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Soldier Re-Grows Leg Muscle After Experimental Procedure 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the corporal-logan dept.
Marine Isaias Hernandez has been able to grow back most of the missing muscle from his leg, including skeletal muscle, thanks to an experimental treatment involving an injection of a a growth promoting substance extracted from pig bladders. Hernandez lost 70% of his right thigh muscles from a mortar exploded attack in Afghanistan. Normally this type of injury would lead to an amputation. From the article: "In preparation for the operation, corporal Hernandez was made to build up the remaining 30 per cent of muscle left on the damaged thigh. Surgeons then sliced into the thigh, placing a thin slice of a substance called extracellular matrix. The surgery is the result of a $70 million investment by the US military into regenerative medicine research."
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Soldier Re-Grows Leg Muscle After Experimental Procedure

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not mentioned in the story is that he now has super-human jumping ability.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday June 20, 2011 @01:33PM (#36502796) Journal

    Great, so the crap that should be in Idle makes it to one of the main sections, and this important story ends up in Idle. Great work guys, great work.

    • Just write it off as a cover-up.

      Decades of B-rate Sci-fi and comics tell us that by this time next month he's going to transform into a humanoid horn lizard wanting to take over the world, but will be stopped by the Amazing Daddy-Long-Legs. The "idle" is just the gov being genre savy to pre-emptively begin disavowing all knowledge.

    • by TheLink (130905)

      AFAIK the article is probably inaccurate and the pig bladder stuff is not a hormone.

      http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/cells-tissues/extracellular-matrix.htm [howstuffworks.com]

      Extracellular matrix is a component of body tissue that functions outside of the body's cells (thus the "extracellular" designation). It's made up mostly of collagen, a type of protein. So extracellular matrix extracted from the bladder of a pig does not actually have any of the pig's cells in it.

    • On one hand, the subject of the article is worthy of the front page. On the other hand, the only source covering it is the Daily Mail, whose reporting is usually about as accurate as hair salon gossip. I can't blame samzenpus for sticking it in Idle.

    • Why should nerds be concerned with regrowing muscles?

  • The article forgot to mention the key ingredient to the substance, Tiberium.
  • Quick- (Score:5, Funny)

    by james_van (2241758) on Monday June 20, 2011 @01:34PM (#36502816)
    Somebody tell House!
    • by rootatwc (2271390)
      rofl, i wish i could upvote you! thats exactly what i thought!
    • House already tried this. Next comes the tumors!

      • Hopefully this guy won't try to remove them himself, in a bathtub...
      • House used an imaginary drug which he injected himself with - not an implant.

        an implantable extracellular matrix that can re-grow tissue.
        The matrix is a biological scaffold, enriched with proteins and growth factors, which recruits stem cells and other cell precursors to the site of the injury, according to the McGowan Instituteâ(TM)s website.
        The therapy stimulates further tissue regeneration, essentially rebuilding the lost muscle.

    • Something here doesn't sound kosher to me...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah. It's a real pork project.

      • by mblase (200735)

        Something here doesn't sound kosher to me...

        That's the best part, though -- it's the proteins in the ECM that make it work, apparently by attracting native stem cells, so the ECM is species-neutral. Got a problem with using a pig? Get it from a cow, or a human donor.

      • by peragrin (659227)

        true enough. The real hidden reason why jews don't eat pigs is because some ancient Jew discovered a horrendous hidden fact that is only known to cannibals. Humans taste like pig. So the next time you see a large person think mmm Bacon, smile and move on.

  • I didn't see in the article how long it actually took for the muscle tissue to regenerate. The leg is a big piece of body to (re) grow. I'd be curious to know the timeline.
    • According to this article [popsci.com] his leg began increasing in muscle mass in a few weeks.

