The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is the appendix really vestigial?  (Read 3103 times)

Offline AllenG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
    • View Profile
Is the appendix really vestigial?
« on: 05/09/2009 15:16:34 »
Does the appendix really no longer serve a function in the human body?
And what was its function originally?

Many thanks,

--A


 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Is the appendix really vestigial?
« Reply #1 on: 06/09/2009 01:28:49 »
I saw a prog on the TV a few weeks ago, in which it was said that the appendix does still have a function.

Maybe it will be on Youtube somewhere.

Maybe it was on the radio then...... here is the transcript http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/casenotes_tr_20090127.shtml
« Last Edit: 06/09/2009 01:43:17 by Don_1 »
 

Offline John Chapman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
    • View Profile
Is the appendix really vestigial?
« Reply #2 on: 06/09/2009 02:21:14 »
Although itís primary use may now be vestigial, doesnít the appendix have secondary functions associated with immunity, to do with the lymphatic system? Also, I was under the impression that the appendix acts as a refuge for useful intestinal flora when disorders such as diarrhoea flushes them from the rest of the intestines.

Because people who have their appendix removed seem to suffer no ill effects the appendix has traditionally been considered to have no remaining function. And because people once commonly died from infections of the appendix, doctors routinely extracted it whenever the opportunity arrived, believing we are better off without it.
 
 

Offline AllenG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
    • View Profile
Is the appendix really vestigial?
« Reply #3 on: 06/09/2009 21:46:05 »
What kind of function does it play with immunity?
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Is the appendix really vestigial?
« Reply #4 on: 07/09/2009 08:10:32 »
It seems to be a 'store' room of sorts, which can reboot the body's immune system.
 

Offline Nizzle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 964
  • Thanked: 1 times
  • Extropian by choice!
    • View Profile
    • Carnivorous Plants
Is the appendix really vestigial?
« Reply #5 on: 07/09/2009 16:09:23 »
Let's hope that people who had an appendectomy don't need rebooting then.

Or all they'll see the world as a blue screen ;)

I think the appendix is 100% vestigial, as folks without an appendix have no complications/consequences whatsoever
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Is the appendix really vestigial?
« Reply #5 on: 07/09/2009 16:09:23 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums