The U.S. military has been on the forefront of medical research for decades. Earlier conflicts spurred discoveries to prevent malaria and typhoid, a sweeping overhaul of triage care and the introduction of skin grafts and morphine.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no different. With more troops surviving devastating injuries, the military is fast-tracking efforts in regenerative medicine, investigating risky measures to prevent lifelong brain damage -- even employing acupuncture in an effort to manage pain and mitigate post-traumatic stress. (And let's not forget about the zombie pigs.)
Some of the Pentagon's extreme medical innovations have already debuted in the war zone. And with myriad applications outside of combat, these advances in military medicine mean that revolutionary changes for civilian care aren't far behind.