      It sounds like he didn't have to regrow bone, it was just muscle. Perhaps if the bone was lost, it would have taken much more time.
    • by Ed_1024 (744566)
      While I applaud the advances in medical science that allow more and more horrendous wartime injuries to be healed, I do wonder if soldiers will be placed straight back in the front line after having their limbs, etc. blown off then regenerated. We're not far away from "health packs" a la Doom. Mana we might have to wait a bit longer for...
  • Slashdot sources an article from the dailymail....
    • by jfengel (409917)

      Fark also sources it to the Daily Fail, and I suspect that's where the submitter got it. The Daily Fail (and others) got it from the Associated Press.

      I'm not sure where the Associated Press got it; it likely came from one of their stringers.

  • Damnit, no! This is going to mean they'll wrap up House M.D. :(

    • by Calos (2281322)

      That's okay, the show has fallen a long, long way, and spends more time creating drama plotlines than anything.

      Going back to old episodes is so refreshing.

      • My typical house viewing...
        1) watch the setup.
        fast forward through the credits.
        2) watch the crew- see which character lines i'm interested in.
        3) fast forward through the first bad diagnosis and the characters I'm not interesting in following.
        4) fast foward through the second failed diagnosis.
        5) Watch the "diagnosis moment".
        6) Skip to the end.

        I still like House. I LIKED Masters, the honest ethical redhead. Especially because she wasn't a glamour queen and also because her struggles were "real". Do you lie

  • Still waiting for that ultrasonic tooth regrowth stuff they were successfully testing in the military years ago. Where is it?

    • If you want to see something bizarre, look up "dermoid cyst". It's a benign growth that can appear on a woman's ovaries that can contain any kind of body tissue including skin, hair, cartilage, bone, and fully formed teeth. Some women find out they have one because molars show up on an abdominal x-ray.
  • by broginator (1955750) on Monday June 20, 2011 @01:45PM (#36502994)
    ... we can rebuild him? We do have the technology?
  • This story is pretty awesome. I wish we had more of these and fewer smartphone OS dead-horse-beating marathons.

  • being a lab scientist, that was painful to read. the explanation of the treatment is borderline gibberish. i've read better biology research reports by high school kids.

    • by timbo234 (833667)

      Yes unfortunately that's par for the course with the Daily Mail, the UK's answer to Fox News.

      If you search around their website in amongst the horseshit about celebrities and completely made-up articles about crazy new EU 'laws' you'd also find their ongoing effort to divide all inanimate objects in the world (especially foods) into those that either cause cancer or cure it.

      I'll believe in miracle new treatments when there's a more credible source article.

  • Always make sure you are carrying a TV whenever you do repaid on your truck.

    Sure it makes the work ever so slighly more difficult, but you never know when you'll need something to take the shrapnel.

  • For the sake of accuracy: Hernandez is a marine, not a soldier. Probably the summary-writer can be excused since the article calls him both as well, but they are different. Conflating them is like saying that a programmer and a DBA are the same because they both work in IT.

    • You are making a semantic argument that only makes sense to someone in the marines.

      Soldier is a generic term that refers to someone in an army (army here is in the general meaning and not the US Army branch of the military). Marine would be a subset of that. Someone in the marines could be very accurately called a soldier. The only reason someone would object to conflating the terms would be if they were in the US marines and were overly sensitive to the rivalry with the US army.

      To use your analogy it's mor

      • You are making a semantic argument that only makes sense to someone in the marines.

        Soldier is a generic term that refers to someone in an army (army here is in the general meaning and not the US Army branch of the military). Marine would be a subset of that. Someone in the marines could be very accurately called a soldier. The only reason someone would object to conflating the terms would be if they were in the US marines and were overly sensitive to the rivalry with the US army.

        That "semantic argument" makes perfect sense to this ex-soldier. It doesn't offend me when people conflate soldiers and marines; I just think, when reporting the news, it's important to get things right: I object to the conflation because it's inaccurate. Marines and soldiers do some of the same things, of course (as do sailors and airmen), but they also do some very different things.

