokia’s home country, about the euro 19m (m) pay-off that Stephen Elop will receive when he takes up his new job at Microsoft. Microsoft is buying Nokia’s once-proud handset division, which saw its business slip further under Mr Elop’s tenure as chief executive. According to a Finnish newspaper, he refused a request to hand back some of the money because he is battling a divorce from his wife.诺基亚的祖国芬兰最近很生气,因为史蒂夫埃洛普在微软任职新工作之后将从诺基亚获得1900万欧元(2500万美元)的辞退金。微软正在收购诺基亚曾经辉煌的手机部门,埃洛普任职首席执行官时该部门的业务进一步下滑。据一份芬兰报纸报道,他拒绝交回部分辞退金的要求,因为他正在跟其妻子离婚。Gold dust金粉Once again proving the naysayers wrong, Apple sold 9m of its new iPhone 5C and 5S models in their first weekend on the market, doubling its previous launch record for an iPhone. The figure was boosted by including sales from China for the first time, where the new gold-coloured iPhone was particularly popular.再次明了唱衰者的错误。苹果iPhone5S和iPhone5C在上市一周的销量达到了900万,是上代iPhone上市首周销售记录的两倍。数字大幅上升,其中原因包括首次在中国发行,中国市场香槟金的iPhone尤其受欢迎。Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce firm, failed to reach an agreement with the Hong Kong stock exchange about how it will structure its board after an IPO, and is now likely to list in New York, according to reports. Alibaba’s valuation is expected to be at least billion when it makes its stockmarket debut next year.中国最大的电商阿里巴巴在于港交所关于首次公开招股后如何构建其董事会未能达成协议,据报道,现在有可能选择在纽约上市。明年上市时,阿里巴巴的估值预计会达到600亿美元。Applied Materials, which is based in Silicon Valley, agreed to merge with Tokyo Electron in a deal that shakes up the business of supplying equipment to the semiconductor industry. The combined pair will account for a quarter of the market. Shareholders in Applied Materials will own 68% of the new entity, which is valued at billion. That makes it one of the biggest foreign takeovers of a Japanese company.总部位于硅谷的应用材料公司同意来自东京电子的合并,这将会使得半导体工业设备供应业务产生巨大变动。合并之后这两家的份额将会占到四分之一。应用材料公司的股东将会在新公司中占股68%,价值290亿美元。这将会使得它成为日本公司收购的最大外国公司之一。A bump in the road颠簸的道路The ed Auto Workers’ health-care trust exercised its right as the holder of a 41.5% stake in Chrysler to require the carmaker to file for an IPO. The trust is in dispute with Fiat, Chrysler’s majority owner, about the value of the shares it holds, which Fiat wants to buy in order to own Chrysler outright. The IPO’s prospectus warned that a flotation could see Fiat divorcing itself from Chrysler, which has blossomed since their marriage in . No date was forthcoming as to when the IPO might happen.美国汽车工人医保信托作为克莱斯勒占股41.5%的股东,要求克莱斯勒提交首次公开募股,行使了其作为股东的权力。该信托与克莱斯勒的主要拥有者菲亚特关于其所持股份价值存在争议,菲亚特想将这些股份买回,从而彻底掌管克莱斯勒。这次首次公开募股的招股章程警告菲亚特一次发行股份可能使其与克莱斯勒脱离关系,这从年他们的联姻以来就在酝酿了。首次公开募股的日期还未确定。JPMorgan Chase was rumoured to be nearing an billion mega-settlement that covers all its outstanding legal issues with regulators. On September 19th the bank was fined 0m by American and British authorities for its conduct in the “London whale” trading scandal.传言根大通为其与监管机构未解决的法律问题付了将近110亿美元的巨额偿付费用。9月19日,根大通被英美政府罚款9.2亿美元,原因是其在“伦敦鲸”交易丑闻中的行为。ICAP, a London-based broker, was fined m by America’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission and m by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority for manipulating the LIBOR benchmark interest rate. America’s Department of Justice brought criminal charges against three former employees at ICAP, only the second group of bankers it has charged over the LIBOR scandal (the first were at UBS).总部位于伦敦的经纪公司ICAP被美国商品期货交易委员会罚款6500万美元,同时被英国金融市场监管局罚款2200万美元,原因是其操纵伦敦同业拆息基准利率。美国司法部对三名ICAP的前雇员提出刑事指控,这是继瑞银之后第二组被指控操纵伦敦同业拆息基准利率的家。