Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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サンゴ白化現象は英語では

 
今日のニュースで個人的に興味を引いたのはこちら。昨年宮古島の大きなサンゴ礁である八重干瀬に行ったのですが同じように白化現象でサンゴが死んでしまっていました。地元の人の話では台風が来ずに海温が下がらなかったことが原因だとか。

西表石垣国立公園 石西礁湖のサンゴ白化現象の調査結果について
 環境省那覇自然環境事務所では、11月から12月にかけて西表石垣国立公園の石西礁湖海域(石垣島と西表島の間)において本年度3回目のサンゴの白化現象についての調査を実施しました。今回お知らせする調査結果は本年度の最終調査結果であり、平均白化率(※)が91.4%であることを確認しました。
 9月から10月にかけて行った本年度2回目の調査結果(平成28年11月9日付け報道発表)と今回の調査結果を比較すると、全体が死亡した群体の割合は、56.7%から70.1%に増加したことが確認されました。また、白化していない群体については、3.0%から8.6%に増加したことが確認されました。


添付資料

英語ではbleachingと表現していました。AHDの方ではサンゴの白化現象の語義も載せてくれていました。

(アメリカンヘリテージ)
bleach
v.intr.
1. To act as or use a bleach.
2. To become white as a result of the loss of algal symbionts, usually following an environmental stress such as increased water temperature. Used of coral.


世界でも進行していることは承知の事実ですが、深刻度は増しているようです。昨年末にNatureが発表した今年の10人には豪グレートバリアリーフのサンゴの白化現象を研究している研究者が選ばれていました。

Nature’s 10
Ten people who mattered this year.

19 December 2016

TERRY HUGHES: Reef sentinel
A coral researcher sounded the alarm over massive bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef.
By Daniel Cressey

When Terry Hughes flew over the Great Barrier Reef in March, his heart sank at the sight of telltale pale patches just below the surface, where corals were dead or dying.

Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC’s) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, says that he and his students wept after looking at the aerial surveys of the damage. The bleaching hit nearly all of the reef, with initial surveys showing 81% of the northern section suffering severely. It was the most devastating bleaching ever documented on the Great Barrier Reef — and part of a wider event that was harming corals across the Pacific.

The trigger for this year’s coral troubles in the Pacific was a strong El Niño warming pattern in the tropical part of that ocean. Abnormally high water temperatures prompt corals to expel the symbiotic zooxanthellae algae that provide them with much of their food — and their colour. Some corals can recover after bleaching, but others die. Follow-up studies in October and November found that 67% of ­shallow-water corals in the 700-kilometre northern section of the Great Barrier Reef had died.


まさに世界的現象で2年前に世界的に深刻な状況にあることをアメリカ政府が発表していたようです。日本のこともさらっとですが2016年に広がったと触れています。

Corals throughout the world have struggled in the past couple of years, as global temperatures have repeatedly hit record highs. In October 2015, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared that a global bleaching event was happening as coral reefs in Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives began to succumb.

This year, the bleaching spread to Australia, Japan and other parts of the Pacific. Researchers say that, as climate change drives up baseline temperatures, bleaching will afflict reefs more frequently. Under some scenarios, this could happen so often that most corals can no longer survive.

2015年の米国政府のレポートについては当時のNatureも記事にしていました。

Corals worldwide hit by bleaching
Warm ocean waters combine with El Niño to turn reefs a stark white.

Alexandra Witze
08 October 2015

先ほどの研究者のインタビューもNatureは掲載しています。地球温暖化が主要因だと話していますね。

Coral crisis: Great Barrier Reef bleaching is “the worst we’ve ever seen”
Marine ecologist Terry Hughes talks about the ongoing bleaching of the world’s most famous coral reef.

Daniel Cressey
13 April 2016

Has comparable bleaching happened before?
This is the third bleaching event that the barrier reef has experienced at a large scale, after 1998 and 2002, but this is much worse in terms of the number of reefs that are severely bleached. It could have been worse: we were lucky enough to have an ex-cyclone [the remains of cyclone Winston, which had passed over Fiji] come to the Queensland coast. It brought cloud to the middle and southern barrier reef, which cooled it down. Without that cyclone, the whole reef would have bleached as severely as the northern part.

