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Alien planets have had ‘front-row’ view of Earth for ages, astronomers say

An illustration showing the seven Earth-like planets of Trappist-1, a nearby star system astronomers say will be able to view Earth in transit roughly 1,600 years from now. | Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / R. Hurt (IPAC) For decades, astronomers have probed the universe for signs of life by watching distant planets glide past their host stars,...

Hospitals are selling treasure troves of medical data — what could go wrong?

Illustration by Ana Kova Healthcare organizations and hospitals in the United States all sit on treasure troves: a stockpile of patient health data stored as electronic medical records. Those files show what people are sick with, how they were treated, and what happened next. Taken together, they’re hugely valuable resources for medical discovery....

The airwaves of Navajo Nation

KYAT DJ Sammy Boyd reads off PSAs in English and Diné Bizaad. | Photo by Ash Ponders for The Verge During the pandemic, two radio stations broadcast vital information about COVID-19 to remote stretches of the country’s largest Indigenous territory. But how do you reach listeners who don’t want to hear it? Continue reading…

A hospital algorithm designed to predict a deadly condition misses most cases

Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images The biggest electronic health record company in the United States, Epic Systems, claims it can solve a major problem for hospitals: identifying signs of sepsis, an often deadly complication from infections that can lead to organ failure. It’s a leading cause of death in hospitals. But the...

Satellite images show just how bad California’s drought is

LAKE ISABELLA, CA - JUNE 14: In an aerial view, cattle graze on June 14, 2021 near Lake Isabella, California. Authorities are bracing for a predicted driest year on record for the Kern River, carrying only about a quarter of its average Sierra snowmelt water to Lake Isabella. The water level of the lake continues to dip below 16 percent capacity and...

Amazon labels millions of unsold products for destruction, new investigation finds

Staff make their way around the aisles collecting items before sending them to the on-site dispatch hall to be packaged inside one of Britain’s largest Amazon warehouses in Dunfermline, Fife. | Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images Amazon marks millions of unsold products for destruction each year in the UK, according to a new investigation...

The slow transitions of a lingering pandemic

Pedestrians walk through NYC on June 16, the day before COVID-19 restrictions lifted in the state. | Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress With COVID-19 restrictions lifting in some places and outbreaks popping up in others, the pandemic has officially entered the weird zone. Okay, there’s nothing official about it, but the entire world is...

PSA: If you enrolled in an energy saver program, your smart thermostat may adjust itself

The Nest Thermostat | Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Texas’ energy grid, which failed spectacularly over the winter during a stretch of historically cold weather, will be put to the test again this weekend, as temperatures across much of the state are forecast to be in the upper 90s. Despite assurances from Gov. Greg Abbott that “everything...

Earth has been trapping heat at an alarming new rate, study finds

A fountain in Leipzig, Germany on June 18, 2021 | Photo by Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images The amount of heat trapped by Earth’s land, ocean, and atmosphere doubled over the course of just 14 years, a new study shows. To figure out how much heat the earth was trapping, researchers looked at NASA satellite measurements...

This alien-like metal may one day power your electronics

The Verge Bismuth is a heavy, brittle metal that forms colorful geometric crystals when melted and then slowly cooled. It’s most commonly known as a main ingredient in Pepto Bismol — less commonly known as bismuth subsalicylate. And someday soon, it might be used to help power your electronics. Scientists like Robert Hoye, a lecturer in...

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