The Swedish government sold its remaining 7% stake in Nordea, ending its involvement with the Nordic region’s biggest bank, which was bailed out in the early 1990s. The government is using the proceeds from the sale to repay public debt.瑞典政府出售了其在Nordea最后的7%的股份,结束了其对北欧最大的参与,该在1990年代早期接受政府金援。政府正在利用出售所得款项偿还公共债务。The IMF cut its GDP growth forecast for Russia for the third time this year, partly because of weak investment. It now expects the Russian economy to grow by 1.5% this year and 3% in 2014. That is far below the growth of 5-8% in the years before the financial crisis.国际货币基金组织今年第三次更改其对俄罗斯GDP增长的预期,部分是因为投资的疲软。现在,该组织预计今年俄罗斯经济增长1.5%,2014年会增长3%。这相比金融危机前5-8%的增长下降了很多。New rules came into force in America that allow private firms to advertise publicly for funding from accredited investors. A ban on what is known as general solicitation was passed in the 1930s to protect investors from an abundance of money-raising scams during the Depression. The new rules should help start-ups in their quest for seed money by allowing them to place adverts on anything from the internet to buses.美国允许民营企业做广告吸收合格投资者资金的新规生效。1930年代通过了一般招揽禁令,为了保护投资者免受大萧条时期大量的集资诈骗。新规会有助于创业公司通过在网络和汽车等地方投放广告来筹集资金。Mixed messages混杂的信息Speaking a few days after the Federal Reserve decided not to start tapering its -billion-a-month asset-buying programme, William Dudley, the vice-chairman of the Fed’s policymaking committee, said the economy remained “tepid” and that “no one in markets should have been surprised” by the decision. Mr Dudley still thinks tapering could begin this year, though it “depends on the data”. The Fed’s next meeting is in October在美联储决定不启动每月850亿美元的资产购买计划后不久,美联储决策委员会的副主席威廉达德利表示经济仍然不温不火,市场中没有人对此决定感到惊讶。达德利先生仍然认为此项计划会在今年进行,尽管取决于数据。美联储的下次会议在十月举行。201310/260291。
  • Science and technology科学技术Animal behaviour动物行为Planet of the apes猩球探秘Chimpanzees personas seem more complex than peoples猩猩的行为特征,似乎比人类还要复杂HUMAN personalities, it is widely agreed by psychologists, can be measured along five dimensions: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience.大多数心理学家都承认人类性格特征一共可分为五个维度:外向、易相处、善于动手、神经反应和继承性。One person may be more extrovert than another, less agreeable, more conscientious and so on, and to an extent how well two people will get on can be predicted from how their personalities mesh.甲可能比乙更开朗,或者更勤劳,也可能更固执,等等;就这一点说来,两个人相处是否融洽,取决于二人性格相斥还是相吸。People who dont get on, though, have the option of avoiding each other.甲不愿意和乙共处一室,还有选择的余地。That is not true of animals in zoos.而动物园里的动物却只能逆来顺受,But they too have personalities.但是重点在于动物们也有自己的个性。So, to prevent trouble between members of one species—the chimpanzee—Hani Freeman of Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, has developed a way of assessing those personalities.就拿猩猩来说,为防止其同类间发生擦,来自芝加哥林肯公园动物园的哈尼·弗里曼提出一套得以划定动物性格的方法。In doing so, she sheds an intriguing light not only on chimpanzee psychology, but also on the mental evolution of Homo sapiens.此法一经问世,就像点亮了好奇之灯,不仅照亮了黑猩猩心理学研究之路,对于现代智人心理进化探索的影响也不容小觑。As they report in the American Journal of Primatology, Dr Freeman and her colleagues started by surveying the existing literature on chimpanzee behaviour.弗里曼和她的同事将研究成果刊登在《美国灵长类动物学学术期刊》上面,其中提到他们正是基于现有有关猩猩行为表现的文献而展开探索的。This search threw up 55 terms, ranging from bold and jealous to stingy and sexual, that previous investigators had applied to aspects of chimpanzee character.之前调查人员将黑猩猩性格划分之后,得出了55个术语,包括勇敢、嫉妒、吝啬以及性别差异思维,弗里曼的研究将这55个术语高亮显示。