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a heartbeat away from being (something)

Cliché set to be the next ruler upon the final heartbeat of the current ruler. (The decisive heartbeat would be the current ruler's last heartbeat.) The vice president is just a heartbeat away from being president. The prince was only a heartbeat away from being king.
See also: away, being, heartbeat

in a heartbeat

Fig. almost immediately. If I had the money, I would go back to college in a heartbeat. Just tell me that you need me and I'll come there in a heartbeat.
See also: heartbeat
References in periodicals archive ?
After watching the outline flash on and off in sync with the heartbeat for several minutes, the subjects experienced a stronger identification with the virtual body, reporting that it felt more like their own body.
But until now, there has been no hard evidence to suggest this bond is reflected in the interaction of their heartbeats.
We received the Babycom and listened to our baby's heartbeat for the longest time last night," says Karin Fish, an expectant mother.
Normally each heartbeat starts in the right atrium.
4 percent experienced irregular heartbeats on Mondays, compared with 21 percent of those not taking the drugs, according to the study.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)--Measurement of electrical activity associated with heartbeats.
Angeion's goal is to develop the device nonsurgically as a cure for some patients who suffer from the life-threatening rapid heartbeats which kill approximately 450,000 adults in the United States each year.
Heartbeats could be a secure alternative, or supplement, to more established biological ID measures, such as fingerprints.
Around 800,000 people suffer from irregular heartbeats which could make them up to six times more likely to suffer strokes, caused by a blood flow interruption to the brain.
In addition, the work may lead to genetic testing of newborns and their parents in families that have a history of either SIDS or the unusual heartbeat.
These disordered heartbeats result in a decreased amount of blood being pumped to the body, and can cause blood clots in the heart's upper chambers.
Scientists at the University of Aberdeen, along with colleagues in Germany, discovered the heartbeats of a mother and foetus synchronised under certain conditions.
Most of the study participants also received standard drug treatment to control erratic heartbeats.
NEW YORK & BRUSSELS -- Heartbeat Software, the leading global provider of Key Opinion Leader (KOL) management software and Heartbeat Experts, the leading provider of KOL data and consulting services, more than doubled profit in 2009 and grew KOL revenue by 40%.