MILWAUKEE, Dec. 20 -- LEDs originally developed for commercial plant growth by NASA have been found to help with slow-healing wounds, such as diabetic skin ulcers, serious burns and severe oral sores caused by chemotherapy and radiation, according to doctors at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved human and laboratory trials for the new technology, which is sponsored by a NASA Small Business Innovation Research contract through the Technology Transfer Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. So far, what we've seen in patients and what we've seen in laboratory cell cultures, all point to one conclusion, said Dr. Harry Whelan, professor of pediatric neurology and director of hyperbaric medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The near-infrared light emitted by these LEDs seems to be perfect for increasing energy inside cells. This means whether you're on Earth in a hospital, working in a submarine under the sea or on your way to Mars inside a spaceship, the LEDs boost energy to the cells and accelerate healing. Dr. Whelan's findings will be summarized in upcoming issues of Space Technology and Applications International Forum 2001 and in The Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery.