Appendix Not Worthless Vestigal Organ After All
The uselessness of the appendix was once deemed one of the most sure things in medical science. Now, it turns out, that may be wrong. From the abstract in the Journal of Theoretical Biology
APPENDIX: RESEARCH FINDS ROLE FOR ORGAN LONG THOUGHT USELESS
Long denigrated as vestigial or useless, the appendix now appears to have a reason to be--as a "safe house" for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut. Drawing upon a series of observations and experiments, Duke University Medical Center investigators postulate that the beneficial bacteria in the appendix that aid digestion can ride out a bout of diarrhea that completely evacuates the intestines and emerge afterwards to repopulate the gut. Their theory appears online in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. The appendix is a slender two- to four-inch pouch located near the juncture of the large and small intestines. While its exact function in humans has been debated by physicians, it is known that there is immune system tissue in the appendix. The researchers believe that the immune system cells found in the appendix are there to protect, rather than harm, the good bacteria.
This touches on several issues. But it sure demonstrates the often wrongness of the recently vaunted "scientific consensus."