Researchers now believe the 50-foot-long Spinosaurus may have been the first dinosaur to take the plunge, swimming in the rivers of North Africa 97 million years ago.
— Queensland Museum (@qldmuseum) September 11, 2014
The dinosaur had a giant sail on its back, much like a shark's fin, and likely ate ancient crocodiles, fish, and other floating objects. "It was the biggest carnivorous dinosaur, but Spinosaurus wasn't a land animal," University of Chicago paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim told National Geographic. "This was a creature adapted to life in the water."
Before Spinosaurus, researchers say, dinosaurs were only on land, and after 150 million years of evolution "suddenly we see these adaptations in Spinosaurus where it is able to swim," University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno said.
The paleontologists studied Spinosaurus fossils — including a skull, claws, and the back sail — found in the Moroccan Sahara, and found that the predator had a snout similar to a crocodile's, paddle-like feet, and dense bones that helped with buoyancy. "Spinosaurus has almost no 'junk in the trunk,'" dinosaur expert Thomas Holtz told National Geographic. "This doesn't make much sense for a land animal that makes a living chasing other land animals. But if it is an animal that doesn’t spend most of its time on land, but instead in the water, it doesn't need strong leg muscles."
Spinosaurus was discovered in Egypt in 1912 by the German paleontologist Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach. His findings were destroyed during a World War II bombing in Munich, which brought research to a standstill. Read more about the Spinosaurus and how the paleontologists found these new fossils at National Geographic. Catherine Garcia
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday afternoon that he would delay a vote on the GOP health-care bill that has been presented in the upper chamber, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act. McConnell had held steady to the idea of holding a vote before the July 4th recess, but after at least 10 senators voiced opposition to the bill, McConnell was forced to hold off on a vote until after the holiday break.
And just like that, with the coast cleared and the vote off the table, three more Republican senators decided to announce their opposition to the bill. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), two more moderate conservatives, issued a joint statement on the bill, saying they could not support its cuts to Medicaid and its lack of funding to combat the opioid epidemic:
Full Portman and Capito statements pic.twitter.com/y54UEZCWDH
— Liz Goodwin (@lizcgoodwin) June 27, 2017
Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.), meanwhile, issued a short statement saying the Senate bill "missed the mark":
The Senate healthcare bill missed the mark for Kansans and therefore did not have my support.
— Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) June 27, 2017
BuzzFeed News' Paul McLeod predicted that the bill will either pass the upper chamber "by one vote, or fail by a lot. I think a bunch of [senators] would like it to fail, but don't want to be the deciding vote." Kimberly Alters
At least four of President Trump's golf clubs display a fake, framed Time magazine with Trump on the cover, The Washington Post reports. The issue purports to be from "March 1, 2009," even though there is no March 1, 2009 issue of Time.
"I can confirm that this is not a real Time cover," the magazine's spokeswoman, Kerri Chyka, told The Washington Post.
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 27, 2017
There are a number of giveaways that the cover is a fake, including its skinny border and exclamation points ("Time headlines don't yell"). "So how did Trump — who spent an entire campaign and much of his presidency accusing the mainstream media of producing 'fake news' — wind up decorating his properties with a literal piece of phony journalism?" The Washington Post asks.
It isn't clear — neither the White House nor the Trump Organization offered an answer. But Trump takes unabashed pride in his Time covers, both real and fake, boasting incorrectly on the campaign trail that "I think we have the all-time record [of cover photos] in the history of Time magazine."
Due to a lack of votes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has decided to delay the Senate vote on the GOP health-care plan. McConnell, who was pushing for a vote this week, told senators Tuesday that he now plans to hold the vote after the July 4 recess in hopes of rallying more support in the extra time.
Six Republicans have come out against the bill, while four have expressed concerns. McConnell can only afford two defections.
Stock in an Australian biotech company that was questionably promoted to members of the House by Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) plummeted from $1.77 a share to just 5 cents on Tuesday, after the company announced its multiple sclerosis drug had failed trials, The Buffalo News reports. "The news is dire for both the company and investors," Australia's Money Morning wrote, as shareholders' hopes had hinged on the promising drug's success.
