Jacob Margolis

Science Reporter

Contact Jacob Margolis

From the consequences of climate change to the next Big One, the threat of another natural disaster is never far away. I help Southern Californians understand the science shaping our imperfect paradise and get them prepared for what’s next.

Stories by Jacob Margolis

UCI uses stem cells as cancer-seeking missiles

Scientists say that they've come up with an approach to cancer that's less atomic bomb and more surgical strike, using stem cells.

What Cassini saw on Titan: 'Dunes of the Arabian desert' but made of water chips, not sand

It's so cold on Titan that its equator is nothing but dunes as far as the eye can see. But, they're not made of sand. They're made of little chips of water.

The little enzyme that could help fight global warming

Scientists from USC and Cal Tech have found that a certain enzyme can greatly speed up the process of transforming carbon dioxide into alkaline water.

We've made A LOT of plastic since 1950 — where is it now?

If you spread out all of the plastic ever manufactured in a pile that was ankle deep, it would cover an area of land roughly the size of Argentina, a researcher says.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot as you've never seen it before

The intimidating, swirling Great Red Spot, has captivated observers for ages. Now, we've got the closest images of it ever.

Cassini turns dangerous orbit to unlock Saturn's rings

All it takes is impact with something the size of a pebble to destroy delicate equipment, so Cassini had to protect herself.

Scientists think they've figured out how Zika got to Florida

No herd immunity, a large concentration of aedes aegypti mosquitoes and travel back and forth to Latin America were all likely contributors to the Zika outbreak in Florida.

How the Trump budget could affect NASA's JPL

If the budget passes as is, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will feel some cuts but gain some additional funds for planetary exploration.

Lucy Jones’s doomsday earthquake scenarios will terrify you — that’s the point

"If you are in the Coachella Valley, Don’t plan on getting to L.A. anytime after the earthquake, unless you have some way of flying."

Lake Tahoe’s future is murky — like its water

In the summer of 2016, the lake's water clarity declined by nearly a quarter. The culprit? Geoff Schladow says it's climate change

Cassini's quest: What a lonely probe is teaching us about Saturn

About 750 million miles away from home, after almost 20 years, one of NASA's oldest spacecrafts is approaching a fiery, but fitting end.

LA County struggles to shut down illegal pot shops

Throughout California there’s a rush for localities to establish rules for legal pot. But you don't need to look any further than L.A. County to see how things could potentially not work out.

LA County details struggle to shut down illegal marijuana dispensaries

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been barred from unincorporated L.A. County since 2011, but there's no shortage of them.

Patients who need transplants turned away for smoking pot

Those in need of transplants are being turned away for smoking pot, people are being sent to jail for shipping weed across state lines and California is trying to reckon with its confusing pot laws.

HighQ: California leads North America in marijuana sales

Analysts estimate that Californians bought $1.8 billion worth of legal marijuana in 2016 and that the broader market could surpass that for wine.