Surgeons have been cutting out parts of the skulls of patients suffering from brain trauma for a very long time. But a new simulation tool developed by a team of researchers for Stanford U and the University of Oxford will help make the procedure a lot safer. Decompressive craniectomy, as the method is called, gives the swelling brain space to expand in order to save a person's life after a head injury. However, it could also lead to complications. See, when the brain bulges out of a hole, its axons (or the fragile threadlike parts of its nerve cells) have the tendency to stretch and break. This tool can minimize potential complications by telling surgeons the optimal place to cut and how large the hole should be, depending on the type of injury.