Don't let the hippies hear that wood may make a better artificial bone than titanium. We'll never live it down.
Italian scientists have developed a new "wood-derived bone substitute" that promises to be better than ceramic or metal implants. They start with a block of wood like red oak, burn it until the block is essentially charcoal and then coat the substance with calcium.
The "bone" takes about a week to grow at a cost of around $US850. And while it's not quite as cool as titanium, the spongier structure handles natural impact better, and other bones prefer the calcium carbon mix to space shuttle alloys.
So much for my awesome robot legs. [Discovery]