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Virtual wound will teach medics how to treat soldiers

It may look disgusting, but this virtual injury could save a soldier's life.

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Field medics have ways to practice their craft before they're helping soldiers on the battlefield, but it's hard for them to understand how wounds work until they're involved in a life-or-death rescue. UCLA scientists may have the tool these medics need, however: they've developed the first detailed injury simulation to show medics what to expect. The virtual gash could make you a bit queasy (sorry!), but it's uncannily accurate. A mix of fluid dynamics and in-depth mechanics (such as bones, skin and vessels) makes sure that blood flows much as it would from a real person.

Researchers have only replicated a leg so far, and it's not clear if and when the team might send its work to the military. If the breakthrough catches on, though, it could be tremendously useful to the medical industry at large, not just the troops. Currently, the best way to see real-life example wounds is to observe a wounded animal -- this would be gentler and more realistic at the same time.

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