Defusing a bomb is a multi-faceted and intricate task. Time constraints, hostile environments and highlevel complexity add to the potential for stress-induced mistakes. Mental acuity, sharp attention and executive decision-making become paramount. The origin of the human stress response is well understood and appreciated in its utility as a protective mechanism to prepare the body for adversity. Scientists are now focused on the interpretation of the human stress response and how, if at all, it can be modified.