Will's Feed
May 21, 2015

Scientists want you to know plankton is not just whale food

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists on Thursday unveiled the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of the world’s ocean plankton, the tiny organisms that serve as food for marine creatures such as the blue whale, but also provide half the oxygen we breathe.

The researchers spent 3-1/2 years aboard the schooner Tara, taking 35,000 samples of plankton from 210 sites globally, determining the distribution of the organisms, tracking how they interact with one another and carrying out genetic analyses.

May 21, 2015

Mind-controlled prosthetic limbs allow precise, smooth movement

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – More than a decade after
becoming paralyzed from the neck down, Erik Sorto has been
unable to perform even the simplest of daily tasks.

“That was the ultimate goal: to drink a beer by myself,”
said Sorto, a 34-year-old from Los Angeles who became a
quadriplegic after a 2002 gunshot wound.

May 21, 2015

Bowwow wow! Dog domestication much older than previously known

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Genetic information from a 35,000-year-old wolf bone found below a frozen cliff in Siberia is shedding new light on humankind’s long relationship with dogs, showing canine domestication may have occurred earlier than previously thought.

Today’s dogs, from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane, are believed to have descended from wild wolves domesticated by humans in prehistoric times, but when this took place has been a matter of debate.

May 20, 2015

Human ancestors made stone tools earlier than previously known

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Our ancient ancestors made stone tools, a milestone achievement along the path of human progress, much earlier than previously thought and far before the appearance of the first known member of our genus Homo.

Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of 3.3-million-year-old stone tools in desert badlands near Lake Turkana in northwestern Kenya, including sharp-edged flakes that could have been used for cutting meat from animal carcasses and rudimentary hammers perhaps used to pound open nuts or tubers.

May 17, 2015

U.S. conducts raid in Syria, says it kills senior Islamic State leader

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American special operations forces killed a senior Islamic State leader in a raid in Syria, U.S. officials said on Saturday, an operation that marked a departure from Washington’s strategy of relying primarily on air strikes to target militants there.

Delta Force commandos used UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to punch deep into eastern Syria from Iraq. They engaged in a firefight and hand-to-hand combat with Islamic State fighters, killed a key figure in the group named as Abu Sayyaf and captured his wife, U.S. officials said.

May 16, 2015

U.S. special forces hit Islamic State in Syria raid

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S special forces have carried out a raid inside Syria that killed a man identified as a senior Islamic State leader who helped direct the group’s oil, gas and financial operations, U.S. officials said on Saturday.

The White House said President Barack Obama ordered the raid that killed the Islamic State figure identified as Abu Sayyaf. U.S. officials said his wife was captured in the raid.

May 16, 2015

U.S. says its troops kill senior Islamic State leader in Syria raid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American special operations forces killed a senior Islamic State leader in a raid in Syria, U.S. officials said on Saturday, an operation that appeared to mark a departure from Washington’s strategy of relying mostly on a bombing campaign to target militant leaders there.

President Barack Obama ordered the overnight operation that killed Abu Sayyaf, identified as an Islamic State commander who helped manage the group’s black-market sales of oil and gas to raise funds, U.S. officials said. His wife, Umm Sayyaf, was captured and was being held in Iraq.

May 16, 2015

U.S. special forces hit Islamic State in Syria raid

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S special forces have carried out a raid inside Syria that killed a man identified as a senior Islamic State leader who helped direct the group’s oil, gas and financial operations, U.S. officials said on Saturday.

The White House said President Barack Obama ordered the raid that killed the Islamic State figure identified as Abu Sayyaf. U.S. officials said his wife was captured in the raid.

May 14, 2015

A deepwater fish joins mammals, birds in the warm-blooded club

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – Move over, mammals and birds,
and make room for a fish called the opah in the warm-blooded
club.

Researchers said in the journal Science on Thursday that
this deepwater denizen is the first fish known to be fully
warm-blooded, circulating heated blood throughout its body,
enabling it to be a vigorous predator in frigid ocean depths.

May 7, 2015

Study shows measles vaccine thwarts other infectious diseases

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – The measles vaccine provides
benefits beyond merely protecting against that highly contagious
viral respiratory disease that remains a leading childhood
killer in parts of the world, scientists say.

By blocking the measles infection, the vaccine prevents
measles-induced immune system damage that makes children much
more vulnerable to numerous other infectious diseases for two to
three years, a study published on Thursday found.