        Even granting for the sake of argument that "Soldier is a generic term," the article still should have made the distinction

        • I see your point and agree that either way it would have been more accurate.

          It is possible that I may have been reacting to a perceived elitist attitude that it is obvious you don't have. I apologize.

          • An apology is not necessary, but thank you.

            It is the attitude embodied in your comment that keeps me coming back to Slashdot despite its problems—while people of course disagree on things, most everyone—unlike (almost) everywhere else on the Internet—is willing to be convinced.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          Fair enough, but I bit this marine wasn't storming a beach when the enemy hit him in Afghanistan. It's land-locked.
          • I know it's landlocked, because I saw it out the window when I flew in nine years ago[1] for some temporary duty. It's a beautiful country (at least, the area around Bagram is), though I hope they've gotten the landmines cleared out. The fact that he's in a land-locked country doing soldierly things doesn't make him less of a marine; it just means he's not doing marine-specific things right now. When a programmer goes over to the HR department and fills out a timesheet does that make him not a programmer

          • by Bucky24 (1943328)
            Remember that an official war was never actually declared. So the G.I.'s CAN'T be sent into battle. To the best of my knowledge, the ground forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly Marines.
      • Soldier is a generic term that refers to someone in an army (army here is in the general meaning and not the US Army branch of the military).

        So far so good...

        Marine would be a subset of that.

        Woops! Marines are a subset of a navy...not an army; They are the naval infantry.

    • by LanMan04 (790429)

      solÂdier
      â â[sohl-jer] Show IPA
      â"noun
      1. a person who serves in an army; a person engaged in military service.

    • by torstenvl (769732)

      It is not customary for a member of the U.S. Marine Corps to use the title "soldier."

      Some people may argue that "soldier" is a generic term that can be applied to any servicemember. However, in actual use, "soldier" specifically means a member of the Army. U.S. servicemembers are referred to as soldiers (USA), sailors (USN), airmen (USAF), or Marines (USMC). Calling a Marine a "soldier" is akin to calling a Senator a "Congressman" - using the term may be technically correct in a very narrow sense, but that'

  • here [relativelyspeaking.net]

    Stephen F. Badylak and J. Peter Rubin at Pitt are working with funding from the Defense Department to develop an implantable extracellular matrix that can re-grow tissue. The matrix is a biological scaffold, enriched with proteins and growth factors, which recruits stem cells and other cell precursors to the site of the injury, according to the McGowan Institute's website. The therapy stimulates further tissue regeneration, essentially rebuilding the lost muscle.

  • Soldiers = Army Marine = Marine Corps Get your shit straight. Marines aren't soldiers, and if fucking pisses us off to be called them.
    • by wcrowe (94389)

      No kidding. I saw a Navy serviceman referred to as a "soldier" recently. They're sailors, damnit, even if they are on Seal Team Six.

    • by RajivSLK (398494)
      Really? The fucking English language begs to differ: maÂrine/mÉ(TM)ËrÄ"n/ Noun: A member of a body of troops trained to serve on land or at sea, esp. a member of the US Marine Corps. nounâf/ËsÅljÉ(TM)r/âf soldiers, plural A person who serves in an army. A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces. Anyway, nobody in the real world really cares about the pedantic little quibbles regarding naming conventions in the army/navy/whatever
    • by PitaBred (632671)

      soldier
      [sohl-jer] Show IPA
      –noun
      1.
      a person who serves in an army; a person engaged in military service.
      2.
      an enlisted man or woman, as distinguished from a commissioned officer: the soldiers' mess and the officers' mess.
      3.
      a person of military skill or experience: George Washington was a great soldier.

      Just because you don't like it and use it as a way to disrespect your fellow servicemen doesn't mean we all have to follow your lead.

