Will's Feed
Apr 24, 2015

U.S. strike inadvertently killed U.S., Italian hostages; Obama apologizes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. drone strike in January targeting an al Qaeda compound in Pakistan near the Afghan border inadvertently killed an American and an Italian who had been held hostage for years by the group, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

President Barack Obama apologized and took “full responsibility” for all counterterrorism operations, including this one.

Apr 23, 2015

Hot times at Yellowstone: huge magma chamber found deeply buried

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Deep beneath Yellowstone National Park, one of the world’s most dynamic volcanic systems, lies an enormous, previously unknown reservoir of hot, partly molten rock big enough to fill up the Grand Canyon 11 times, scientists say.

Researchers on Thursday said they used a technique called seismic tomography to a produce for the first time a complete picture of the volcanic “plumbing system” at Yellowstone, from the Earth’s mantle up to the surface.

Apr 23, 2015

Genome study reveals lonely end for the world’s woolly mammoths

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The most complete genetic information assembled on woolly mammoths is providing insight into their demise, revealing they suffered two population crashes before a final, severely inbred group succumbed on an Arctic Ocean island.

Scientists unveiled on Thursday the first two full genomes of these mighty elephant relatives emblematic of the Ice Age, showing they experienced an extensive loss of genetic diversity before perishing roughly 4,000 years ago.

Apr 23, 2015

American, Italian hostages inadvertantly killed in U.S. operation: Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An American and an Italian who had been held hostage for several years by al Qaeda in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan were inadvertantly killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January, President Barack Obama said on Thursday.

“I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families,” Obama said in an appearance at the White House.

Apr 22, 2015

How do you tell a boy dinosaur from a girl dinosaur?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For extinct creatures like dinosaurs known only from fossils, it is notoriously difficult to differentiate the males from the females of a species because sex distinctions are rarely obvious from the skeletons.

But in the case of the well-known Jurassic dinosaur Stegosaurus, a study published on Wednesday may provide a handy how-to guide on telling the boys from the girls based on the shape of the big bony plates protruding from its back.

Apr 17, 2015

Amazonian tribe study shows how human bodily bacteria is changing

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) – Everyone’s body is brimming
with bacteria, and these microbes do plenty of good things like
building the immune system and helping digestion. But modern
diets, antibiotics and hygiene seem to be reducing the range of
microbes occupying our anatomy.

A study published on Friday looking at the gut, mouth and
skin microbes in people from a small, isolated tribe in southern
Venezuela’s Amazonian jungles shows just how much modern life
may be altering humankind’s bodily bacteria.

Apr 16, 2015

A dog’s life: study reveals people’s hormonal link with tail-waggers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dogs are called “man’s best friend” – women’s, too – and scientists say the bond between people and their pooches may be deeper than you might think.

Researchers in Japan said on Thursday oxytocin, a hormone that among other things helps reinforce bonds between parents and their babies, increases in humans and their dogs when they interact, particularly when looking into one another’s eyes.

Apr 15, 2015

U.S. Navy officer pleads guilty to bribery in corruption probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Navy officer pleaded guilty to bribery in federal court on Wednesday in the latest development in a widening corruption scandal, admitting he gave classified information to a Malaysian businessman in exchange for prostitution services and other benefits.

Lieutenant Commander Todd Malaki, 44, pleaded guilty in San Diego to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin of the Southern District of California, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Apr 15, 2015

Snap, crackle, pop: study reveals secret behind knuckle-cracking

By Will Dunham

(Reuters) – Some people like the sound of knuckle-cracking and others loathe it, but for years there has been disagreement among scientists about what actually causes it.

Researchers said on Wednesday they have settled the issue of what occurs inside knuckles to trigger the familiar popping sound, thanks to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments that they jokingly dubbed the “pull my finger study.”

Apr 11, 2015

Toil and trouble: researchers link Shakespeare to disputed play

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “This is the short and the long of it,” as William Shakespeare wrote in “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”

A play called “Double Falsehood” published in 1728 by a man who claimed it was based on a lost Shakespeare play but has long been dismissed as a forgery may indeed be the real deal.