Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Salamanders may hold the cure for amputees

Doctors are in the early stages of testing a powder that they hope will someday help people regrow amputated body parts and may even allow doctors to grow new internal organs such as hearts.

Surgeons in San Antonio, Texas used the special powder for the first time on a wounded soldier who lost a finger last year in Baghdad.

Army Sgt. Shiloh Harris' doctors applied specially formulated powder to what's
left of the finger in an effort to do for wounded soldiers what salamanders can
do naturally: replace missing body parts.

Harris' surgery is part of a major medical study of "regenerative medicine" being pursued by the Pentagon and several of the nation's top medical facilities, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. Nearly $250
million has been dedicated to the research.
Now this is something I'm happy to see the government is spending money on, something productive and helpful instead of expensive toilet seats and hookers.

The doctors say that their hope is to someday be able to grow internal organs in the lab for transplants. Let's hope this works, what a cool thing it would be to be able to get rid of the need for organ donors.

Rest of the story here and video on the surgery here

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