This is completely unrelated to politics, but I think it’s a great story about the tremendous technological developments being made by the U.S. Army:

The main goal is to develop technology to make soldiers safer and more effective, said Thomas H. Killion, the Army’s chief scientist.

The Army’s regenerative medicine study combined properties from the intestinal lining and the urinary bladder to create a regenerative substance called Extracellular Matrix.

The cream-colored crystallized powder, called “magic dust,” boosts the body’s natural tendency to repair itself, said U.S. Army Biological Scientist Sgt. Glen Rossman. When the matrix is applied to a missing digit or limb, “the body thinks it’s back in the womb,” Rossman said.

One civilian participated in the regenerative-medicine study after cutting off the tip of his finger in a model plane’s propeller. Researchers continually applied the matrix to the wound, and after four weeks, the body grew skin and tissue to replenish the damaged area.

Regrowing limbs isn’t the only advancement Army scientists have made; they’ve also been developing processes to rebuild missing or damaged bone without placing titanium or other medical devices in the body:

Armed Forces Institute scientists also say they also have developed a process to rebuild missing or damaged bone. A web-like tube of calcium-phosphate ceramic, called hydroxyapatite, acts as a biodegradable scaffold that is set in place of the missing bone, giving the body a platform on which to rebuild.

Scientists say the scaffold allows the body to regrow its own natural tissue, bone and veins so it can support itself. Because of the complexity of the process, researchers so far have regrown only 3 centimeters of bone in clinical trials on rats, but they hope to reach 5 centimeters in two years. With the regrown bone, scientists could avoid placing titanium or other medical devices in the body.

Say what you want about the military, but the advancements military scientists and doctors are making seem to me to be a worthwhile investment of at least some of our tax dollars.

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