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The Future Of Wounded Warrior Care Is Limb Regeneration
Between 2001 and 2016, the Global War on Terror left more than 1,650 service members as amputees. Though prosthetics have helped to alleviate some of the struggles of their loss of limb, they experience a “lower health-related quality of life” compared to injured troops without amputations, according to recent DoD research.
To address this issue, the U.S. Army is studying the science of bone, skin and muscle regeneration so an amputation is no longer permanent for future service members injured in combat.
“We’re not quite there yet,” Army Lt. Col. David Saunders, extremity repair product manager for the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, said in a news release. “What we’re trying to do is develop a toolkit for our trauma and reconstructive surgeons out of various regenerative medicine products as they emerge to improve long-term outcomes in function and form of injured extremities.”
At the Military Health System Research Symposium, held this week in Kissimmee, Florida, the military’s leading researchers and academics discussed “extremity regeneration,” particularly the use of synthetic grafts, which can kickstart the healing process for soldiers by regenerating tissue.
“We would like it to be as restorative as possible, resist infection … and be durable,” Saunders said. “This is going to be implanted in young people who may go on to live another 60 to 70 years.”
Stephanie Shiels, who works with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, is looking to go a step further and regrow bones. She has been working on a “synthetic bone gap filler” that reduces the possibility of infection by placing antimicrobial agents in the grafts.
“We know that it reduces infection,” Shiels said in the release. “Other things to consider include adding a bulking agent … to help regenerate bone.”
Though limb regeneration is the ultimate goal, the Army is also focused on skin regeneration — a major problem for both soldiers and civilians.
“Warfighters and civilians alike suffer large surface [cuts] and burns, and these result in medically and cosmetically problematic scars,” Jason Brant, a researcher with the University of Florida, said in the release. “The impacts of these scars … are really staggering. The ability to develop effective therapies will have an enormous impact not only on the health care system but on the individuals as well.”
Brant is studying the African spiny mouse, which can regenerate scar-free skin, even after losing mass amounts in an attack. Brant believes if he can determine how the mouse regenerates skin, he may be able to unlock how to apply it to people.
Advancements in science on a number of fronts have led to a whole array of innovations to treat skin injury. In 2014, the Army was experimenting with 3D printers to generate new skin. Last year, a number of doctors reportedly began using fish scales to treat burn and explosion victims.
As a kid, I recall picking up a salamander that was soaking up summer sun on the siding of my childhood home. When he realized he might be in danger, he dropped his tail and fled for the bushes, only to grow a new one almost immediately. Wouldn't it be incredible if a soldier injured on the battlefield could do the same?
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he and the Pentagon will comply with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry subpoena, but it'll be on their own schedule.
"We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note — as we typically do in these situations — to ensure documents are retained."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.