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Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from the editors of Scientific American

Smashed Rabbit Bones Hint at Hidden Human Injuries

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rabbit bone crushed by pressure gun Medical science has known for some time that the direction of a bone fracture depends on how quickly the bone is compressed. If the bone is squeezed slowly, the break proceeds cross-wise. If compression is fast, the bone splinters along its length.

But now researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University report that the speed of impact has other, less obvious effects. Using a custom-built pressure gun to smash rabbit bones, they've made a discovery that could affect the diagnosis and treatment of anyone injured by a sudden impact.

The study was published in July in the Journal of Biomechanics.

For more, watch the video below:

 

Image courtesy of Nikhil Gupta

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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