The Appendix: Useful and in Fact Promising
Who knew that the appendix was good for something?
Posted By: Dr. Firnbach
Posted August 24, 2009

The body's appendix has long been thought of as nothing more than a worthless
evolutionary artifact, good for nothing save a potentially lethal case of inflammation.

Now researchers suggest the appendix is a lot more than a useless remnant. Not only
was it recently proposed to actually possess a critical function, but scientists now find
it appears in nature a lot more often than before thought. And it's possible some of
this organ's ancient uses could be recruited by physicians to help the human body
fight disease more effectively.

However, Dr. Parker, an immunologist at Duke University Medical Center in
Durham, N.C., and his colleagues recently suggested that the appendix still served as
a vital safehouse where good bacteria could lie in wait until they were needed to
repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea. Past studies had also found the
appendix can help make, direct and train white blood cells.

SOURCE: LIVE SCIENCE August 24, 2009
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