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Latest research awakens debate over why people can’t keep their mouths closed

11:12am, April 22, 2011

Scratching relieves an itch, sneezing clears out the nose and drinking relieves thirst. And yawning … does something.

Researchers have been trying to finish that sentence for centuries. This involuntary, obvious and sometimes contagious behavior afflicts most humans — even those still in the womb — multiple times a day. Yawning isn’t even restricted to people: Snakes, ostriches, hedgehogs and fish have been spotted throwing their mouths open for a satisfying

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