Sunday, December 18, 2011

Science Daily: Tumor-Specific Pathway Identified

A research team in the United States has recently identified a pathway in tumour cells that could be exploited in order to destroy the cancer itself. It involves the Kreb's cycle, the most studied metabolic process in all respiring cells and organisms. The simple difference between the normal pathway and the cancerous pathway is that the cancerous one is in the reverse direction. Instead of acetyl acetate being broken down it is actually formed and renewed as the cycle progresses.The products of the cycle are still carbon dioxide and water however they are formed at different stages in the cycle.

They have learned that certain cancers have gene mutations which alter their metabolisms providing new therapeutic windows of opportunity.

Andrew Mullen, a graduate student in genetics and development at UT Southwestern, was first author of the paper. Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Dr. Eunsook Jin, instructor in the Advanced Imaging Research Center; Pei-Hsuan Chen, graduate student in integrative biology; and Dr. Tzuling Cheng, a postdoctoral researcher in pediatrics. Scientists from Northwestern University and from the National Cancer Institute also participated.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Science Daily: Targeting Bacterial Gas Defenses Allow for Increased Efficacy of Numerous Antibiotics

Bacteria have pervaded the Earth ever since the dawn of the time. They are simple prokaryotic organisms that may multiply by binary fission to extraordinary amounts. That is why humans strive so hard to stop their action on our bodies as well as on other organisms. Antibiotics which first emerged in 1877 were the weapon that could be used to stop the onslaught. Although the results were spectacular at first, the bacteria developed resistance after only a few generations of exposure to the antibiotic (due to the DNA sharing in plasmids)

Bacillus anthracis
It has recently been recognized that H2S (hydrogen sulphide) may play a large part in protecting bacteria from various antibiotics. H2S acts as a general defense mechanism against oxidative stress, the process through which many antibiotics kill bacteria. This could prove to be a useful piece of information when considering when developing new techniques for the universal defence mechanism.

"In addition, the study demonstrates that bacteria that generate both H2S and nitric oxide (NO) simultaneously, such as B. anthracis (a causative of anthrax), cannot survive without both gases, even under normal growth conditions."
 This could prove to be another step to rid the world of all dangerous bacteria that could destroy our way of life which is something that everyone craves.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Scientist: Asteroids plummet

Most of you probably remember the 1998 film Armageddon  with Bruce Willis in the main role. A exploration team was sent to an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth. Bruce Willis of course single handedly destroyed the meteorite with a nuclear weapon preventing massive destruction to the planet.
However if it ever did crash in reality its effects would be horrendous. The impact would totally destroy the entire surrounding area for several miles. Over the course of the next few weeks dust would cover the sky preventing any sunlight from ever reaching the planet. After a few short months everything on the Earth would die since we depend on sunlight... or rather plants do.

Scientists have uncovered some very good news however.  It seems that there are fewer large asteroids that could potentially destroy life on Earth than previously thought. Using an infrared sky survey rather than reflected sunlight a team of scientists at NASA picked up the heat that the asteroids emit. It depends less on the colour on the rocks which was a unpredictable method to begin with.

The survey estimated that there are 20,000 'planet busters' in the vicinity of the Earth, half previously estimated. 981 of these 20,000 have been thoroughly analysed and their mean diameter is just under 1 km, easily a 'planet buster'. This means that we are less under threat than ever before, which is quite a good future. And when considering the words of the film  Armageddon : ''It happened before. It will happen again. It's just a question of when.'' The when seems to be a little bit farther away.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Scientist: The Age of the Internet

Who can deny that the Internet has become the marvel of society? A web of social networks, communities, information storage as well as countless other uses that not many of us know. However we must consider that the Internet is now in grave peril. Corporations aiming to reshape the internet in their image, cybercriminals and hackers alike vowing to destabilize mayor networks as well as authoritarian governments that restrict any content that may prove to be rebellious or a threat in any way to their rule. These are true problems facing us today and we need real solutions. And to look for those solutions we must look back at the history of the Internet and see the effects that society and politics has had on it and vice versa.

