Tag: verge science

NASA needs your help to improve its space laser

NASA needs your help to improve its space laser

NASA recently launched a new satellite with an ambitious goal: it will measure the height of every forest on the planet. It’s part of an effort to figure out how much carbon is locked up in trees across the Earth. But, NASA’s not totally sure how accurate their space-laser measurement system really is. So, we…

On board Virgin Orbit’s flying launchpad

On board Virgin Orbit’s flying launchpad

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit is taking an unusual approach to putting satellites in space: the company wants to launch them in midair off the wing of a Boeing 747. We toured the prototype jet that’ll send the first satellites into space, and asked Virgin Orbit’s pilot what it’s like to fly a jumbo jet with…

This is what sea level rise will do to coastal cities

This is what sea level rise will do to coastal cities

Sea level rise is already redrawing coastlines around the world. What happens when the coast retreats through a major city? We look at how the world map will change in the year 2100, and what coastal cities can do to defend themselves. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2ZwP5Se You can learn more about Surging Seas and check…

The at-home DNA test craze is putting us all at risk

The at-home DNA test craze is putting us all at risk

Investigators have begun solving violent crimes through a new kind of DNA search — one that relies on DNA data from popular at-home DNA tests like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But, as consumer DNA databases grow, a disturbing reality emerges: you could be identified via your DNA even if you’ve never taken a DNA test yourself.…

Unlocking the secrets hidden inside your voice

Unlocking the secrets hidden inside your voice

Your voice says a lot about you, and it has nothing to do with what you’re saying. Your voice’s tone, pitch, pace, and other “vocal biomarkers” can reveal much about your mood, and even your decision-making process. Here are a few ways that researchers and companies are learning (and profiting) from the data you don’t…

The underground life forms that have taken over Centralia

The underground life forms that have taken over Centralia

Centralia, Pennsylvania was a town destroyed by a nightmarish, decades-long subterranean fire. While there are almost no people left there, scientists have discovered some new residents: heat-loving microbes who have appeared to capitalize on the fire. In this “Trial & Error” episode, we collect and regrow some of the mystery microbes from Centralia, and try…

Everything wrong with the young blood injection craze

Everything wrong with the young blood injection craze

The FDA recently issued a bulletin warning people not to buy injections of “young blood.” Why on Earth does the government even need to say such a thing? The answer involves some misunderstood science, overblown news reports, and sketchy entrepreneurs. We interviewed some scientists about why young blood to reverse aging became hyped, and what…

Who’s to blame for the neurotoxin poisoning the Pacific?

Who’s to blame for the neurotoxin poisoning the Pacific?

The crabbing industry in California is under siege: from toxic algae, climate change, and, some argue, Big Oil. We spent a day on a fishing boat to find out what’s really threatening commercial crabbing, and what can be done about it. http://bit.ly/2Fn7MQq Further reading: InsideClimate News: http://bit.ly/2CrJ1Rn Los Angeles Times: http://bit.ly/2TK6MP2 Supran, G., & Oreskes,…

How astronauts train for a worst-case spacewalk

How astronauts train for a worst-case spacewalk

Underwater space stations, Mars rover simulators, and space walk VR: NASA has built quite the futuristic playground to help its astronauts prepare for missions. Loren Grush visits NASA’s simulations lab and tries some scary space scenarios out for herself. This is an episode of The Verge’s original series Space Craft, and we thought you’d like…

We tested NYC water for lead contamination

We tested NYC water for lead contamination

Lead contamination got a lot of national attention because of the crisis in Flint, Michigan. But today, lead pipes are still tainting tap water across America. In this episode of “Trial & Error,” we explore how lead enters the water supply, how to test for it, and find out whether our own homes are at…