Looking Under the Hood and Seeing an Incubator

The heat source is a pair of headlights. A car door alarm signals emergencies. An auto air filter and fan provide climate control. But this contraption has nothing to do with transportation. It is a sturdy, low-cost incubator, designed to keep vulnerable newborns warm during the first fragile days of life. Unlike the notoriously high-maintenance incubators found in neonatal intensive care units in the United States, it is easily repaired, because all of its operational parts come from cars. And while incubators can cost $40,000 or more, this one can be built for less than $1,000

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