It all started in the RAND corporation in Santa Monica, USA in 1958 when a US Air Force scientist Paul Baran managed to create a communications network that could withstand a nuclear attack. The idea was to pass informations from one point to another without a centralised router or switching station. Dividing the message into small packets scattered all over the network. From then on the Internet grew into a world wide web that became commercially available since 1991. And what has happened to the Web over these 20 years? Almost every company in the world operates in some way through the internet whether they sell products through it or if they simple have a website. The giants such as Amazon, Google and Apple who have achieved the greatest success because of the revolutions they have made to the Internet and to computers in general.
If Apple, Google and Amazon start to fragment the web, can anything be done to stop them?
Recently, however, many problems started to arise such as the Wikileaks launch of many classified documents which stimulated the formation of Anonymous (a group of hackers hell-bent on making all classified documents available to the general public no matter the content as well as caring for free speech in the web) Although this seems like a noble cause one cannot forget the consequences of such actions.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Scientist: Plane Sailing

Most of us have probably witnessed an airplane flying in the sky. We all remember the noise it makes, the gaseous fumes it leaves behind. What if a plane would quite simply glide, making no sound, releasing no smoke and using very little energy in the process. For this to work it must also be light as a feather so this means no passengers on board or any other large baggage. That is what the autopilot system on the new glider created by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Australian Center for Field Robotics in Sydney.

This particular plane flew autonomously for 5.3 hours beating the previous record by 60 minutes. The glider chooses a particular route of thermal currents and winds which favours its direction thus allowinf the plane the fly like an albatross or any other type of birds. It first travels through a high speed current to gain momentum and then moves on to a region of slower winds. The energy gained from the higher winds will allow the glider to lift. It can reach speeds of 600 km/h and has a large range.

Using the accelerometer and altimeter the autopilot can work out and create a local wind map of varying speeds and directions. The inventors say that the greatest danger to the plane can actually be the wear and tear caused by friction, heat and air resistance. This glider could be another example of benefits gained from observing nature.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Scientist: Do we need citizen medicine?

Pharmaceuticals, antibiotics and drugs. All of them have, at one point or another, saved our lives. But are they always helpful? Janet Krska and Tony Avery discuss the possibilities of suffering from adverse drug reactions that may actually kill you. Fevers, aches, nausea and many more effects on the body may be caused by drugs. Although most of them are written on the box some may be specific to each human being and their physiology. It seems that patients can actually report their ADR's toa Yellow Card system in the UK. This system analyzes each particular ADR and if enough people suffer from it, will alert the proper pharmaceutical company to modify their drug or totally remove it from the market. Similar systems function across the whole European Union.

"ADR's have reached epidemic proportions... increasing at twice the rate of prescriptions. The European Commision estimated adverse reactions kill 197,000 EU citizens annualy, at a cost of €79 billion. "

 This is actually the first time I have heard of such report systems and the article gives the same view. Over 90 per cent of ADR's are not reported, patients reports are not taken seriously and medical professionals do not take action when ADR's are reported directly to them. Most patients are scared that healthcare officials will dismiss their symptoms as common side effects of the drug. In my humble opinion, patient reporting could be a very useful tool in detecting the pharmaceuticals that are of more danger than helpfulness. Medicine has to accept aid from sources that are not professionals since ADR's cannot be solely identified by them.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Scientist: Proteins Protect against Heart Break

Pills that protect from heart break. And no, not the romantic kind. A rich dormant stem cell called thymosin beta-4 present in the innermost layer of the sac which surrounds the heart could be useful in both preventing a heart attack and repairing the cardiac muscle after such an attack occurs. As always the stem cell was tested on mice since they have similar organ systems to us. If daily injections of beta-4 were made the mice would survive even the most deadliest heart attack as well as regrowing their heart muscle much faster afterwards. If the testing also works on human subjects this could provide an opportunity to fight heart disorder effectively. A tablet taken orally could save hundreds of lives as well as precious resources of hospitals that try to effectively treat the mycocardial infarction.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Scientist: Quantum leap?

Supercomputers. The stuff of science fiction of the late 1970's. They could communicate (artificial intelligence) and calculate impossible mathematical problems in a few seconds. They were at the peak of their intelligence. At times even smarter than we are. Although some of this is exageration some supercomputers are already in development and promise to be just what mathematicians and physicists need to solve their problems. They are called quantum computers because they use the process called "quantum annealing" . This optimizes any task that the computer has to carry out by replacing normal binary bits with quantum bits or aptly named qubits. Due to superposition of these bits, a quantum computer can check all the possible solutions from a group simultaneously rather than analyzing them bit by bit.

