Sri Lanka’s debt-laden economy has “collapsed” after months of shortages of food, fuel and electricity, its prime minister told lawmakers Wednesday, in comments underscoring the country’s dire situation as it seeks help from international lenders.


1.underscore: to emphasize the fact that something is important or true

2.dire: extremely serious or terrible



Dogs greet other dogs nose-first, as it were—sniffing each other from fore to (especially) aft. People are not quite so open about the process ofsniffingeach otherout. But the size of the perfume industry suggests scent is important in human relations, too. There is also evidence that human beings can infer kinship,deduceemotional states and even detect disease via the sense of smell.


Now, Inbal Ravreby, Kobi Snitz and Noam Sobel of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel, have gone a step further. They think they have shown, admittedly in a fairly smallsampleof individuals, that friends actually smell alike. They have also shown that this is probably the case from the get-go, with people picking friends at least partly on the basis of body odour, rather than the bodyodoursof people who become friends subsequently converging.

现在,以色列魏茨曼科学研究所的Inbal Ravreby, Kobi Snitz和Noam Sobel研究取得了新的进展。他们认为自己可以已经证明,在相当小的个体样本中,朋友实际上闻起来气味相似。他们还表明,这种情况可能从一开始就存在,人们在择友时至少部分原因在于体味,因此并非是人们在成为朋友之后具有相似的体味。

Why scent might play a role in forming friendships remains obscure. Other qualities correlated with being friends, including age, appearance, education, religion and race, are either immediately obvious or rapidly become so. But while some individuals have strong and noticeable body odour, many—at least since the use of soap has become widespread—do not. It is present. But it issubliminal.


Dr Ravreby speculates that there may be “an evolutionary advantage in having friends that are genetically similar to us”. Body odour is known to be linked with genetic make-up (particularly with the genes underlying part of the immune system called the major histocompatibility complex). Smelling others may thus allow subconscious inferences about genetic similarity to be drawn.


That still, however, does not quite answer the question. Dr Ravreby speculates that odour-matching of this sort may be an extended form of kin selection, which spreads an individual’s genescollaterally, by helping the reproduction of relatives who are likely to share them. If those who smell similar are kin enough for this to apply, their children will be as well. “So by helping friends,” Dr Ravreby offers, “we help spread our own genes.”


本文节选自:The Economist(经济学人)



1. deduce



2. sample


v. 品尝,尝试(食品、饮料); 体验(活动); 对……作抽样调查; 选录(歌曲等,用于其他录音)

n. 样本,样品; (供科学或医学检测用的)抽样样本; 抽选人员; (用于新乐曲中的)选录的歌曲

3. odour


n. (尤指难闻的)气味,臭味; 迹象; 名声

4. subliminal




5. collaterally


adv. 旁系地;附带地


1.sniff out 发现;寻找


They think they have shown, admittedly in a fairly small sample of individuals, that friends actually smell alike.

结构: They think they have shown, admittedly in a fairly small sample of individuals, that ….


例句: They think they have shown, admittedly in a fairly small sample of individuals, that people who enjoy listening to music are more emotional.





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