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科学美国人60秒:遥控食肉植物?

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Karen Hopkin: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin.

这里是《科学美国人》的 60 秒科学,我是凯伦·霍普金。

They say you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. But what if you had access to a remote-controlled carnivorous plant? Because researchers have engineered a bio-inspired system…an artificial neuron, if you will…that can trigger the snap of a Venus fly trap.

据说,用蜂蜜比用醋能捕捉更多的苍蝇。但是,如果您可以远程遥控食肉植物呢?研究人员设计了一种仿生系统……一个人工神经元,如果你愿意的话……它可以触发捕蝇草的捕捉。

Simone Fabiano: Hi, my name is Simone Fabiano. I'm associate professor at Link?ping University in Sweden.

嗨,我叫西蒙娜·法比亚诺,瑞典林雪平大学的副教授。

Hopkin: Fabiano designed the trap-springing device using nerve cells as a kind of bio-based blueprint.

法比亚诺使用神经细胞为生物蓝图设计了一个诱捕弹性装置。

Fabiano: The way our biological neurons work is that they integrate information from different inputs over time, perform computation, and communicate the result to other neurons by means of voltage pulses.

生物神经元的工作方式是,随着时间的推移整合来自不同输入的信息,执行计算,并通过电压脉冲将结果传达给其他神经元。

Hopkin: Now, standard, silicon-based systems can also deliver electrical pulses. But if you want to couple them with something living…to produce bionic prosthetics or engineer any kind of brain/machine interface…well, they suffer from several limitations…

现在,标准的基于硅的系统也可以提供电脉冲。但是,如果你想将它们与活的东西结合起来……生产仿生假肢或设计任何类型的大脑或机器接口……嗯,会受到一些限制……

Fabiano: …such as rigidity, poor biocompatibility, complex circuit structures, and operation mechanisms that are fundamentally different from those of biological systems.

……比如硬度太高、生物相容性差、电路结构复杂、运行机制与生物系统根本不同。

Hopkin: To smooth biological integration, Fabiano built his system from polymers that conduct both electrons…like, everyday electronics…and ions, which is how neurons get things done. It’s the ions that…

为了使生物整合顺利进行,法比亚诺用高分子构建了他的系统,这些高分子既可以传导电子……比如日常电子……也可以传导离子,这就是神经元完成工作的方式。是离子...

Fabiano: …enable communication between biological and artificial neurons.

……实现生物和人工神经元之间的交流。

Hopkin: Each part of the artificial neuron…which the researchers describe in the journal Nature…has a direct counterpart in its biological role model.

人工神经元的每个部分……研究人员在《自然》杂志上描述……在其生物学角色模型中都有直接对应物。

Fabiano: We have an input terminal that acts as the biological neuron’s dendrite…

我们有一个输入终端,充当生物神经元的树突……

Hopkin: That dendrite collects the incoming electrical signals and sends them to a capacitor which…like a neuronal cell body…integrates the information. Then, once the voltage reaches a specific threshold, a pulse is fired along organic amplifiers that mimic a nerve cell axon.

霍普金:树突收集传入的电信号并将它们发送到电容器……就像神经元细胞体……整合信息。然后,一旦电压达到特定阈值,就会沿着模拟神经细胞轴突的有机放大器发射脉冲。

Fabiano: We use the ionic concentration-dependent switching characteristics of our transistors to modulate the frequency of spiking, which is to a large extent analogous to biological systems.

我们使用晶体管的离子浓度依赖转换的特性来调节尖峰频率,这在很大程度上类似于生物系统。

Hopkin: So the ions control the current that flows from the faux neuron to its target…in this case, a live Venus flytrap…triggering the rapid-fire closure of its leafy appendages. All in all, a dramatic demonstration of the potential of neuromorphic design that should give interested engineers…and interloping fruit flies…something to watch out for.

当离子控制着人造神经元流向目标的电流……在这种情况下,一个活的捕蝇草……会触发它的多叶附属物快速闭合。总而言之,这是对神经形态设计潜力的戏剧性展示,它应该给感兴趣的工程师……和闯入的果蝇……一些值得提防的东西。

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.

以上是《科学美国人》的 60 秒科学,凯伦·霍普金报道。

Karen Hopkin: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin.

They say you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. But what if you had access to a remote-controlled carnivorous plant? Because researchers have engineered a bio-inspired system…an artificial neuron, if you will…that can trigger the snap of a Venus fly trap.

Simone Fabiano: Hi, my name is Simone Fabiano. I'm associate professor at Link?ping University in Sweden.

Hopkin: Fabiano designed the trap-springing device using nerve cells as a kind of bio-based blueprint.

Fabiano: The way our biological neurons work is that they integrate information from different inputs over time, perform computation, and communicate the result to other neurons by means of voltage pulses.

Hopkin: Now, standard, silicon-based systems can also deliver electrical pulses. But if you want to couple them with something living…to produce bionic prosthetics or engineer any kind of brain/machine interface…well, they suffer from several limitations…

Fabiano: …such as rigidity, poor biocompatibility, complex circuit structures, and operation mechanisms that are fundamentally different from those of biological systems.

Hopkin: To smooth biological integration, Fabiano built his system from polymers that conduct both electrons…like, everyday electronics…and ions, which is how neurons get things done. It’s the ions that…

Fabiano: …enable communication between biological and artificial neurons.

Hopkin: Each part of the artificial neuron…which the researchers describe in the journal Nature…has a direct counterpart in its biological role model.

Fabiano: We have an input terminal that acts as the biological neuron’s dendrite…

Hopkin: That dendrite collects the incoming electrical signals and sends them to a capacitor which…like a neuronal cell body…integrates the information. Then, once the voltage reaches a specific threshold, a pulse is fired along organic amplifiers that mimic a nerve cell axon.

Fabiano: We use the ionic concentration-dependent switching characteristics of our transistors to modulate the frequency of spiking, which is to a large extent analogous to biological systems.

Hopkin: So the ions control the current that flows from the faux neuron to its target…in this case, a live Venus flytrap…triggering the rapid-fire closure of its leafy appendages. All in all, a dramatic demonstration of the potential of neuromorphic design that should give interested engineers…and interloping fruit flies…something to watch out for.

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.
 


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