Lab-grown body parts, extreme surgery heal wounded troops

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Coming Home New Medicine
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Coming Home New Medicine
In this Monday, Aug. 20, 2012 photo, Marine Sgt. Ron Strang holds his Purple Heart medal in the living room of his home in Jefferson Hills, Pa., just south of Pittsburgh. In 2008, the federal government created AFIRM, the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a network of top hospitals and universities around the country, and gave $300 million in grants to spur new treatments using cell science and advanced plastic surgery. Strang is among those benefiting. The 28-year-old former Marine sergeant from Pittsburgh lost half of a thigh muscle to shrapnel, leaving too little to stabilize his gait. "My knee would buckle and I'd fall over," he said. Now, after an experimental cell treatment at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, "I'm able to run a little bit" and play a light football game with friends, he said. "It's been a huge improvement." (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)