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DARPA longs for magnetic body healers, crazy respawn camps

Darren Murph

Even DARPA understands that its futuristic bubble shield can be penetrated given the right circumstances, and when it does, the soldier behind it is going to need some serious healing. In a hurry. In the entity's newest budget, there's $6.5 million tucked away "for the creation of a scaffold-free tissue engineering platform, which would allow the construction of large, complex tissues in vitro and in vivo." As you well know, this type of mad science has been around for quite some time, and now it looks as if DARPA is ready for the next best thing: "non-contact forces." Put simply, this alludes to replacing scaffolds with magnetic fields or dielectrophoresis, which could purportedly "control cell placement in a desired pattern for a sufficient period of time to allow the cells to synthesize their own scaffold." It's still too early to say how close we are to being able to instantaneously heal soldiers on the battlefield, but frankly, the public is apt to never know for sure.

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