"D-wave has not presented evidence that its machine can solve problems faster than a classical computer"

The computer is called D-wave. There are some scientist however that disagree that the computer could actually replace any normal binary computer at all. Before going commercial these issues must be addressed and thoroughly analyzed so that consumers are happy with their new product. Testers say that the D-wave exhibits some quantum properties but not enough to actually speed up calculations.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Scientist: I am Legion

Microbes make you who you are today. Down to the last cell of your whole body. I found that hard to believe so I read on. It seems that germs, which we believe are the cause of many diseases and infections, are not our enemies after all. They do in fact, shape our physical and mental development. A single human being is a large ecosystem for the bacteria and other microbes which function according to its conditions. This may be an explanation as to why sometimes, germs actually cause symptoms that may seem like a disease which may in actual fact be just a misunderstanding of species since each has a specific niche in the environment.

The most prevalent bacteria are in our gut known as E.Coli. They hydrolyse several carbohydrates and proteins so they can be absorbed by the body and in turn receive their own specific nutrients. This is defined as mutualism or a symbiotic relationship of sorts. The average human is home to 100 trillion microbes. Mostly harmless bacteria but it is still a large number.They outnumber your own cells 10 to 1 mostly due to human cells being much larger due to being eukaryotic. It may also be possible that different strains of bacteria develop in different human beings due to variations in diet and lifestyle in general. Of course we must also take into account that the immune system must be able to distinguish between between our own microbes and foreign ones. This must mean that we have it built into our would-be programming to recognize particular microbes and reject others.

This new knowledge may change the way we think of infectious diseases as well the microbes which cause them. We must be extra vigilante to recognize this particular difference.

It seems that New Scientist has now instituted a login and password to read their articles so I urge all of you to make an account there.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Scientist: Beam Riders

The dream of making space commercially attractive has been on the minds of many investors over the years. Space hotels, mining operations on the moon, all of it can become economically viable if lasers and microwaves come into action. Usually it takes a large amount of oxidant and fuel to bring a rocket to escape velocity thus increasing the costs ten-fold. And the cost per kilo of cargo is enormous over 10k dollars. In order to reduce these costs beamed propulsion is the key.

Two different theories have been developed and even put into practice small scale to solve this problem. The first one involves a heat exchanger which uses microwaves or lasers to trap their energy. This is then converted to kinetic energy as the hydrogen atoms inside the tank expand rapidly and escape through the exhaust. By using this method the speed of the rocket increases exponentially(from 4400 meters per second to 7000) and the weight decreases as well. The best of both worlds. However there are still some disadvantages to this particular method. Any beam is diffracted by air as the distance from the source increases. The longer the wavelength the worse the effect. To counteract this the wavelength must be very small and the dish used for the laser very large.

The second way is to use a "lightcraft" that is much much smaller than all types of rockets and creates a plasma of superheated plasma to fly. The trick of this vessel is that it uses the surrounding air as fuel as it travels only requiring an internal fuel tank for its last jump. I won't go into much more detail because I don't understand some of it myself, so let's just say that both require ground laser to function.

As we can see the amounts of new ideas and theories that surround our world is enormous. Whoever said that the modern age is a stagnant age should really read this article and reflect on their opinion. And our dreams of sending our children to space may not be so far away as we think.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Scientist: Covert Fragmentation helps embed secrets

Encryption has always been the most important way of hiding all type of data either on servers or on your own computer. However these encryptions are becoming old news. Most hackers notice the encrypted files due to the completely random information they portray. As Hassan Khan of the University of Los Angeles says: It's a dead giveaway. New methods are now being developed that involve hiding information in plain sight, in other words, altering the position where the hidden file is not its contents. A hard drive stores data in chunks known as clusters where space is available. Form what I understand the code depends on sequential clusters, meaning the way the clusters are arranged. The coding also depends on whether the clusters are adjacent to each other or not assigning each of them a binary 0 or 1.

The most interesting aspect of this type of fragmentation is that an investigator cannot distinguish between the coding and the deletion and addition of files which cause the same effect on the clusters. The use of steganography (hiding in plain sight) will be open source which leads me to believe that it has been in the hands of military and intelligence agencies for some time. This means that there are ways to hack it otherwise they would not have released it to the public so easily.

It's been a long long time since I last posted something on the blog. I have had an immense amount of school work that has taken up most of my time. Now, with exams coming up I wanted to make this one last post before they start.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

NewScientist: Nanoparticle capsule keeps tabs on tumours

It looks as if there is finally a sure way of monitoring the proliferation of mutated cancer in the body. The invention occurred at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT as it is commonly known. A small capsule, nanometers long  has been devised which does not involve any invasive procedures such as ionising radiation or even surgical treatments. This small device can simply be injected into the bloodstream like any normal vaccination. The nanoparticle contains engineered proteins present on its surface that bind with specific molecules such as human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), a hormone that tumour cells overproduce in testicular and ovarian cancer.

