Hajor / Wikipedia

Most connected devices use radio waves, be it WiFi or Bluetooth. Although it makes our lives more convenient, it's making astronomers' lives harder, according to Wired. Radio waves don't just come from humans, they're emitted by objects in space, and scientists can use them to analyze just about everything, from stars to nebulas to comets.

Right now, some radio wavelengths are reserved exclusively for radio astronomy. But that doesn't mean they're the only frequencies space sends towards Earth, and it's getting harder to detect space's signals through all the earthly noise. (Mysterious "alien" radio signals detected in Australia in 2015 were caused by a microwave, for example.)

Military and industry groups are working toward possible solutions, but they come with their own challenges. The best solution is to figure out how to share the spectrum, says Wired's Sarah Scoles. "If you fill the spectrum with man-made emissions, you will never be able to understand certain parts of the universe," astronomer Liese vanZee told Wired.

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20 mins ago - World

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki have remained unreplicated for 75 years in part because the U.S. and Soviet Union — after peering over the ledge into nuclear armageddon — began to negotiate.

Why it matters: The arms control era that began after the Cuban Missile Crisis may now be coming to a close. The next phase could be a nuclear free-for-all.

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

2 hours ago - Science

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

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Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.