The temperature on the barrier reef has slowly been rising as a result of global warming, decade by decade. Today, the northern barrier reef is half a degree centigrade warmer than it was 30 years ago. The southern part is closer to a full degree centigrade warmer. El Niño events happen on a regular basis. But it wasn’t until 1998 that they started to cause bleaching events. It’s the underlying baseline temperature that’s turning El Niño events into climate extremes for the reef.


環境省も「国内のサンゴ礁保全の取り組み」をしているように、対策そのものを研究している研究者もいるようです。下記に紹介されている研究ではサンゴとそれを取り巻く環境を人の住む社会を含めて総合的に見て、どのような地域でサンゴがよく保全されているのかを見ていっています。

Mass coral death drives efforts to identify resilient reefs
Widespread bleaching gives scientists new urgency to avert decline of key ocean ecosystems.

Daniel Cressey
15 June 2016

Common factors
The research team, led by Joshua Cinner, a social scientist who studies coral-reef systems at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, based its analysis on data that describe conditions at more than 2,500 reefs. The researchers used information on a reef’s habitat, depth, nearby human population and amount of fishing to model how many fish could live at each site.

The bright spots shared several characteristics, including high levels of local engagement in resource management, high dependence on local marine resources, and protective cultural taboos — such as excluding fishers from outside the local village.

Cinner’s work also suggests that the proximity of urban centres is a key driver of change in marine systems. It can damage reef systems that seem to be performing well to the naked eye, such as sites in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands that are part of a well-policed marine reserve but are still classified as a dark spot.

宮古島のツアーの人は今年はどうしようと頭を抱えていました。自然相手なので即効性のある対策をすぐに打てるわけではないので難しい問題ですね。
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「ポンコツ」と批判する前に

 
雑誌Natureもトランプ大統領誕生を大きく取り上げています。今後の科学政策の方向性がトランプ政権にかかっているので科学者にとっても一番の関心事なのかもしれません。話題になった動詞trumpが使われていますね。

Reality must trump rhetoric after US election shock
It is time for scientists and politicians alike to constructively engage with core issues — from climate change and energy independence to social inequality.

16 November 2016

アカデミックは一般の人々の感情を見逃してきたのではないかと自省を促しているところです。

A nation divided
Many US citizens, including a fair number of scientists, might not like it, but Trump is a reflection of the United States today. He is a reminder of the deep schisms — economic as well as cultural — in American society and beyond. Academics, in particular, must break out of their cultural bubbles and work to understand the sentiments behind Trump’s rise. There are elements of his agenda, including his attention to the plight of many working-class citizens who have missed out on the economic gains of the past 25 years, that truly merit attention. We need to better understand the causes and consequences of inequality, including how technology and globalization are reshaping the economic landscape.


ありがちな主張ではありますがAcademics, in particular, must break out of their cultural bubbles and work to understand the sentiments behind Trump’s rise.(特にアカデミックは業界の殻を破ってトランプの台頭の背後にはる感情を理解しようと努める必要がある)のbreak out of their cultural bubblesなんて表現は使えませんね。

今回の選挙でやり玉に上がったものの中に世論調査があります。どうして予想を外してしまったのか、冷静な分析をしている記事がありました。「ポンコツ」と批判するのはたやすいですが信頼の置ける調査をするのは思った以上に難しそうです。

Pollsters struggle to explain failures of US presidential forecasts
Most surveys did not predict Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
Ramin Skibba

09 November 2016

予想が難しかった理由としてdue to factors such as poorly assessed likely voters, people misreporting their voting intentions, or pollsters inadequately surveying some segments of the populationと主に3点あげています。

“The industry is definitely going to be spending a lot of time doing some soul-searching about what happened and where do we go from here,” says Chris Jackson, head of US public polling at Ipsos, a global market-research and polling firm based in Paris.
(中略)
Poll aggregators such as FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times nonetheless forecast Clinton’s chances of victory at 71% or higher, and The Huffington Post predicted a Clinton landslide. This dramatic polling failure could have been due to factors such as poorly assessed likely voters, people misreporting their voting intentions, or pollsters inadequately surveying some segments of the population.


