New predictor of health complications can identify high-risk preemies

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Premature infants have heightened risks of deadly diseases because their organs and immune systems are not fully developed. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a major gastrointestinal disease that causes the intestines to die, is a leading cause of death among these infants and is the most the common disease for babies born before 32 weeks. Now, researchers have found that the early and persistent presence of white blood cells during NEC, known as blood eosinophilia, is a predictor of life-threatening complications for preemies.

Engines of change: Scientists recover rare earths from electric and hybrid vehicle motors

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In an effort to help develop a domestic supply of rare earth elements, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have developed a novel method of chemically separating these materials — specifically neodymium, dysprosium, and praseodymium — from the drive units and motors of discarded electric and hybrid cars. The goal is to recycle rare earths that would otherwise be lost in a sustainable and efficient manner.

The Danish nitrogen budget in a nutshell

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To get a clearer overall picture of the sources and sinks of nitrogen, scientists have developed a national nitrogen budget for Denmark for the years 1990 to 2010. The budget shows inputs and outputs of nitrogen at national level and the internal flows of nitrogen between the relevant sectors.