Featuring the latest in daily science news, Verge Science is all you need to keep track of what’s going on in health, the environment, and your whole world. Through our articles, we keep a close eye on the overlap between science and technology news — so you’re more informed.
Twitter just closed the book on academic research
Twitter was once an indispensable resource for academic research. That’s changed under Elon Musk.
Trial of Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes: news, updates, and more
The former billionaire is now serving her prison sentence after it was revealed that her blood-testing company hadn’t achieved the breakthroughs it claimed.
You can sign up for daily emails on tornado, hail, wind, and heavy rain risk in your area. But since forecasts might change quickly, you can also find maps with more updated information on the NYT’s website or from the National Weather Service.
[The New York Times]
You are never gonna guess what happened.
That’s right, the chatbot started giving people with eating disorders advice on losing weight! (See also: Vice, Daily Dot)
The Washington Post points out this 25-page document (PDF) released Tuesday by the State Department. The Post reports this signals further involvement of the diplomatic corps in a realm that until now, has been largely managed by NASA and the Pentagon.
This first Strategic Framework for Space Diplomacy outlines how State Department diplomacy will advance continued U.S. space leadership and will expand international cooperation on mutually beneficial space activities, while promoting responsible behavior from all space actors, strengthening the understanding of, and support for, U.S. national space policies and programs, and promoting international use of U.S. space capabilities, systems, and services.
Elizabeth Holmes will begin serving her 11-year federal prison sentence for defrauding investors in her blood testing company. She is still appealing her conviction.
John Carreyrou, whose Wall Street Journal article seemed to initiate her undoing, tweeted the video of her walking in with the caption “Bad Blood, the final final chapter.”
NASA’s 530km-high TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system reached a staggering 200Gbps downlink to a receiver on the ground, IEEE Spectrum reports. This doubles last June’s 100Gbps throughput, which “was 100 times faster than the quickest internet speeds in most cities.”
Less than ten years ago, NASA was celebrating just over 600Mbps, but it now thinks the tech could eventually enable up to 5Gbps throughput from the moon:
Moreover, Mitchell says, they are looking at ways to push TBIRD’s capabilities as far away as the moon, in order to support future missions there. The rates under consideration are in the 1 to 5 gigabit per second range, which “may not seem like much of an improvement, but remember the moon is roughly 400,000 km away from Earth, which is quite a long distance to cover,” Mitchell says.
State Farm suddenly announced that isn’t offering home insurance policies in California anymore due to “historic increases in construction costs outpacing inflation, rapidly growing catastrophe exposure, and a challenging reinsurance market” (via Insider). That’s likely due in part to the horrible wildfires in the state, and they might get worse because of climate change.
The Washington Post reports regulators have hit Elon Musk’s Boring Company with multiple complaints over careless, unpermitted work in Bastrop County, Texas.
Elon’s “Snailbrook” plans to build a private community around his SpaceX and Boring Company facilities — as well as local unease about the effects of Elon’s “move fast” ethos on the countryside — have been reported by The Wall Street Journal and the San Antonio Express-News.
From the Post:
Amy Weir, a local property owner, said Musk’s companies have “no doubt done amazing things,” but that there was no need for them to “reinvent wastewater treatment” when the city was ready to handle the job. The penalties for violating the permit were far too low, she added. “The owner of these companies spent $44 billion on Twitter, and it had no impact on his ability to continue to build these businesses,” she said.
A little over a month after Starship obliterated its launchpad and went kablooey before it reached stage separation, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that it will be ready again in about two months, pending launchpad upgrades and rocket testing.
Yesterday, SpaceX released a dramatic video recapping the first flight, if you want to watch it with synth-heavy piano music behind it.
How to watch the first ESA Mars Express ‘live’ stream
Now the US State Department has a “strategic framework for space diplomacy.”
NASA beamed a record 200Gbps to the ground using a space laser.
”I love Elon… I just don’t want him to dump his poop in the river.”
Nuclear fusion startups set to receive $46 million from the Department of Energy
Microsoft will pay to capture carbon from burning wood
How to hardwire your home without ethernet in the walls
Whales are dying, but it’s not because of wind farms
I have a simple rule for news vetting — if it says “graphene,” you can probably ignore it because it never shows up as a real product. New Logitech G Pro X 2 gaming headphones with graphene drivers may force me to revisit that, even if they’re not the absolute first ones on the market and are arriving ten years after researchers explained how these could work.
This interview and this video below lay out why the carbon supermaterial has so much promise — and the production hurdles holding it back. But maybe that’s finally changing.
Unity 25 was the company’s first trip in nearly two years, but now Virgin Galactic (not Virgin Orbit, RIP) is preparing to launch “commercial spaceline operations” with the Galactic 01 mission in late June.
The mission flew 54.2 miles away from Earth’s surface (Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have opinions on whether or not that counts as spaceflight), and you can watch the recap right here.
According to a report from Gizmodo, NEDA fired the employees that run its eating disorder helpline after they successfully unionized. In their place, NEDA says it will start using an AI-powered chatbot, named Tessa, in June.
The union that represents the workers condemns the decision, stating: “A chat bot is no substitute for human empathy, and we believe this decision will cause irreparable harm to the eating disorders community.”
Vice used FOIA requests to uncover some key emails between SpaceX and the FAA.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s Privacy ICAO Aircraft Address program (PIA) allows private jet owners to essentially create a dummy or “temporary” aircraft registration number that is known only to the jet’s owner and the U.S. government.
Emails obtained by Motherboard show that SpaceX enrolled Elon Musk’s private jet in this program sometime prior to August 2022, but failed to properly implement the temporary tail number, allowing the plane to continue being tracked under its real, permanent tail number.
Plus, they were sent at around the same time as Musk and Twitter were banning / unbanning @ElonJet and journalists who mentioned it. Meanwhile, the guy behind the account is just starting another tracker for Ron Desantis.
At the end of March, we learned satellite launching company Virgin Orbit had laid off most of its staff and would cease operations “for the foreseeable future.” Now the door to a comeback has been closed after it failed to find a wholesale buyer or cash infusion and will shut down for good (Virgin Galactic, which it spun off from in 2017, is still going).
CNBC reports the bankrupt company’s assets and gear were sold at auction to Rocket Lab, Stratolaunch, and Launcher, which is a subsidiary of Vast Space.
Google announced at IO that Bard would include images where relevant in its responses, and that change is live. Below, a tweet shows what that looks like. The images come from sites like Pinterest. I wish they were AI-generated for extra fun, but alas.
Still, I tried asking it for the best food in Austin, TX, and it failed to highlight Casino El Camino.
Axiom Space launched Ax-2 today, the second of four planned private missions to the space station. Of the four people on this trip (a seat reportedly costs about $55 million), mission commander Peggy Whitson is the most experienced, with three previous trips to the ISS under her belt and 665 days in space, more than any other American astronaut.
The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Monday morning at around 9:16AM ET.
US District Court Judge Edward Davila has denied Holmes’ request to stay out of prison while she appeals her fraud conviction and 11 year sentence, saying she must report to prison by 2PM ET on May 30th, 2023.
Separately, a ruling on Monday set the restitution owed by Holmes and former Theranos CEO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani at $452 million. Despite the years and the dollars, however, as Elizabeth Lopatto wrote last year: Elizabeth Holmes’ verdict won’t change Silicon Valley.
Buckle up because El Niño is almost here, and it’s going to get hot
Prepare for temperatures reaching ‘uncharted territory,’ the World Meteorological Organization warns.