より詳しく世論調査の難しさを取り上げた記事が先月出ていました。同じライターが書いています。

The polling crisis: How to tell what people really think
This year’s US presidential election is the toughest test yet for political polls as experts struggle to keep up with changing demographics and technology.

Ramin Skibba
19 October 2016

まず、世論調査はただ意見を聞けばいいのではなく、十分なサンプル数や回答者の属性のばらつきが少ないことなど満たすべき基準があるようです。

“Polling’s going through a series of transitions. It’s more difficult to do now,” says Cliff Zukin, a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “The paradigm we’ve used since the 1960s has broken down and we’re evolving a new one to replace it — but we’re not there yet.”

Changing times
The ingredients of an accurate poll are fairly simple, but they can be hard to find, and everyone uses a different recipe to pull them all together. Start by recruiting a large group of people — preferably more than 1,000. The sample should be split evenly between women and men. And it should reflect the population’s mix in terms of race, education, income and geographical distribution, to represent these groups’ different views and voting behaviours. Once the data are in hand, pollsters analyse the gaps in their sample and weight the results to account for groups that are under-represented.


さらに電話から携帯電話に変わったことで聞き取り調査が難しくなったという時代の変化もあるようです。

The data-gathering part of polling used to be relatively easy in developed countries. Pollsters simply called people at home — at first, by hand, and later with automatic diallers in the United States. But landlines are quickly going the way of the telegraph (see ‘The line on voters’). In 2008, more than eight in every ten US households had landlines; by 2015, that number had dropped to five and it continues to decline. In the United Kingdom, more people have landlines but the fraction is dropping. As of this year, 53% of them claim that they never or rarely use them.

The mobile revolution has hit pollsters hard in the United States because federal regulations require that mobile phones be called manually. And people often do not answer calls to their mobiles when an unfamiliar number pops up. In 1997, pollsters could get a response rate of 36% but that has dropped to just 10% or less now. As a result, pollsters are struggling to reach as many people, and costs are going up: each mobile-phone interview costs about twice as much as a landline one. There is also a ‘non-response bias’, because people who respond to pollsters’ calls sometimes do not reflect a representative sample, says Frederick Conrad, head of the Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


意外だったのは投票前から例えば動画で“hidden Trump vote”と言ってる「隠れトランプ支持者」のことはすでに問題として自覚されていたことです。専門的には‘shy Tory effect’と呼ぶとか。



In data we trust
Even if polling organizations manage to collect a representative sample, they can’t always trust the responses that people give them. One of the starkest examples in the United States came in the 1982 election for California’s governor. Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African American, was consistently leading in the polls but lost the election by a narrow margin. Afterwards, pollsters suggested that the discrepancy arose because some voters might not have wanted to admit that they would not support an African American candidate. This is now known as the ‘Bradley effect’.

A variation on this is the ‘shy Tory effect’, named after Conservative-leaning voters in the United Kingdom who hide their views or misreport their intentions to pollsters. That makes some experts wonder whether a shy Trump effect might come into play in the forthcoming US election — in which a fraction of voters are embarrassed about or reluctant to admit their support for Trump or opposition to Clinton. But most major pollsters doubt that this will be a major factor because polls before the Republican primary elections gauged support for Trump accurately and he has performed similarly in online polls and in ones that use live interviews.


隠れトランプ支持者の問題は自覚していたけれども、まさかここまで影響するとはというのが世論調査実施者の実状なのでしょうか。もちろん彼らも手をこまねいているだけではありません。いろいろ新しい方法を模索しているようで、そのような新たな取り組みもこの記事で紹介されていました。ただ何も信頼できる方法論として確立しているほどにはなっていないようです。記事にあった以下の言葉は世論調査の方法だけではなく現在の社会のあり方にも当てはまりそうです。

“The paradigm we’ve used since the 1960s has broken down and we’re evolving a new one to replace it — but we’re not there yet.”
 

あれから10年

 
10年という歳月はやり始める前の人にとってははるか先のことに思えるかもしれませんが、後から振り返るとあっという間のことが多いです。英語学習においては10年も経てば英語で何でもできると思っていたのですが、そんな甘くはないですよね。

山中先生がiPS細胞を発表してから10年が経つようで、先月Natureが記事として取り上げていました。期待されていた臨床への応用はまだ課題があるが、研究で幅広く使われるようになっているそうです。

How iPS cells changed the world
Induced pluripotent stem cells were supposed to herald a medical revolution. But ten years after their discovery, they are transforming biological research instead.

