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Introducing Verge Science

Introducing Verge Science

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A welcome from your fearless leader

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Beaker

"Don't worry, we're just getting started."

In his post to readers on the eve of 2013, Josh Topolsky offered up that promise. And he kept it. Four months later, I'm excited to welcome all of you to The Verge Science — a dedicated section of The Verge that'll explore scientific inquiry with the same enthusiasm, intellect, and curiosity that our site already brings to coverage of technology and culture.

It's my job to get you really damn excited about science

If you're an avid reader of The Verge, I'm willing to bet that you get really excited about tech. It's my job, as the fearless leader of this new hub, to get you really damn excited about science, too. To do that, I had to step back and figure out why I was excited about science in the first place.

I've worked as a science reporter since I was 18, and I've covered the topic for a ton of different audiences — from national defense nerds to uber-science fanatics to women ages 35 to 60 to the "average American reader" on AOL. But no matter who I was writing for, or what topics I was covering, science always seemed like the only game in town.

When I was 11 or so, my parents both got sick. Their illnesses weren't similar at all: one manifested itself in the body, in the ability to see, to walk, to speak; the other showed up less tangibly, in the capacity to enjoy experiences, treasure relationships, and perceive the positive. Yet they were both rooted in the same inscrutable place: the brain.

It's a connection that both fascinated and frustrated me for years, as I struggled to understand how we could know so little about diseases that affected so much. Meanwhile, I watched my parents experience markedly different outcomes following their diagnoses. Thanks to a pioneering treatment for MS, my dad has never been healthier. My mom, in part because of a lack of adequate remedies for clinical depression, died eight years ago.

Learning to understand these experiences opened my eyes to science

Learning to understand these experiences opened my eyes to science. I realized that when the people closest to me were sick, struggling, even dying, the possibilities of science became my only recourse. I could be frustrated by what we didn't know, or I could be heartened by what we might one day find out. Knowing that people were working on solutions was comforting in a way that nothing else could be. Scientific research might not figure out the answers I wanted quickly enough, but someday, it would have them. When things get really bad, someday is a pretty important word.

No question is impossible to answer

Of course, science is about much more than health and medicine, and it doesn't always touch us so personally. But the possibilities inherent to scientific investigation are universal, whether it's space or electronics or climate change — and often those possibilities are going to impact our lives. In science, no question is impossible to answer, though it might take thousands of tries and several lifetimes to find the right solution. That makes me hopeful, and curious, and excited.

It also makes me intent on staying informed. I want to know how what's going on now might one day influence my health or the environment, or how it might transform the devices we use or even the way we understand the universe. I want my decisions, and my opinions, to be grounded in knowledge. I hope you agree, and I hope you'll join me. We're just getting started, and the possibilities are endless.

Already, we've got plenty for you to check out: our debut report, an investigation into the potential risks of federal research designed to prevent a pandemic, and a Q&A with best-selling science journalist Mary Roach. And by all means, come hang out in our new forum and follow us on Twitter @VergeScience.

Video by Ryan Manning and John Lagomarsino
Edited by Ryan Manning
Written and narrated by Katie Drummond
Special thanks to Ross Miller, Regina Dellea, Sam Thonis, and the New Jersey Liberty Science Center

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

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Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


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Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


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The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
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Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


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Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


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If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


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Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.