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Interesting Stuff

(Science Daily) Why are human faces so variable compared to other animals, from lizards and penguins to dogs and monkeys? Scientists analyzed human faces and the genes that code for facial features and found a high variability that could only be explained by selection for variable faces, probably because of the importance of social interactions in human relationships and the need for humans to be recognizable.
(Discover Magazine) Your brain has a lot to think about, so if there’s a way to outsource a few mental tasks to save bandwidth, it’s going to do it. Now researchers have discovered another such workaround: the neurons in your fingertips perform some computational tasks independently of the brain.
Researchers from UmeĆ„ University in Sweden demonstrated that nerve endings in our fingertips encode information about touch intensity and shape before those signals ever travel to the brain. Their findings challenge the long-held belief that our skin simply signaled that something was touched, and our brains processed all the bits of information about shape. 
(Discover Magazine) Weighing in at more than 65 tons and measuring 85 feet from head to toe, Dreadnoughtus is among the largest dinosaurs belonging to the gigantic family known as titanosaurs. To date, it is the most complete skeleton of a gigantic dinosaur, which allowed researchers to accurately calculate its size. Dreadnought is an Old English word that means “fear nothing,” and at seven times the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex, researchers say the aptly named Dreadnoughtus was nearly impervious to attack.
(Science Daily) Thoughts of the family tree may not be uppermost in the mind of a person suffering from a slipped disc, but those spinal discs provide a window into our evolutionary past. They are remnants of the first vertebrate skeleton, whose origins now appear to be older than had been assumed. Scientists have found that, unexpectedly, this skeleton most likely evolved from a muscle.
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