Megan Scudellari
15 June 2016

Ten years on, the goals have shifted — in part because those therapies have proved challenging to develop. The only clinical trial using iPS cells was halted in 2015 after just one person had received a treatment.

But iPS cells have made their mark in a different way. They have become an important tool for modelling and investigating human diseases, as well as for screening drugs. Improved ways of making the cells, along with gene-editing technologies, have turned iPS cells into a lab workhorse — providing an unlimited supply of once-inaccessible human tissues for research. This has been especially valuable in the fields of human development and neurological diseases, says Guo-li Ming, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who has been using iPS cells since 2006.

The field is still experiencing growing pains. As more and more labs adopt iPS cells, researchers struggle with consistency. “The greatest challenge is to get everyone on the same page with quality control,” says Jeanne Loring, a stem-cell biologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. “There are still papers coming out where people have done something remarkable with one cell line, and it turns out nobody else can do it,” she says. “We've got all the technology. We just need to have people use it right.”


記事の締めにある“There's no magic. With iPS cells or any new technology, it still takes a long time.”という部分は英語学習にも通じるものがあります。どんな画期的学習法があっても英語の実力をつけるには時間がかかるものですから。

The greatest future challenges, he says, are not scientific. Researchers are going to need strong support from the pharmaceutical industry and governments to move forward with cell therapies; for drug discovery and disease modelling, researchers must be persistent and patient. iPS cells can only shorten the discovery process, not skip it, he says. “There's no magic. With iPS cells or any new technology, it still takes a long time.”

 

TOEICのIT化が止まらない

 
新形式のTOEICではdata migrationやITメンテナンスにオンラインでrequestを出すなどオィスのIT化が進んでいるなと実感しました。

もしかしたら“It’s a proper out-of-the-box experience”なんて表現も出るかもしれません。ちょうどNatureの記事で登場していたので紹介します。IT関連の人にはおなじみでしょうが、辞書に出ていない表現なのですぐに意味がピンとこない人がいるかもしれません。

Natureの記事はVR(仮想現実)の機器が安くなり研究もしやすくなってくるのではという内容です。

Low-cost headsets boost virtual reality’s lab appeal
A wave of user-friendly devices is making the technology an attractive research tool.

Davide Castelvecchi
11 May 2016

Devices that have slashed the cost of virtual reality, and transformed its performance, have implications for scientists as well as gamers. Researchers who are experimenting with the head-mounted displays say that they have the potential to find widespread use as a research tool.

Virtual reality (VR), which lets users experience a computer-generated, three-dimensional world, has produced recurring waves of hype since the 1980s — but this time could be different, says Mel Slater, a computer scientist at the University of Barcelona in Spain who has worked in the field for two decades. Thanks to technologies originally developed for smartphones and video-gaming graphics, the performance of these headsets is now comparable to that of high-end devices that cost tens of thousands of dollars. They are sophisticated, affordable and user-friendly enough to become a staple of research labs, says Slater, rather than tools available to only very few researchers.


out-of-the-boxが出てくるのは安いだけでなく設定も簡単ですぐ使えるという文脈です。

As well as being cheap, the headsets are simple to set up. “It’s a proper out-of-the-box experience,” says Steed. If larger studies prove the therapies to be effective, patients could borrow the equipment and use it at home, Freeman says.

この表現は英辞郎が載せていました。新語もいち早くカバーする反応の速さはさすがです。

(英辞郎)
out-of-the-box
【形】
1 創造的な、独創的な、形にとらわれない、従来の常識を破る、革新的な
2《コ》追加設定なしの、これ一つでオーケーの〔必要な部品などは全て同梱〕、〔箱から出したら〕すぐに使える


「箱から出してすぐ使える」のでout-of-the-boxという表現になっているのですね。こういうのは知らないと想像しにくいです。。。

一方の「創造的な」という意味はthink outside the box(型にはまらずに考える)からきていると思いますが、文脈によって真逆の意味になるのでやっかいな表現です。まあこういうイディオム表現はTOEICでは使われないと思いますが、IT関連の表現は辞書に載っていないケースがあることも知っておいたほうがよさそうです。
 

