Chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels

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Chemists have developed two novel methods to characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels — materials that hold great promise for developing ‘smart’ responsive materials that can be used for catalysts, chemical detectors, tissue engineering scaffolds and absorbents for carbon capture.

Folate biomarkers determined

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An international paper on folate biomarkers is part of an initiative to provide evidence-based guidance for the global nutrition and public health community. The comprehensive study on folate, an essential B vitamin required for DNA synthesis and normal growth and development, represents a consensus of the top folate scientists globally. A major birth defect affecting the spinal cord — spina bifida, for example — and brain can be prevented by maternal consumption of sufficient folate prior to and during the very early stages of fetal development.

Targeting mistreatment of women during childbirth

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Scientists have synthesized qualitative and quantitative evidence to form a clearer picture of the extent and types of mistreatment that occurs during childbirth in health facilities. Such initiatives are key to developing policies to reduce and ultimately eliminate this inhumane and degrading phenomenon.

Yosemite forest fire example of possible things to come

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Forest composition, ground cover and topography are the best predictors of forest fire severity in the Western US, according to physical geographers who also see that the long history of fire exclusion on federal lands leads to uncharacteristically severe burns and potentially changes the dynamics of forests and their recovery.