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Pentagon to Research Regrowing Limbs

Pentagon Favors Stem-Cell Research to Help Soldiers

Imagine soldiers returning from battle with missing limbs, burned skin, and damaged organs from a confrontation. Then imagine them days later completely regenerated, healed with their own tissue. According to the Pentagon, this day is not far off.

The Pentagon has joined forces with universities and hospitals in a $250-million research institute to fund an initiative to regenerate soldiers’ torn bodies. Lt. General Eric Schoomaker, the army surgeon general said: “We’ll use the soldier’s own stem cells to repair nerve damage, to regrow muscles and tendons, to repair burn wounds, and to help them heal without scarring.” To see how the plan would work,


The Pentagon is set to provide $85 million and another $100 million will come from grants through the National Institutes of Health. The big project stands to be "the largest US government-funded research consortium in the field of regenerative medicine," said Schoomaker.

If all goes according to plan, at some point in the future, adult stem cells will be harvested before a soldier goes into battle and then, should a soldier return with permanent wounds, those cells would then be used to regrow new tissue and limbs within days of the injury. Because the plan intends to use the adult's own stem cells it circumvents some of the administration's current stem cell restrictions.

Are you glad to see progress being made on this front? Do you think the fact that the research will use adult stem cells addresses ethical concerns or do you wish stem cell research could go further? Is the military the perfect research ground for this kind of work?


Join The Conversation
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Verily! I loved the bionic man! Hee hee that was so far, the most funny. :)
verily verily 9 years
'We can rebuild him. We have the technology...Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster. '
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Auntie Coosa, Do you know how many times I've walked around the house looking for something, I have in my hand?! Wackadoodle, :rotfl:
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Check your pants pockets.. :)
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
See, it's like I said from the beginning of the controversy about using embryonic stem cells. It makes much more sense to use stem cells from the person the doctors are trying to repair for all the scientific reasons in the book. Embryonic Stem cells are not needed and never were. Just one more way Margaret Sanger and her friends can propagate their agenda. It'll be adult stem cells that lead to the cure of Alzheimer Disease. And maybe even the cells of the person who has Alzheimers. Now if they could find a cure for senility . . . maybe I could locate the car keys.
wuboy wuboy 9 years
The stems cells mentioned here are the soldier's own stem cells. They are not stem cells harvested from embryos, so there is no problem here. A lot of people hear stem cells and assume they are embryonic stem cells. Then they assume there's a controversy where there isn't any.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
In one of W's last speaches, he mentioned that scientists were now ablt to get "adult" skin cells to mimic stem cells. If that is the case, then the moral boundary no longer exists. We don't have to use stem cells at all.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well there is certainly no question that stem cell research has incredible potential. It's simply a matter gathering a majority of us that are willing to step past a perceived moral boundary to fully fund and expedite research.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I think it's awesome that we're trying to at least Do something. So many of the soldiers come home with many physical and emotional scars/wounds. At least we can attempt to fix the physical ones
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
I would like an Adamantium skeleton like former super soldier/samurai/bezerker/ mutant Wolverine please! With that and PMS I would be invincible!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I don't see how we have the technology to regrow limbs from stem cells. This research sounds like a great idea, especially for the soldiers who are returning injured. Yes potential for abuse is there, but potential for abuse is present everywhere.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Think of the potential! A six armed soldier with five eyes and the ability to communicate with dogs. This is probably the coolest thing the military has ever done!
stephley stephley 9 years
This sounds good, but looking back at the history of things that sounded good but quickly went horribly wrong because of people who didn't consider ethics or got carried away with their near godlike ability to change things, I'm not sure I support it. Serious, serious controls would have to be put in place. The last question - Is the military the perfect research ground for this kind of work? - is the scariest. The potential for abuse is huge.
colleenb colleenb 9 years
Regrow limbs. :o
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