Monday, December 22, 2008

The spoils of war

So I guess not all is lost when we go to war. Military-funded research into regeneration of tissues has shown great promise in being able to encourage ones own tissues to regenerate lost bone, muscle and skin.  Preliminary research in rats and with a test human subject (missing the tip of a finger) have been successful. 

However, I still can't help but be slightly disheartened.  Why does it have to take a wounded soldier, my brother, my best friend, to lose an arm, for this sort of research to receive the kind of funding it deserves?

Recently, traveling in Europe, I realized how integrated the "war" in Iraq is in our US society. I know at least a half a dozen people of the top of my head that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and just as many who are in some branch of the military and may potentially go there.  Thankfully none of these people have been severely disabled, but I know they have close friends who were.

There have been leaps and bounds in the efficiency of prosthetic devices, and now in physically regenerating damaged bodies, but how much are we working to heal damaged hearts and support mental re-integration into civilian life?

1 comment:

GeorgeRN said...

The military has developed a lot of leading edge medicine, Brook Army Medical Center in Texas is known for it's burn center. Perhaps a better return on our money is from investing in NASA. There have been thousands of spinoffs from our efforts to travel in outerspace; fuel cells, lithium cells, microwave ovens, insulation technology, ceramics, nutrition, and more. There's also side benefits of a better understanding of the universe and some really cool photos.