      • by Soulfader (527299)
        Common usage certainly agrees with you, and indeed, generically speaking of people who carry weapons in the military service of their nation, soldier is probably the least worst term. I think the point, so indelicately stated, is that within the United States military community, soldiers are always service members of the Army. The Marine Corps has marines, the Air Force has airmen, and the Navy has sailors.
  • they will be able to predict earthquakes using sheep's bladders.
  • As much as many don't like the idea of a standing military (the money, the wars, the deaths, the moral questions), this is just one fine example of how we all often benefit from what they're doing. Sure, it may take some time to reach non-military medical facilities and common practice, but it is nice to know that they do invest in things other than technologies that kill.
  • A Green Lantern review and a bunch of stuff about the Microsoft takeover of Skype are littering the front page and an article about someone being able to regrow muscles in their leg thanks to SCIENCE ends up in the idle box? Thanks a lot, Slashdot.
    • bunch of stuff about the Microsoft takeover of Skype

      OK, someone needs to ask. How well would this technology work on airborne chair related injuries?

  • I read about this stuff regrowing fingers back in 2007. [msn.com] It seems it can do even more. I just hope it becomes more readily available.
  • An expert comments (Score:5, Informative)

    by saburai (515221) on Monday June 20, 2011 @03:00PM (#36504188)

    I am not well versed in regenerative biology, but my girlfriend happens to be getting her PhD in that field. I sent her this link for comment and here's what she said:

    From article: "The wounded Marine's recovery is particularly exciting for scientists as it involves the regeneration of skeletal muscle which ordinarily does not grow back"

    From any book in any regenerative scientist's library: "It has been known for more than a century that skeletal muscle, the most abundant tissue of the body, has the ability to regenerate new muscle fibers after it has been damaged by injury or as a consequence of diseases such as muscular dystrophy (1)"
            (in this case the reference = Carlson BM. The regeneration of skeletal muscle. A review. Am J Anat. 1973;137(2):119–149. View this article via: PubMed CrossRef)

    Annoying! Maybe he is on to something that really does help quicken the natural regeneration response or promotes better healing or something, but no one will ever know because there are no controls. He has no mouse controls... he obviously can't do human controls and people are just slapping this stuff on there because... "at least it doesn't hinder the response". (but he could be charging billions for a placebo!)

    Oh well. Science is stupid. The media is even dumber.

    In other words: Slashdot, please stop posting articles from the Daily Mail. Also, on background, I know the doctor mentioned in the article, Badylak, was kicked out of his group for poor research practices that included trial by media instead of peer review. This sort of publicity piece is his MO.

  • This has amazing possibilities for healing the disabled with certain disabilities I am sure of that, this is medical science at it`s best, with the soldier who otherwise would have an artificial leg, but he can regenerate the muscles in the damaged limb with implantation. This is what we need to help our injured soldiers from Iraq & Afghanistan. We should be able to help these people regenerate tissue instead of just chopping off the limb.

  • Let's just hope he doesn't wind up in a bathtub trying to cut tumors out of his leg.

  • "mortar exploded attack"
  • Mods change the title. He's a Marine...not a Soldier. There is a difference, and he deserves the recognition...no matter what our political leanings and feelings on the subject of Afghanistan are.
  • I've been receiving emails about this advance in ahem muscle enlargement for YEARS. It doesn't even require surgery anymore, it's all done via cheap herbal pills. Doesn't ANYONE here check the stories before they're published?
  • He can also now find truffles in no time at all! But in all seriously, this is one of the first expenditures of money from our Gov that I've seen in a long time that supports our troops and isn't stupid. Good work!
  • The article is just the tip of the iceberg... The military has used this material (ACell, made from pig bladders) successfully on multiple soldiers and recently on my retired Army spouse. The plastic surgery and wound care clinics at the NNMC in Bethesda are using this pixie dust with great results! It boosts the body's ability to heal and regenerate multiple tissue types, from skin to muscle, fat, etc. Good stuff. It'll become more widely available in civilian care as word gets out. The medical indust

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