The US military is initiating a major research project to develop regenerative medicine technologies, that will hopefully allow for regrowth of tissues, skin, and body parts.
The newly established Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, known by the acronym AFIRM, will serve as the military’s operational agency for the effort, Dr. S. Ward Casscells, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.
A key component of the initiative is to harness stem cell research and technology in finding innovative ways to use a patient’s natural cellular structure to reconstruct new skin, muscles and tendons, and even ears, noses and fingers, Casscells said.
AFIRM will fall under the auspices of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, based at Fort Detrick, Md., and it also will work in conjunction with U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, in San Antonio.
The Medical Research and Material Command is the Army’s lead medical research, development and related-material acquisition agency. It comes under U.S. Army Medical Command, which is led by Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, the Army’s surgeon general.
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(hat tip: Engadget)