Military’s AFIRM Research Funds Research Growing Human Ear Transplants on the Backs of Lab Rats

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THE BLAZE:

BOSTON (TheBlaze/AP) – Don’t be surprised. This is not the first time a human ear has been grown on a lab rat, but recent successful tests mean the first transplant of a lab-grown ear onto a human recipient, specifically a wounded soldier, could come within the next year.

Four years ago, the federal government created the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), a network of top hospitals and universities, and gave $300 million in grants to spur new treatments using cell science and advanced plastic surgery.

“The whole idea is to bring all these researchers together to develop these great technologies that were in early science to eventually be ready for the troops,” said AFIRM’s recently retired director, Terry Irgens.

One of AFIRM’s research areas is craniofacial reconstruction, which its website describes as a “complex area” due to different tissue types and other factors… See Video

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