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

Tiny worm caught in the act of reproducing — by tearing itself apart

The tiny, camera shy, asexual worm has been caught in the act; research on how its two halves regenerate could help scientists learn more about how stem cells work.

Breathing LA air may increase your risk of kidney disease

The culprit is particulate matter 1/25th the size of a human hair that enters the bloodstream and wreaks havoc on critical organs.

Jellyfish need their beauty sleep too, new research shows

Scientists hope that if they can figure out why jellyfish sleep, they might be able to figure out why animals, including humans, sleep too.

Ciao, Cassini: NASA spacecraft's long mission ends

Cassini's final signal was received at JPL around 5 a.m. Friday morning, signaling the "end of mission" call, followed by cheers and even some tears.

Cassini's last gasp offers unique chance to understand Saturn

While it sounds bad that scientists are crashing the Cassini spacecraft into Saturn, the final move is arguably one of the most important of the mission.

Giant asteroid to pass closely by Earth

Asteroid Florence is 2.7 miles wide, one of the largest known near-Earth objects ever spotted, and it'll pass by 4.4 million miles from Earth September 1.

Zika, HIV attack the immune system in similar ways

Once the virus enters the bloodstream of a pregnant woman it tricks the immune system, suppresses it and spreads quickly.

When and how to see the solar eclipse in LA (without blinding yourself)

On Aug. 21, the moon will cross in between the earth and the sun, the land will darken, the temperature will drop and we'll see an astronomical phenomenon.

Saturn's snow moon is coated in fresh powder — and possibly life

Saturn's sixth largest moon is a winter wonderland, always covered in a fresh layer of snow. If you had a spacesuit and gnarly set of skis, you might be good to go.

By 2100, SoCal could see average summer temps in triple digits

New studies predict heat waves and droughts will become more common as temperatures continue to rise. Rising seas are also likely swamp low-lying areas.

Air pollution deaths could rise with global temperatures

As temperatures rise and pollution increases, more people could suffer heart attacks, stroke, lung cancer and more diseases.

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.