Historical If 過去を振り返ること

 
小保方さんに功績があるとすれば我々一般人に科学には検証が必要なことを改めて教えてくれてことでしょうか。現在オーソドックスな理論として教えられているものを当時の検証過程にさかのぼることでもう一度その意義を考えることの重要性を先月のNatureで取り上げてくれていました。15分40秒あたりから今回取り上げる話題が始まります。



こちらがEditorialです。もしダーウィンがいなかったらというDarwin Deletedという本は数年前に出たそうですが今回は別の歴史家が遺伝におけるメンデルの役割を見直します。nature always trumps nurtureというのは遺伝が環境よりも影響が大きいことを指しているのでしょう。nature or nurture(生まれか育ちか)は語感がいいのでペアでよく使われます。

Second thoughts
Revisiting the past can help to inform ideas of the present.

17 May 2016

What if Darwin had toppled overboard before he joined the evolutionary dots? That discussion seems useful, because it raises interesting questions about the state of knowledge, then and now, and how it is communicated and portrayed. In his 2013 book Darwin Deleted — in which the young Charles is, indeed, lost in a storm — the historian Peter Bowler argued that the theory of evolution would have emerged just so, but with the pieces perhaps placed in a different order, and therefore less antagonistic to religious society.

In this week’s World View, another historian offers an alternative pathway for science: what if the ideas of Gregor Mendel on the inheritance of traits had been challenged more robustly and more successfully by a rival interpretation by the scientist W. F. R. Weldon? Gregory Radick argues that a twentieth-century genetics driven more by Weldon’s emphasis on environmental context would have weakened the dominance of the current misleading impression that nature always trumps nurture.


Editorialの途中でIf the past is a foreign countryという見慣れない表現が使われていました。こういうのがあればその分野でよく言われていることや、有名な引用であるケースが多いですね。

Biologists may take issue with the methods, but the results seem less important than the fact that such an experiment could be performed at all. If the past is a foreign country, then it is also supposed to be one that cannot be revisited.

今回はL. P. Hartleyという作家の引用でした。

The Go-Between (1953)
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.


つい忘れてしまいがちですが通説というのは様々な検証を経たものなんですよね。

These ‘winners’ became dominant before all the criticisms against them were fully answered, which raises questions about why the debates went the way they did, and whether they could have gone otherwise — and if so, with what repercussions.

A well-informed interest in alternative scientific pasts can help us to take the actual past more seriously as a source of present-day insight. It can also help us to stay self-critical as we make choices in the present. Science without consensus would be chaos. But the price of consensus is eternal vigilance against complacency, and a willingness to contemplate the road otherwise not travelled.


こちらが投稿されたものです。指摘の通り遺伝子を決定論のように捉えがちですから、環境の重要性を見直すことも重要かもしれません。

Teach students the biology of their time
An experiment in genetics education reveals how Mendel’s legacy holds back the teaching of science, says Gregory Radick.

17 May 2016

Take genetics. The past year has seen prolonged celebrations of the work of Gregor Mendel, linked to the 150th anniversary of the paper that reported his experiments with hybrid peas. Mendel’s experiments are central to biology curricula across the world. By contrast, the criticisms levelled at Mendel’s ideas by W. F. R. Weldon, Linacre professor at the University of Oxford, UK, are a footnote.

From 1902, Weldon’s views brought him into increasingly bad-tempered conflict with Mendel’s followers. In basic terms, the Mendel­i­­­­ans believed that inherited factors (later called ‘genes’) determine the visible characters of an organism, whereas Weldon saw context — developmental and environmental — as being just as important, with its influence making characters variable in ways that Mendelians ignored. The Mendelians won — helped by Weldon’s sudden death in 1906, before he published his ideas fully — and the teaching of genetics has emphasized the primacy of the gene ever since.

The problem is that the Mendelian ‘genes for’ approach is increasingly seen as out of step with twenty-first-century biology. If we are to realize the potential of the genomic age, critics say, we must find new concepts and language better matched to variablebiological reality. This is important in education, where the reliance on simple examples may even promote an outmoded determinism

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