Backwards asteroid shares an orbit with Jupiter without crashing

Backwards asteroid shares an orbit with Jupiter without crashing

Backwards asteroid shares an orbit with Jupiter without crashing

THERE’S an asteroid in Jupiter’s orbit around the sun that’s going in the opposite direction – and it may have been doing so for more than a million years.

Object 2015 BZ509 was discovered in 2015 and is the only asteroid we know of that shares a planet’s orbital space while moving in the opposite direction. Paul Wiegert at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and his colleagues have now examined it to see why it doesn’t crash head-on into Jupiter.

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Phone sensors can save lives by revealing what floor you are on

Phone sensors can save lives by revealing what floor you are on

Phone sensors can save lives by revealing what floor you are on

KNOWING the location of an emergency caller can be a matter of life and death. But sometimes those seeking help are too panicked to speak clearly or don’t know where they are. Some callers don’t feel it is safe to speak at all and simply call 999 or 911 in silence.

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Podcast: Are we heading towards a male fertility disaster?

Podcast: Are we heading towards a male fertility disaster?

Podcast: Are we heading towards a male fertility disaster?

It’s a disaster of titanic proportions, says Hagai Levine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A study he published this year found a 50 per cent decline in sperm counts among Western men from 1973 to 2011. On top of that, sperm production declines with age, and more men are leaving it later to have kids. “I am very worried,” he says. “We cannot escape from it.”

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Spiders reset body clocks to avoid 5-hour jet-lag every day

Spiders reset body clocks to avoid 5-hour jet-lag every day

Spiders reset body clocks to avoid 5-hour jet-lag every day

SOME species of spider have such short biological clocks it is as if they are jet-lagged by more than 5 hours every morning. Yet they seem to feel no ill effects.

Orb-weaver spiders build webs to catch prey. They are active at night, building a fresh web during the pre-dawn hours. To study their rhythms, Darrell Moore of East Tennessee State University and his team recorded the activity patterns of different orb-weaver species. The spiders were placed in glass tubes in darkness and monitored by infrared sensors.

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Cancer Drug Fund didn’t deliver value ‘to patients or society’

Cancer Drug Fund didn’t deliver value ‘to patients or society’

Cancer Drug Fund didn’t deliver value ‘to patients or society’

A fund that was established in England to increase access to cancer medicines has been found to have provided little clinical benefit.

The Cancer Drugs Fund, which ran from 2010 to 2016, cost more than £1 billion, and gave people access to expensive new cancer drugs not routinely available on the NHS.

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Cassini’s 10 best pictures from its 13-year voyage around Saturn

Cassini’s 10 best pictures from its 13-year voyage around Saturn

Cassini’s 10 best pictures from its 13-year voyage around Saturn

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been voyaging through the solar system since October 1997. It went into orbit around Saturn in 2004 and has since taken thousands of images of the planet, its rings, and its many diverse moons. But on 15 September, the craft will end its mission by crashing into Saturn.

Cassini’s grand finale:

Join us as we count down to the fiery end of the Cassini spacecraft’s mission to Saturn

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Our brains always plan one step ahead of our bodies when we walk

Our brains always plan one step ahead of our bodies when we walk

Our brains always plan one step ahead of our bodies when we walk

Keep your head up. Today, navigating the urban jungle can be challenging, with uneven sidewalks and errant kerbs presenting obstacles to easy walking. So why do we rarely trip up even though we hardly ever give walking our full attention? It seems that all we need is a brief glimpse of what’s coming next on the road in front of us, just one step ahead of time, to keep up upright.

Humans have a unique kind of locomotion – we’re bipedal, meaning we move around on two legs rather than four. Scientists are still struggling to unravel the mystery behind our shift to two legs – for instance, some suggest it freed up our hands to carry food.

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