 The only way to detect such a capsule is by using a MRI scanner which has caused some dilemma among the medical community since such devices are expensive to obtain. The prospect of having a handheld scanner would be much more appealing. The nanocapsules have been successfully tested on mice although not on humans. Another problem is how to distinguish between regrowing cells and tumour cells since they produce the exact same hormones. But, as the scientific community has shown over the last few decades it is much easier to solve a problem if it didn't even occur in the first place. The same applies towards cancer. Prevention is the key, my dear world.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 How Japan's Nuclear Crisis Works

The recent crisis in Japan has set in motion a series of uncontrollable events in the nuclear energy community. Both the earthquake and the tsunami that followed hit the Fukushima II Dai Ni power plant causing several problems with the nuclear core. As the media told the world this story, panic spread across country. Evacuation of the area around the plant due to higher than normal radiation levels followed. An unsuccessful attempt by the Japanese authorities which included using helicopters carrying large containers of water to cool down the plant suggested that there was no prevention methods put in place before the disaster.

The workings of a nuclear power plant are in fact quite simple. Nuclear fuel, which in modern commercial nuclear power plants comes in the form of enriched uranium, naturally produces heat as uranium atoms split. The heat is used to boil water and produce steam. The steam drives a steam turbine, which spins a generator to create electricity. It seems that the problem in Fukushima plant was a pair of control rods which absorbed neutrons during the process of fission and also involved water pumps. The control rods were from the 1960s which was the most likely cause for their failure during the earthquake. The design's vulnerability comes into play if the electric pumps lose power. Without a fresh supply of water in the boiler, the water continues boiling off, and the water level starts falling. If enough water boils off, the fuel rods are exposed and they overheat. At some point, even with the control rods fully inserted, there is enough heat to melt the nuclear fuel.

It has not however come to this point as of yet, according to the Japanese authorities. The reactor is stable for now. But how close have we come to nuclear disaster once again? Is another Chernobyl about to occur? The event in Japan is being described as Level 6 INES events (International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale). Chernobyl is level 7. The enormity of the disaster is just being analyzed. Hopefully this crisis will stimulate technologies that will make nuclear energy safer rather than abandoning it completely.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Scientist: How to Mend a Broken Heart

Mitosis is the natural healer of body tissues. Whenever we suffer an injury to our skin or even internal lesions, mitosis will occur and replace the damaged cells with new exactly identical ones. The only drawback of this method is that it takes a great amount to occur by itself. This is why we apply oxygenated water to our wounds. To speed up this process. New studies have shown that some fish and amphibians have extraordinary regenerative abilities but only mammal embryos possess such a skill. The heart in particular was analyzed.

The results were not what was expected. One day old mice had a small chunk of the heart removed for this analysis. The rest of the organ was then removed 21 days later and it was observed that the heart tissue that was missing was completely regenerated. However the same phenomenon did not occur for fully grown mice. This suggests that the human baby also possess such regenerative abilities. If these abilities could be transferred to a an adult it would actually mean the end of any and all external lesions and wounds. That is the dream.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Scientist: New drug hits root of cystic fibrosis

A drug that can permanently cure cystic fibrosis, the most common hereditary disease known to man. That is the dream of the many sufferers around the globe who have an inability to transfer chloride ions so mucus builds up in their lungs causing breathlessness and possible death due to lack of oxygen transfer to cells. Two drugs have surged to combat this disease however. One of them is called VX-770, or as they like to call it, a placebo. This is quite confusing to me since a placebo is not a drug, it is simply the belief of a patient that he is being treated when in actual fact he is not. But I digress. After receiving VX-770, 20% of patients actually improved their lung function somehow.

Most other treatments for cystic fibrosis actually targeted the symptoms and tried to alleviate those. This new drug goes directly to the source: a faulty protein in the transmembrane regulator. As the drug fixes the problem the channel proteins open up again allowing the transfer of chloride ions through its plasma membrane. This slows down the onset of symptoms and the effect on the digestive system is eased.

