Military medical scientists are looking at research in humans regrowing limbs to becoming a reality. Researchers are working on how salamanders regrow their limbs and reverse engineer that in wounded soldiers whom have suffered limb loss in the battle field.
As mentioned elsewhere on this website, such a medical breakthrough would transform amputees with new novel treatments that would make prosthetics obsolete.
In the period of 2001 to 2016, the war on terrorism has left over 1650 troops as amputees. There are 2 million people suffering from limb loss in the U.S. based on information from the amputee coalition of America. Also globally there is over an annual occurring million amputations world wide.
Think Out Of The Box…
What if you can regrow a lost limb or organ? Or regenerate one that has been damaged? Such a medical discovery would be one of the most mind blowing scientific achievements ever to be reveal. It would benefit millions of people world wide, the great news is that the military are taking the lead on this kind of research.
The U.S. Military is aiming to find a solution for the regular limb loss that happens to military service men and women, where roadside bombs and terrorist atrocities makes horrific damage to limbs a frequent occurrence.
Salamander Axolotl Healer
One area of scientific research that the military are focusing on is how salamanders are able to regrow their limbs. Also how they are able to do it with such perfection that there is not trace of injury or scaring after the healing. No matter how often the salamander (Axolotl) losses a limb it still regenerates the limb perfectly.
Axolotls (which means sea monster) native to Mexico are able to regenerate almost all of their body parts, including their spine and even parts of their brain.
Advance prosthetics have helped the wounded recover their independence and continue with their lives compared to those whom have suffered limb loss in the past who have not had access to such advancements in technologies.
However, these technologies no matter how advance are never going to be able to provide the real thing and put back how things were before.
But the advancements in regenerative science and stem cell research, allows us to enter a whole new ball game and explore things that were not possible under conventional medicine.
If you want the synopsis in 27 words or less. The Military Medicine is figuring out how the Axolotl Salamander are able to regrow limbs and apply that to the injured troops who have lost their limbs.
Studies have shown how salamanders can regenerate everything from muscle, bone to blood vessels with the stem cells that form at the injured site. Research has also concluded that species like the zebrafish, salamanders and bichir share the same 10 micro RNA, which is small aspects of genetic ‘software’.
In 2015 I wrote this article about Salamander Regeneration, on other areas of research looking at cells known as Macrophages that are key for regeneration abilities.
U.S. Army and Limb Regeneration
Army Lt. Col. David Saunders, who is a limb repair product manager for the U.S. Army Medical Material Development Activity, mentions that they are trying to develop ‘a toolkit’ for physical trauma and reconstructive physicians. Evolving from various regenerative medicine endeavours, as they emerge to improve long lasting outcomes for function of injured limbs.
This was mentioned at the recent Military Health System research symposium.
At this Health Research Symposium that was held in Florida, the leading researchers and scientists discussed limb regeneration or ‘extremity regeneration’. In particular the use of such technologies like synthetic grafts which will kick start the healing process for soldiers by regenerating tissue.
However, it does not stop there.
Stephanie Shiels whom works for the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, is wanting to push the boundaries of possibility even further with regrowing bones. Along with developing a ‘synthetic bone gap filler’, that will have the aim of reducing infections via placing antimicrobial components in the grafts.
While Human Limb Regeneration is their ultimate goal and the Holy Grail, the Army is also looking and researching deeply into skin regeneration. This is a major problem both for civilians and soldiers.
Civilians and Military people caught up in combat and terrorism, suffer from large surface cuts and burns. These result in not just medical and emotional scars but also cosmetically.
These impact and effect the patient deeply.
So having the ability to have effective treatments developed would have an enormous impact not just on the body’s health but also on the spiritual well being of the person as well.
I wrote an article in the past about the African Spiny Mouse, which have powerful regenerative abilities. They can regenerate skin that is scar-free.
This is even the case if they lose large amounts of skin in an attack.
The military scientists feel if they can determine how the Spiny Mouse regenerates its own skin then perhaps this can be applied to humans.
Offering new novel treatments whom have suffered from horrific and disfiguring burns.
The U.S. Military and DARPA have been doing extensive research with Regenerative Medicine.
In 2008 they launched their own Regenerative Medicine Institute known as AFIRM. This stands for The Armed Forces Institute Of Regenerative Medicine which you can read in the link provided.
It is likely that this research discussed in this article and AFIRM are connected across different institutions and academia. However, it is interesting that a new area of the Military in Health Research is looking deeply on how they can come up with new radical treatments for growing back lost limbs for the patient.
Basically what they are saying that it is possible but its just a question of when a major breakthrough in such scientific research will occur.
More and more, time, effort and money is being put into it.
This kind of research will have huge ramifications since it will spill over into the civilian population so everyone is going to benefit. One of the aims of AFIRM and the same here with the DEA is to fast track research and development into organ and limb regeneration.
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