The U.S. Defense Department has awarded $3.5 million to a Cambridge, Mass., biotech that says it has figured out a way to make blood platelets from stem cells, a technology the military believes could be useful in treating battlefield and civilian casualties.

Platelet BioGenesis, which was founded in 2014, said Wednesday that the grant will help the startup develop a bioreactor that is key to the production of platelets, a critical component of blood that promotes clotting.

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