Soldiers earn our respect for their work on the battlefield, but they often receive nothing but uncomfortable stares when they return. Researchers have been developing new ways to rebuild the body parts that soldiers might lose in combat. Prosthetic ears are particularly cool and useful to soldiers. To make the new ear, lab technicians take 3-D scans of the patient's head and match the model to the other remaining ear. If a patient lost both ears, technicians can use images of a family member's ear; one patient at Lackland Air Force Base's facial prosthetics lab requested his father's ears, which were recreated with the exception of wrinkles so they'd be age-appropriate [source: Roberts]. The new ears match the patient's skin tone perfectly and also feature approximations of veins and sun exposure.