In an era of asymmetrical war (meaning our enemies, being militarily weaker, sensibly prefer to blow us up rather than stand and fight us), the weapon of choice used against is Improvised Explosive Device. One of the ways an IED injures people is through the effects of blast, and so medical and defence researchers are working hard to understand these effects. Because some of that research is being done here at CFB Suffield, I was interested in this article in the Globe and Mail:

IED shock waves found to cause concussions
ANNE McILROY — SCIENCE REPORTER

They have no visible signs of injuries, no head wounds or burns. But soldiers who are nearby when an improvised explosive device detonates may suffer mild brain damage, new research suggests.

The shock wave produced in this type of explosion can travel through the brain and cause a concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury, says Andrew Baker, a researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Read the whole article here.

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  1. The Israeli's sadly extensive experience with blast injuries has also helped medics, doctors, and some civilian first responders to understand the nature of the damage caused by explosions and to look not only at the physical appearance of the victim, but for the signs and symptoms of internal damage.