The cystic fibrosis allele is recessive

The problem of this new treatment is that it only 5% of the total population of cystic fibrosis sufferers can be cured. That is where the second, as of yet unknown, drug comes in. Scientists hope that a combination of both these drugs could be final cure that is required. An ultimatum for the disease if you will. Hopefully science will be successful once again.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Scientific American: Our Own Olfactory World

I have often believed that my nose could not detect some smells that permeate my environment. It started when my parents introduced me to the wonders, as they called it, of smelling wine. Try as hard as I might I could never smell any of the fruits that they did. And now, there is a scientifical explanation for this type of characteristic. It turns out that people differ in the way they perceive smells and there are even some odours that we will never have the pleasure of detecting. I witnessed this phenomenon many times throughout my life.

It seems that humans, during Darwin's evolutionary process, grew much more reliant upon hearing and seeing rather than smelling. Our genes that encode for the smell sense suffered many mutations, which accumulate to form pseudogenes. Different combinations of these pseudogenes result in a different olfactory experience for every human being.

This study made by geneticist, Drono Lancet of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science has a far wider set of implications than just a different olfactory sense.  The mechanism of mutations and their combinations in a person could one day prove to be helpful in analyzing polygenic diseases such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. And in the case of wine, let's just hope that I'll still be able to enjoy the pleasure of drinking such a beverage in the future without the smells that are contained in it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Scientist: Dead but a brain wave lingers on

The human brain. The most intricate and complex structure known to the man. It has been studied for many decades in an attempt to satisfy our inner curiosity. Why do we, humans, have the ability to rationalize thought? Why not other species around this globe? That is only of the hundreds of secrets that our mind contains. A wise man once said: Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. That man was none other than the great Albert Einstein. It seems he had a way with words as well as equations. 

It seems that decapitation is not a instantaneous way to die. It does cause the lowest amount of suffering in rats though I still think that being guillotined still hurt quite a bit. Apparently after a decapitation is performed the brain is still active for up to 30 seconds. And the victim is still conscious at the time. If that isn't scary or painful then I don't know what is. After these thirty seconds the brain experiences a 'wave of death' as the scientist demonstrate on an electroencephalogram (EEG). The same is true for rats and for humans being cut from life support.  

EEG reading from a human brain
What is the most amazing thing during this wave of death is that the brain actually transmits an electrical impulse in order to restart the heart. Although it ultimately fails this is proof that there is some small correlation between the pumping of heart and the brain. Normally as the heart is myogenic no action should be undertaken by the brain. Another incredulous thing is that we know now that the heart can be restarted after more than 4 minutes without any brain damage. Its quite astounding how many of these discoveries can be made in such a short time. Couldn't find the appropriate article in the New Scientist site. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Scientist: Breath Sensor Predicts Asthma Attack

Due to my lack of time and constant studying the post this week will be quite short but still full of interesting facts as always. An asthma attack is an acute shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness that results in severe damage to the respiratory system. Most of the times such an attack can be avoided however at other times no quick response time is adequate enough to prevent damage.

The new breath sensor developed by Siemens of all companies, measures the levels of nitrogen monoxide in our breath. Higher levels may indicate bronchial trauma as well as an impeding asthma attack. The sensor is very precise and can detect NO in very small amounts. The air passes over potassium permanganate catalyst which catalyses NO into NO2 which binds to photographic film creating a current that is detected by a transistor. An asthma attack can be detected up to 24 hours before hand.

Probably the people who will benefit the most from this device will be the ones with the sporadic and sudden asthma attacks since others can be prevented much more easily. Another fine development by medical science that may indeed save many lives in the future. However small the invention is it always has an application in science.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Economist: The Power of The Press

The Economist is not my usual choice of magazine. Although I took an IGCSE in Economics and got an A* I did not feel it was the right path for me. However that did not stop me from picking it up and judging it by its front cover. And I found something that was quite astounding. A section entirely dedicated to the analysis of the inventions made in economics with special relations to science and technology. Of course it got be interested and I decided to give one of the articles a chance.

Rechargeable batteries made out of paper. Or something rather close to paper. Probably any type of plastic or metal would do the trick. Who would have thought such a thing was possible? Looks like the scientists in the Planar Energy of Orlando, Florida thought it could be a reality. Thin-film printing that uses liquid precursor chemicals to act as the normal liquid electrolyte used in lithium batteries. This trick has already been employed in solar cells but nobody could quite manage to transfer this capability to lithium batteries. Lithium has been the most popular to date due to its lightness and for its effective storage of energy per kilogram.

