The sound of penguins in the Antarctic. Penguins are already under threat from global warming, but scientists are now warning about new dangers from diseases spread by migratory birds. A new strain of bird flu has been found in some penguin species. I’ve been talking to our science reporter.
Of course bird flu has been around for a very very long time. Different strains circulate in wild birds and domestic poultry until relatively recently the Antarctic seemed to be very fragile. Of course you don’t know the virus down there. A couple of years ago, they found traces of flu in penguins. It doesn’t seem to be causing any illness. I mean they did look at it under the microscope and look at the actual genetics of it, the strain of it. It was a very ancient strain. And then the latest result suggests that there’s another strain of bird flu that’s been found. This is a more modern one. And it seems to be coming maybe from birds in North America or South America. So they are somehow picking it up from migratory birds that can spread virus at long distances around the world and then take it down into the Antarctic which is a very precious environment for animals.
But if the bird flu doesn’t seem to be harming the penguins, why does it matter?
Well, this one, it seems to be OK as far as they know, but if another strain got in, a more deadly strain then it could be very serious for penguins. So really they need to know more, why it’s there, how it gets in, do some monitoring and also it’s another reminder of the protection needed for penguins, things like their habitat, their breeding grounds, their fishing grounds, to keep an eye on these viruses and check that there isn’t something more serious that could do harm.
Containing bird flu is almost impossible in any environment. In an environment like the Antarctic, is there any point even trying?
Well, obviously conservationists say you must try in terms of sea birds. Penguins are the second most endangered sea bird. 45 species of bird in the Antarctic including about 6 or 7 different types of penguins--so we’ve got a huge richness there of penguins of bird life. So conservationists are saying we do need to monitor this and keep an eye on it.
It’s an archeological find that’s been described as phenomenal, two skeletons, thought to be of Chinese people from between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. discovered in a graveyard here in London. The bones were found in a Roman burial place.
1. Migratory bird 候鸟
例：I wonder if the taxi uncle spotted the migratory bird.
2. Bird flu 禽流感
例：The government has managed to control SARS and bird flu.
3. Pick up 染上 (疾病)
例：They've picked up a really nasty infection from something they've eaten.
4. Breeding ground 滋生地，繁殖地
例：Warm milk is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
5. Fishing ground 渔场
例：It is completely justified for Chinese fishermen to fish in an area that has been a traditional fishing ground for generations.
请听南极企鹅的声音 。企鹅已受到全球变暖的威胁，但科学家如今警示道，新的危险可能来自候鸟传播的疾病 。一些企鹅种群中已经发现了一种新型禽流感 。对此，我向本台科学记者了解了情况 。
禽流感当然存在很长很长时间了，不同类型的禽流感病毒在野生鸟类和家禽中传播，直到最近南极地区才似乎非常脆弱 。当然我们不了解那里的病毒 。几年前，他们在企鹅中发现了流感的痕迹，这种流感似乎不会造成任何疾病 。他们真的在显微镜下观察了病毒，研究它实际的基因构造和种类 。这个种类非常古老，而最新研究结果表明，又发现了一种新的禽流感类型，它是近期才有的，可能来自北美或南美的鸟类 。所以企鹅可能是被候鸟传染了病毒，这些候鸟可以远距离传播病毒并把它带到动物的珍稀生存环境——南极地区 。
嗯，这种禽流感呢，以科学家们目前了解，看似没有大问题，但如果再来一种类型，一种更加致命的流感，那对企鹅来说将会非常严重 。所以科学家们真的需要了解更多，包括为什么病毒会在那儿，怎么进来的，同时要加强监控 。另外，这又提醒了我们要保护企鹅，保护它们的栖息地、繁殖区、渔场，关注这些病毒，确保没有更严重的、危害性的东西 。
嗯，显然环保主义者说大家必须保护海鸟，企鹅是第二大濒危海鸟 。南极地区拥有45种鸟类，其中包括6到7种企鹅，我们在南极有异常丰富的企鹅和鸟类资源 。因此环保主义者称，我们必须进行监测和关注 。
伦敦一墓地出土了两具疑似公元2世纪和4世纪之间的中国人遗骨，这被描述为“惊人”的考古发现 。这些骨骼于古罗马墓地中被发掘 。