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Appendix has use after all?

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Gray536.png
appendix/Gray’s Anatomy

Has recently retired from being “vestige of evolution” …

From Jordan Rosenfeld at Mental Floss:

While the appendix is not required for digestive functions in humans, Belz tells mental_floss, “It does house symbiotic bacteria proposed by Randal Bollinger and Bill Parker at Duke University to be important for overall gut health, but particularly when we get a gut infection resulting in diarrhea.”

Infections of this kind clear the gut not only of fluids and nutrients but also good bacteria. Their research suggests that those ILCs [innate lymphoid cells] housed in the appendix may be there as a reserve to repopulate the gut with good bacteria after a gut infection.

ILCs are hardier than other immune cells, and thus vital to fighting bacterial infections in people with compromised immune systems, such as those in cancer treatment; they are some of the few immune cells that can survive chemotherapy.

Belz says that changing the way the appendix is regarded—from vestigial to integral—may also help prevent unnecessary appendix operations. More.

But didn’t we know this?

See also: Appendix, no “vestigial organ,” is a safe house for useful bacteria, researcher says

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3 Replies to “Appendix has use after all?

  1. 1
    Jonas Crump says:

    My understanding is that vestigial does not mean without function. We have known that the appendix plays a small immune function for a long time. But it has certainly lost most of the digestive function that it provides in many other animals.

    We still retain muscles in the ear, that some people can use to entertain people at parties, but they do very little to focus sound waves to our ear canal, as they do for cats and some other animals.

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Outdated designs are still designs. Some outdated designs are downright elegant. Amazing.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    Possibly the appendix was more useful to people when we were non meat eaters before the flood. or possibly its from before the fall when there was no death etc.
    Is it different for us from primates? do they use their appendixes as much or more or not al all? A evolutionist should first ask this eh?

    We have no vestigial bits from former body plans except since creation week.
    Very very very few creatures do have vestigial bits remaining. Marine mammals do because they really did once live on the land. Yet almost nobody else.

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