Vacuum deposition
An earlier process of achieving a solid electrolyte was vacuum deposition. I decided to investigate this process in more detail. In a nutshell it involves creating a layer of material less than one micrometer thick by laying atoms one by one. In this way a solid electrolyte can be created although it is quite expensive to do so. The Planar thin film however works as a sort of gel similar to the process of classical press printing. The cathode employed is lithium manganese dioxide while the anode is doped tin oxides and lithium alloys. The most important component of this process is the thio-LISICONS (lithium superionic conductors) which when observed to the nanoscale are actually not a solid at all.

Of course the theory does not end here but in reality some of it was quite complicated for my taste so I will just leave. However I make a vow that one day I will research this topic once again and discover its true nature. All in all, I hope that this idea will somehow pan out in the future although there are many errors that need to be worked out before it will become a reality.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Scientist: Telltale Chemistry Betrays ET

Looks like I'm on a New Scientist rampage right now. Well it is required to be read on a weekly basis by many medical universities. Fortunately enough I love paging through their articles and finding out new things about science in general. For example this week, researchers have discovered a new way of finding new lifeforms on other planets through the LEGO theorem.

As we know from reading and watching many Science Fiction adventures aliens do look quite similar to us. Most of them have bipedal bodies, are able to walk and talk just like us. Forget about the green or other rainbow colours for once. The reality is that they may not be even made of the same base molecules as we are.
How do we know that each ET lifeform actually contains one or more of the 20 amino acids that sustain life on Earth? We don't. We do however know one very important aspect that life causes. I'm talking about, of course, changes in the environment or setting. On Earth the levels of oxygen soared when life arose. Such changes must be investigated on other planets. Different minerals, temperatures, pressures and so on must be accounted for.

Of course this is all a very big challenge. A planet must be studied carefully for some time so that the environment can be analyzed properly. And how do we know that there are changes due to life? So many questions that are unanswered by this article. A good start could be employing the SOLID2, a robot that has the ability to detect life anywhere on Earth whether it may be in the hottest desert or in the coldest glacier. However this machine must be adapted for alien environments before being flown anywhere in the galaxy.

On the other hand, another device has spawned a possibility unlike any other. The Avida, a computer system which mimics natural evolution and survival of the fittest of many smaller softwares called avidians. Although this could prove useful we still face insurmountable odds in this investigation. Our hope lies, as it always does with the brilliant scientific minds that have been educated and have the ability to see beyond the box.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Scientist: The Rise and Fall of Swine Flu

Did you get your shot yet? Hopefully not because the backlash of the pandemic started in early 2010 is finally upon us. H1N1 is a type of influenza virus which most typically occurs as seasonal flu although some natural mutation caused this particular outbreak to be more deadly than expected. Some amount of pig influenza managed to combine with ordinary human influenza to cause a disease that was unexpected to say the least.

As soon as the first deaths were recorded the media went into a frenzy. Reports of inadequate preparation and the incompetence of health organizations and governments were widely spread. Panic overtook the general public as vaccines and treatments were rapidly formulated in order to tackle the upcoming pandemic.
The response was quite swift but the vaccines provided by pharmaceutical companies were extraordinarily expensive.
"On June 11, 2009, the WHO declared an H1N1 pandemic, moving the alert level to phase 6, marking the first global pandemic since the 1968 Hong Kong flu."

After a few months of this propaganda and many increased national alert levels the pandemic suddenly ceased. After 18,000 deaths worldwide, only 2,000 more than regular seasonal flu, the media stopped all their reports and the public were made to believe that the pandemic was over. I owe this fact to the reduced amount of deaths in developed countries. Most likely most the deceased that were recorded were from developing countries but WHO does not want us to know that. Millions of dollars, euros, pounds and many other currencies were spent on the vaccines to what end? According to many governments only 10% of the total vaccines produced were actually used. As a result huge amounts of money were lost to fuel the corporations behind the pharmaceuticals themselves.

And the result is a full-scale judicial attack on WHO for issuing a false alarm and the pharmaceutical companies for their expensive prices and collaboration. Another such example of a false epidemic was the bird flu which in 2007 accounted for 2,000 deaths most of them in underdeveloped countries. This is the source of the problem. How can the World Health Organization warns us from pandemic threats if they make these rookie mistakes? Why do governments and the public continue to be influenced by the media with such ease? These are the questions that must be answered before we are able to proceed into our evolutionary future.