Holy cow. When I read this at Danger Room I had to check and see if it was a Noah Shactman trick, but apparently not. DARPA is working, with some success, on growing muscle tissue.
The first phase of the Pentagon's plan to regrow soldiers' limbs is complete; scientists managed to turn human skin into the equivalent of a blastema — a mass of undifferentiated cells that can develop into new body parts. Now, researchers are on to phase two: turning that cellular glop into a square inch of honest-to-goodness muscle tissue.
The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) just got a one-year, $570,000 grant from Darpa, the Pentagon's blue-sky research arm, to grow the new tissues. "The goal is to genuinely replace a muscle that's lost," biotechnology professor Raymond Page tells Danger Room. "I appreciate that's a very aggressive goal." And it's only one part in a larger, even more ambitious Darpa program, Restorative Injury Repair, that aims to "fully restore the function of complex tissue (muscle, nerves, skin, etc.) after traumatic injury on the battlefield."
Umm, WOW! It does cause a bit of creepiness at first thought, but can you imagine if we can give a person their freaking arm back. WOW again and drive on DARPA.