Department of Defense Invests $250 Million in Regrowing Body Parts

Illustration for article titled Department of Defense Invests $250 Million in Regrowing Body Parts

The military is serious about regrowing body parts. So serious that the Department of Defense just announced the creation of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, or AFIRM. The goal of AFIRM? To "use a patient's natural cellular structure to reconstruct new skin, muscles and tendons, and even ears, noses and fingers." Sounds pretty great to us.

It's great because the researchers at the Department of Defense and DARPA are the researchers who brought us stuff like, oh, the internet and GPS. If there's anyone we want researching groundbreaking advances like this, it's them. The government is tossing them $250 million for the first five years of the project, with NIH and three universities on board.

And while the tech is obviously intended for use on injured soldiers first and foremost, any discoveries made will head to regular hospitals post haste. And you know what that means: you can play with more dangerous fireworks, as if you blow off any of your fingers you'll soon be able to just regrow them. Three cheers for the careless future! [DoD and Slate via Slashdot]

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Allow me to introduce you to the left anterior descending artery of the heart!

Growing new tissue and cells is going to be a slam dunk for folks who damage the cartilage that cushions and protects their knee joints, ankle joints, etc. That tissue does not grow back if you damage it.