I have posted this earlier as a reply in one of my posts, but in case you weren't following that particular thread, I thought you'd find this interesting.. Goes to show you, just because we haven't found use for it, should it mean that it is a vestigial remnant of no use.... or a product of 'evolution' that just has no function....
Appendix has a function, according to Duke University study
Posted Oct 06, 2007 at 06:09PM by Rio S.
Listed in: Science
Tags: Duke University We have long wondered what the appendix is there for. We may have reached the end of the debate as a group of immunologists and surgeons from the Duke University Medical School think they've found the appendix' function.
Some thought that worm-like tube (located just where the the large and small intestine meet) had something to do with lymphoid cells while others thought that it became useless through evolution and has no function at all - making the appendix almost synonymous with vestigial. Vestigial organs are those that don't seem to have a function, like the tonsils for example, though many vestigial organs have been struck off the list as we find out that they *do* have functions.
The study from the Duke University Medical School produced a theory: the appendix "acts as a good safe house for bacteria." According to surgery professor and study co-author Bill Parker, the appendix' location in the digestive system supports the theory and it actually acts as a factory for good bacteria.
Imagine this, you get cholera or amoebic dysentery, all the useful bacteria dies off as a result. Then what? You need to get some good bacteria back. In modern society, you can pick those up from other people but imagine what it would have been like in the past when the entire region gets infected and the population wasn't so dense? According to the study, that's when the appendix kicks in; it "reboots" the digestive system's good germs.
Inflamed appendices should still be removed, according to Parker, since they can turn deadly once they pop. Makes one wonder though, are there any other differences between those who had their appendix removed and those who still have theirs? Because if there are any more, this writer's in trouble.