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Teeth are tiny, hard growths that we all take for granted. For those who have ever had a toothache, you’ll know that the simple act of eating something you love when you’re hungry, can be impossible. Even things like gargling, drinking cold water, and brushing your teeth become difficult and painful with a tooth injury or festering cavity. In this newsletter, we’ll take a look at what teeth are made of and include some fun, toothy facts about these tiny, but important chewers.

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Most organs have specialized jobs, but not the pancreas. This organ has two specialized jobs and straddles both the exocrine and endocrine systems. On one hand, the pancreas is responsible for secreting all types of digestive enzymes into the first part of the small intestine (called the duodenum). On the other hand, the pancreas also secretes insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. In this newsletter, we’ll do a deep dive into this interesting organ.

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Knees and elbows are hinge joints that evolved to create back and forth movement of the limb. In the knee’s case, it allows the lower leg to bend back. In the elbow’s case, the forearm bends up, towards the face. While both joints allow some sort of rotation of the limb, these joints don’t take twisting motions very well. And this is where evolution bumps up against human sports and we’re sorry to say, knees and elbows take a lot of punishment.

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Twins are really cool and in this newsletter, we’re going to tell you all about how twins are formed and why they give us so much insight into ourselves. There are two types of twins, identical and fraternal. Identical twins share 100% of their genes and are literal copies of each other (genetically speaking). Fraternal twins share 50% of their genes; this is the same as regular siblings except fraternal twins share a womb before they’re born.

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Would it surprise you that all living organisms are a complex (or sometimes very simple) layer of flesh and bones wrapped around an empty tube? This tube, while seemingly boring and unimportant, is how living organisms stay alive. You see, our bodies are open systems that interact with the environment. The eyes, nose, ears, skin, and tongue sense different stimuli and relay that information to the brain. The endocrine system is how the brain “talks” to all the organs. The lungs, heart, and blood vessels bring in oxygen and pump it to all the cells. But none of these processes would be possible without the digestive system. This is the empty tube that was referred to at the beginning of this newsletter.

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