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Swine Flu: the predictable pandemic?

April 29, 2009

We’ve known that swine flu could cause a human pandemic for more than a decade — but no one paid attention, says New Scientist in this special issue, which covers global preparedness (patchy), treatments that might be effective (Tamiflu may not work), and expert analysis of how deadly it is (unknown).

Follow @newscientist and @CDCemergency Twitter feeds, and search “swine flu” and

Swine flu: What you need to know

April 27, 2009

Several hundred people in Mexico and 20 people in the US have come down with a new kind of swine flu, which could become a serious worldwide epidemic.

“We don’t know yet if this will be one. Cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands a lot. Don’t run down your ability to fight infection — eat well and be sensible. Some scientists recommend going on statins as there… read more

Swiping is the easy part

March 24, 2011

Wide adoption of mobile wallets has been slowed by a major behind-the-scenes battle among corporations, says Drew Sievers, chief executive of mFoundry, which makes mobile payment software.

The cellphone is capable of holding all of the credit and debit cards crammed into a wallet. Instead of swiping a plastic card at the checkout counter, consumers can merely wave their phones.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, and… read more

Swiss man soars above Alps with jet-powered wing

May 16, 2008
(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot known as the
“Fusion Man,” strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps.

Swiss team grow synthetic bone replacement

October 21, 2004

Swiss medical researchers say they have achieved encouraging results with a pioneering polymer-ceramic material that could replace missing or damaged bones and allow the original bone tissue to grow back in its place.

Switch on for Powered Data Networks

July 21, 2003

Instead of needing adapters, computer networks could soon be supplying the devices they interconnect with both data and power. The basic plugs for computer networks are the same all over the world, raising the possibility that powered data cables could become a universal back-up power supply.

Switchable hologram promises memory boost

June 4, 2007

A device that stores holograms using a liquid crystal film controlled electronically has been created by researchers in Singapore.

They hope that future versions could be used to store large amounts of digital data in small areas, for rewritable memory, or to manipulate living cells with light.

Switchable nanomagnets could led to computer memory 1,000 times smaller

June 15, 2012


Scientists of Kiel University have succeeded in selectively switching the magnetism of individual molecules or “spin-crossover complexes” on and off.

Using individual molecules instead of electronic or magnetic memory cells would revolutionize data storage technology, since molecular memories could be a thousand-fold smaller, the scientists suggest.

The interdisciplinary study is part of the Collaborative Research Centre 677 “Functions by Switching,” funded by the German… read more

Switchable Nanostructures Made with DNA

December 22, 2009


Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have found a new way to use a synthetic form of double-stranded DNA for programmable self-assembly of nanoparticles.

It could allow for switchable, three-dimensional and small-cluster structures that might be useful, for example, as biosensors, in solar cells, and as new materials for data storage.

‘Switched on’ muscle stem cells morph to resemble nerve cells

April 15, 2004

Researchers have turned muscle progenitor cells — stem cells that are “committed” to becoming muscle tissue — into cells that look and act like neurons.

Using an artificial gene they created, the researchers “switched on” a panel of genes that are normally silent in the muscle cells, causing them to morph into cells that show biochemical, physiological, and structural properties of neurons.

The researchers say the advance provides… read more

Switching device enables ultrafast quantum Internet

March 23, 2011

Researchers have developed a new switching device that can route quantum bits at very high speeds along a shared network of fiber-optic cable without losing the embedded entanglement information, says Prem Kumar, AT&T Professor of Information Technology at Northwestern University.

The researchers used pairs of polarization-entangled photons emitted into standard telecom-grade fiber. One photon of the pair was transmitted through the all-optical switch. Using single-photon detectors,… read more

Switching off Aging in Stem Cells

September 7, 2006

A single molecular switch plays a central role in inducing stem cells in the brain, pancreas, and blood to lose function as they age, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found.

Genetically engineered mice deficient in the p16INK4a gene show considerably reduced aging-related decline in stem cell function and tissue regeneration.

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute news release

Switching your universe to toy with the laws of physics

July 11, 2012


The many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics loosely suggests there are an infinite number of universes existing alongside our own, in which anything can and will happen.

In the puzzle game Quantum Conundrum, you play the 12-year-old nephew of Professor Fitz Quadwrangle, a scientist who had invented a way to shift between these universes before becoming trapped in one after an experiment went awry.

It… read more

Symantec Unveils Automated Norton AntiVirus

August 14, 2002

Symantec announced Norton AntiVirus 2003, due September 1, which it says will automatically protect a PC from evolving threats such as advanced e-mail worms and infected instant messaging attachments. Using advanced heuristics–a type of artificial intelligence–the Worm Blocking technology actually watches for programs that act like a worm.

Synapse chip taps into brain chemistry

March 26, 2003

Stanford University researchers have developed “artificial synapses” on a silicon chip.

When an electric field is applied, the neurotransmitter is pumped through an internal pipeline, and a little of it squeezes out of the hole, stimulating nearby neural cells.

This could open the way to neural prosthetic implants that combine chemical and electrical stimulation in one implant. These could interact with cells in more subtle and precise ways.… read more

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