The team then asked five experts—a mixture of scientists and zookeepers, all of whom had had years of day-to-day experiences with captive chimpanzees—to provide their own lists of terms.之后研究小组找来5位专家,其中不乏有科学家,有动物园饲养员,他们都曾与笼子中的动物朝夕相处数年之久。这五位要做的是写下他们自己认为的黑猩猩性格术语。These inquiries collected 71 suggestions, 45 of which overlapped with the 55 from the literature search.他们一共给出71个描述性词汇,其中有45个与文献总结的55个术语重叠。Finally, they compared their results with a review of chimpanzee behaviour carried out in 2008 by a different team. That comparison yielded two further terms.最后,研究小组又与2008年另一针对黑猩猩行为研究小组的结论作对比,结论不过增添了两个新术语。Once Dr Freeman had gone through the accumulated list and merged into one term any set that seemed to mean the same thing, she was left with 41 that seemed robust descriptions of chimpanzee attitudes.弗里曼曾认真研读过这一系列术语表单,然后将可以划为一类的术语总结出来。This done, she gave the list to 17 people who work with chimpanzees on a regular basis at a medical-research facility in Texas, and asked them to rate the 99 chimps there for each of the 41 characteristics.最终她留下了41个能够很犀利的描述猩猩行为的术语。归纳工作完成之后,弗里曼将41个术语的列表交给德克萨斯针对猩猩的定期健康检查研究机构,17名工作人员将用41个术语描述99个黑猩猩。She found that different people rated the same animals in the same way. That suggests their assessments were reliable.弗里曼发现即使是不同的人,对于同一批动物得出的结论仍然是相同的。She also found that scores for particular terms tended to cluster together.也就是说,他们的结论是可靠的。弗里曼还察觉到,一类特殊的词汇总是集中性的出现。A chimp that scored highly for irritability, for example, was also likely to score highly for aggression and for jealousy, and to have low scores for calmness and relaxation.比如,一只黑猩猩在易怒一栏得分较高,那么在富有攻击性和嫉妒分栏中得分也较高,相反在稳定和缓和分栏得分较低。That let her apply a statistical technique called principal-component analysis to the data, to work out the dimensions of chimpanzee personality.从而弗里曼在数据整理中获得一项称之为优先分析部分的统计技术,提高界定黑猩猩性格维度的工作效率。It is analysis of this sort which showed that human personas have five dimensions.此类分析得出的人类性格有五个维度,Chimps personas, by contrast, seem to have six.但是黑猩猩性格维度似乎却达到六个。These are extroversion, agreeableness and openness, which match human dimensions, and reactivity, dominance and methodicalness, which do not.外向、易相处和继承性这三点能够对应人类性格特征,而条件反射、统治思维和使用工具却和人类相异。Reactivity is similar to the human dimension called neuroticism, though not similar enough, in Dr Freemans view, to justify the same label.条件反射与人类的神经反应类似,但在弗里曼看来,明确性格标签情况下,相似程度是有限的。And methodicalness, which measures the way animals approach things like using tools and making the nests they sleep in, resembles conscientiousness—though Dr Freemans raters found this difficult to assess because such activities are not much available to the chimps in Texas.动物利用外物的倾向性和建造窝巢统称为使用工具,这一点和人类善于动手是类似的,尽管17位性格划分人员发现很难去评价,因为这类行为在德克萨斯的黑猩猩身上是不常发生的。But there is, intriguingly, no human dimension that resembles chimpanzee dominance.有趣的地方是最后一点,统治思维,这在人类性格维度里毫无对应点。At the moment, it is possible to do little more than speculate about what all this means.此时此刻,也应该分析分析这一切的内在意义了。From a practical point of view it shows that it is probably not a good idea to put two animals with high dominance scores in the same enclosure—a discovery that addresses the question which started the research.从现实角度看,将两只在统治思维一栏中得分较高的黑猩猩放在一个屋檐下,不甚明智,这一问题在研究初始阶段就已经提出。From a theoretical point of view it provides a way to study the mental similarities and differences between chimpanzees and humans:从理论层面看,这给对于人类和黑猩猩之间的心理相似性和差异性研究提供了机会:what, in other words, is core anthropoid behaviour, and what is species-specific.换句话说,类人猿的核心行为是什么,还有不同种类的独有特征是什么? /201311/264837。
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