Will's Feed
Sep 14, 2014

U.S. sees Middle East help fighting IS, Britain cautious after beheading

WASHINGTON/LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Washington said
countries in the Middle East had offered to join air strikes
against Islamic State militants and Australia said it would send
troops, but Britain held back even after the group beheaded a
British hostage and threatened to kill another.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been touring the
Middle East to try to secure backing for U.S. efforts to build a
coalition to fight the Islamic State militants who have grabbed
territory in Syria and Iraq.

Sep 14, 2014

Liberal Vermont Senator Sanders may seek U.S. presidency in 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bernie Sanders, one of the Senate’s leading liberals, said on Sunday he is thinking about running for U.S. president in 2016 as either a Democrat or an independent in a move that could complicate Hillary Clinton’s path to the White House.

Sanders, an independent from Vermont, could pose a challenge from the left to Clinton, widely seen as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. She has not officially said she is a candidate but has acted very much like one.

Sep 11, 2014

Ancient flying reptile named after ‘Avatar’ creature

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some of the most visually stunning sequences from director James Cameron’s blockbuster movie “Avatar” involved graceful flying creatures that were ridden by blue human-like beings facing ecological destruction on a moon called Pandora.

It turns out that an animal very similar to those “Avatar” creatures, called Ikran, actually did exist here on Earth long ago.

Sep 11, 2014

Largest dinosaur predator was a water-loving quadruped

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The biggest dinosaur predator that ever stalked the Earth was also the weirdest.

Scientists announced on Thursday the discovery in Moroccan desert cliffs of new fossil remains of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, a 50-foot (15-meter) long, seven-ton African monster that breaks the mold for how a dinosaur predator looked and behaved.

Sep 10, 2014

Squirrel-like Jurassic critters shed light on mammal origins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It may not have been the friendliest place for furry little creatures, but three newly identified squirrel-like mammals thrived in the trees of the Jurassic Period, with dinosaurs walking below and flying reptiles soaring above.

Scientists announced on Wednesday the discovery in China of fossils belonging to three critters in a find that sheds light on a poorly understood collection of ancient mammals, and indicates that mammals as a group appeared earlier than some experts thought.

Sep 10, 2014

Planet of the apes: Gibbons are last ape to have genome revealed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Gibbons – the small, long-armed tree swingers that inhabit the dense tropical forests of Southeast Asia – have become the last of the planet’s apes to have their genetic secrets revealed.

“We now have whole genome sequences for all the great apes and, with this work, also the small apes – gibbons,” said Jeffrey Rogers, a primate genetics researcher at the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Sep 8, 2014

Something’s fishy: trout and eels cooperate in underwater hunt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If you want to witness effective teamwork, you might be as apt to find it among the fishy denizens of a coral reef as in the office where you work.

Scientists on Monday described how a colorful fish called the coral trout recruits moray eels to help hunt for prey, with both ending up well fed. Aquarium experiments showed that the trout are choosy in picking the best eel partner for the job.

Sep 8, 2014

Peachy keen: ancient pits reveal origin of peach domestication

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Peaches fresh from the tree or in treats like pie, jam and ice cream have been enjoyed by people for a long, long time. But, until now, it was not clear just how long it has been.

Scientists said on Monday an analysis of well-preserved ancient peach pits traces the domestication of this sweet fruit back at least 7,500 years to China’s lower Yangtze River Valley in the vicinity of Shanghai.

Sep 7, 2014

Obama to set out plan to go on offensive against Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will explain to Americans and congressional leaders this week his plan to go on the offensive against Islamic State militants, who he said could eventually become a threat to the United States.

Obama said he will make a speech on Wednesday to “describe what our game plan’s going to be,” and will meet congressional leaders on Tuesday to seek their support for his strategy to halt the militant Islamist group.

Sep 4, 2014

A hot cup of genome: Scientists percolate coffee’s genetic secrets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If you prefer your genetic research to be rich, bold, flavorful, steaming hot and with a bit of a kick, try a mug full of this: Scientists have deciphered the coffee genome and found genetic secrets that may make your cup of joe even better in the future.

An international team of researchers on Thursday unveiled the newly sequenced genome of the coffee plant. They pinpointed genetic attributes that could help in the development of new coffee varieties better able to endure drought, disease and pests, with the added benefit of enhancing flavor and caffeine levels.