Growing bone from fat and muscle?
This therapy should also lead to rapid recovery from battlefield injuries where bones are broken by blast trauma.
Researchers have been able to regrow bone and cartilage by inserting a gene into muscle and fat cells and then implanting them at the site of an injury.
It is hoped the technology could dramatically cut the amount of time patients have to spend in traction after breaking bones and could help improve recovery from cartilage damage such as occurs in knee injuries.
The scientists, based at Harvard Medical School, Boston, found they were able to encourage muscle and fat cells to change into cartilage and then bone by using a form of gene therapy.