Will's Feed
Apr 24, 2014

Ancient flying reptile from China fills evolutionary gap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was the start of something big – really big.

Scientists on Thursday said they have found a fossil from 163 million years ago that represents the oldest known example of a lineage of advanced flying reptiles that later would culminate in the largest flying creatures in Earth’s history.

Apr 24, 2014

With genome deciphered, experts aim to swat dreaded tsetse fly

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) – An international team of
scientists has deciphered the genetic code of the tsetse fly,
the bloodsucking insect that spreads deadly African sleeping
sickness, with the hope that its biological secrets can be
exploited to eradicate this malady.

The findings announced on Thursday were the culmination of a
multimillion dollar, decade-long effort involving more than 140
scientists from 78 research institutions in 18 countries.

Apr 23, 2014

Scientists monitor huge iceberg that broke off from Antarctica

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) – Scientists are monitoring
an iceberg roughly six times the size of Manhattan – one of the
largest now in existence – that broke off from an Antarctic
glacier and is heading into the open ocean.

NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt said on Wednesday the iceberg
covers about 255 square miles (660 square km) and is up to a
third of a mile (500 meters) thick. Known as B31, the iceberg
separated from Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier last November,
Brunt added.

Apr 17, 2014

In weird Brazilian cave insects, male-female sex organs reversed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This may be the role reversal to end all role reversals.

Scientists on Thursday described four insect species that dwell in extremely dry caves in Brazil, feed on bat guano and possess what the researchers called an “evolutionary novelty.” .

Apr 16, 2014

Jaws, the prequel: Scientists find the ‘Model T Ford’ of sharks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – You’ve heard of the Model T Ford, the famed early 20th-century automobile that was the forerunner of the modern car. But how about the Model T shark?

Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of the impeccably preserved fossilized remains of a shark that lived 325 million years ago in what is now Arkansas, complete with a series of cartilage arches that supported its gills and jaws.

Apr 16, 2014

Oh baby: Scientists find protein that lets egg and sperm hook up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – You can forget about the birds and the bees. If you really want to learn how babies are made, you need to know about Juno and Izumo.

Fertilization takes place when an egg cell and a sperm cell recognize one another and fuse to form an embryo. But how they recognize each other in order to hook up had remained a mystery.

Apr 12, 2014

Former U.S. Marine’s family asks Iran to reconsider prison term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The family of an Iranian-American former U.S. Marine held in Iran since 2011 called on Saturday for senior Iranian officials to review his conviction and 10-year prison sentence on charges of collaborating with the U.S. government and to free him.

The family of Amir Hekmati, whose previous espionage conviction and death sentence in Iran were overturned in 2012, said he was retried in secret, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison on a charge of “practical collaboration with the American government.”

Apr 11, 2014

White House, spy agencies deny NSA exploited ‘Heartbleed’ bug

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House and U.S. intelligence agencies said on Friday neither the National Security Agency nor any other part of the government were aware before this month of the “Heartbleed” bug, denying a report that the spy agency exploited the glitch in widely used Web encryption technology to gather intelligence.

The White House, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued statements after Bloomberg reported that the NSA was aware of the bug for at least two years and exploited it in order to obtain passwords and other basic information used in hacking operations. The Bloomberg report cited two unnamed sources it said were familiar with the matter.

Apr 10, 2014

Shoo fly: pesky insect escapes using fighter jet maneuvers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – What does a tiny fruit fly have in common with the world’s most advanced fighter jets like the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor? More than you might think.

Scientists using video cameras to track a fly’s aerial maneuvers found the insect employs astonishingly quick mid-air banked turns to evade predators much like a fighter jet executes to elude an enemy.

Apr 9, 2014

Extinct Australian predator was fierce but no Tasmanian devil

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fox-sized marsupial predator that roamed Australia from about 23 to 12 million years ago had plenty of bite to go along with its bark. But while it was certainly fierce, it was no Tasmanian devil, Australia’s famously ferocious bantamweight brute.

Those were the findings reported on Wednesday by scientists who essentially brought the extinct mammal back to life in the virtual world to study its bite force and other qualities in comparison to other marsupial meat-eaters.