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No big deal or anything. There's a whole hidden network in your body that scientists JUST discovered.

This is big. HUGE. Especially for autoimmune and neurological disease sufferers.

No big deal or anything. There's a whole hidden network in your body that scientists JUST discovered.

You thought human anatomy was pretty well figured out by now, right?

That whole Gray's Anatomy thing has been around quite a while (the medical reference book, not the show, silly).

You'd be wrong. We all were.


GIF from "Grey's Anatomy."

Scientists just discovered there are vessels connecting our brains to our lymphatic systems.

GIF from "Grey's Anatomy."

Your brain and your immune system have been secretly in cahoots your whole life.

It's such a big deal that one researcher said (probably while his jaw was on the floor), "They'll have to change the textbooks."

It might change everything for sufferers of autoimmune and neurological diseases.

Map of the lymphatic system: traditional (left) and as redrawn by the University of Virginia's discovery.

"I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped. ... I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not."
— Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D., UVA researcher

Since 20% of the U.S. population suffers from autoimmune diseases and as of 2012 an estimated 5.4 million people are afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, this discovery could have ripple effects and ultimately change the quality of life for many.

How can this change the game? There are so many possibilities — both known and unknown.

Here's one example: In Alzheimer's disease patients, doctors know that one of the factors present in afflicted brains is an accumulation of protein chunks. The lymphatic connection could present a potential cause — for instance, if they find that vessels in healthy brains are disposing of that protein properly but the vessels in afflicted brains aren't. It's a new place that researchers can begin looking, and it means they might be that much closer to figuring out Alzheimer's disease — and, who knows, even a cure?

Overall, it means that instead of approaching the immuno-neurology connection like it's some sort of mystical voodoo...

GIF by Neue Modern.

...doctors can start coming at it mechanistically.

Clip via Josh Thompson.

And that is a step in the right direction.

Isn't it amazing to know we're never done figuring out what we think we've already finished exploring?

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole exchange was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

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