Citing his experience as a pediatric entomologist, Tim Meij explains that Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is the inflammation and ischemia of the intestinal mucosa, affecting around 10 per cent of neonates with a birthweight below 1.5 kilos. There is a mortality rate of 15-30 percent and those that do survive often face life-long complications including developmental delay. He explains the challenges of diagnosis, as symptoms often present like those of sepsis. He notes a need for novel preclinical biomarkers and discusses the possibility of the microbiota as a potential diagnostic tool. He details some recent research in this area and says that machine learning may result in a personalized approach to risk stratification for NEC.