The ability of the human body to grow and develop throughout life, to maintain homeostasis and to reproduce is both incredibly complex and beautifully precise. And nowhere is the precision of biology more obvious than in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Here, the lives of infants born before 37 weeks depend on advanced technology - incubators, respirators and feeding lines - alongside the cumulative knowledge and care of a team of nurses, pediatricians and developmental biologists. Thanks to the technology and specialized treatment, the prognosis for preterm infants is continually improving. Even in developing countries, advancing knowledge about interventions such as kangaroo care is saving lives. But the problem is a vast one, with more than 15 million preterm births worldwide in 2014, and as the focus moves from simple survival to long-term, healthy development, it is becoming more complex.