Collins is the firm's biggest shareholder; he owns about a fifth of the company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, with his two children. He personally lost $17 million Tuesday, Bloomberg reports.
"Sophisticated investors know there's a risk and as you now know, there was never any inside information that would indicate otherwise," Collins told The Buffalo News, defending his decision to promote the company's stock to his colleagues.
The Buffalo News added:
...Unusual trading activity Friday "suggests that somebody with knowledge of the results was front-running the announcement," [analyst Sean] O'Neill said. "That’s something I'd hope the regulator will be looking closer at."
Collins told The Buffalo News Tuesday morning that he did not sell any of his shares in Innate before its price collapsed. [The Buffalo News]
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a former congressman from Georgia, invested in Innate Immunotherapeutics at Collins' suggestion, a topic that was raised and criticized during his confirmation hearing earlier this year. Collins had reportedly bragged "off the House floor … about how he had made people millionaires from a stock tip." Price sold his shares in February for $250,000. Jeva Lange
Roughly 3.3 million years after ancient humanoids invented the earliest known tools, mankind is on the cusp of perfecting sophisticated self-driving technology that has the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it.
There is only one problem: kangaroos.
Volvo's new self-driving technology uses a "large animal detection" system to prevent its S90 and XC90 car models from plowing into deer or moose while on the go, the BBC reports. But during tests in Australia, researchers realized the technology is completely befuddled by the hops of kangaroos.
"We've noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight when it's in the air, it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," Volvo Australia's technical manager, David Pickett, told ABC.
To fix the problem, Volvo first needs to "start identifying the roo," Pickett explained. That would make sense, seeing as the company initially developed its large animal detection software by dodging moose in Sweden.
Determined, Volvo has spent the past 18 months in Australia teaching its software not to hit kangaroos. The company needs to get it exactly right, after all, as there are more than 16,000 roo collisions a year in the country, NRMA Insurance reports.
"We identify what a human looks like by how a human walks, because it's not only the one type of human — you've got short people, tall people, people wearing coats," Pickett explained. "The same applies to a roo." Jeva Lange
Trump just promised to 'prioritize' HIV/AIDS treatment. His budget slashes funding for related programs by $1.1 billion.
Trump in the statement encouraged people to "take the first step — discovery — in fighting" HIV and expressed gratitude for the "concerted efforts to diagnose and treat more and more people," which have allowed Americans with HIV to live "longer, healthier lives than ever before." He vowed his administration would "build upon those improvements and continue supporting domestic and global health programs that prioritize testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS."
However, The New York Times reported in May that the Trump administration has proposed slashing funding for "programs that buy antiretroviral drugs for about 11.5 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by "at least $1.1 billion — nearly a fifth of current funding." The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) estimated that the proposed budget cuts to AIDS programs could "cost more than 1 million lives and orphan more than 300,000 children."
BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned because they felt Trump "simply does not care" about combating the disease. On Tuesday, Trump said AIDS "has been one of the world's most significant health challenges." Becca Stanek
A massive worldwide cyberattack is causing disruptions from Spain to India, with Ukraine the heaviest hit and the apparent initial target, The Independent reports.
The attack is the biggest in Ukraine's history, affecting everything from the banks to the electricity grids and metro. Ukraine's prime minister called the attack "unprecedented," but clarified that "vital systems haven't been affected."
Ukraine has faced a history of cyberattacks or hacking attempts in the past several years. The country has blamed such attacks, including one on its power grid in 2015, on Russia, The Guardian reports. Russia has denied the charges.
Some of our gov agencies, private firms were hit by a virus. No need to panic, we’re putting utmost efforts to tackle the issue pic.twitter.com/RsDnwZD5Oj
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) June 27, 2017
Abroad, other companies, including Russia's Rosneft oil company and the Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, have also reported being hacked. Security experts believe the virus is a variant of the "Petya" ransomware and are already likening the attack to the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, which infected an estimated 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries.
— 0x09AL (@0x09AL) June 27, 2017
I'm just confused how there is any global corporate outbreak of MS17-010 in June 2017, after WannaCry. I'm kinda in disbelief.
— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) June 27, 2017
Some already fear the Petya attack could be even bigger than the WannaCry attack. Jeva Lange