The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?  (Read 27450 times)

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Dear Appendix Owners,

If for one reason or another we have to have our appendix removed...then why do we have it in the first place ?...what does it do ?...why can we live without it ?

Are there other internal organs we can do quite well without ?

I manage quite well without a brain !!


 

Offline kdlynn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2851
    • View Profile
My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #1 on: 30/07/2007 00:59:30 »
we don't need tonsils either. i thought the appendix had something to do with digesting raw meat, which is rather unnecessary now that we mainly cook our food
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #2 on: 30/07/2007 01:23:15 »
The Gallbladder is something I live without. The thyroid can be removed and then you live with medication to keep things in proper balance. Another thing I may end up living without! LOL

 The appendix helps produce a special fluid that helps produce antibodies for your body. There are other organs that are even more important in developing those same antibodies so even if you loose your appendix your body will still produce enough antibodies to function properly.. But if your appendix is bad and left it can develop peritonitis (kind of gang green type infection
which can cause lots of problems including death if infection is not contained and treated properly.. This is of course my understanding from my Daughters doctor when she experienced her appendix bursting..in her seventh grade year! LOL I had to back into my paperwork to read what the doctor had tried to explain to us with her surgery! LOL

Here is another explanation as to what the appendix is and such..The below reference is taken from the web!

http://www.4to40.com/QA/print.asp?id=1258


Some people believe that the appendix 'catches' things like fruit pips, and has to be removed when it is full. This is not true. In fact the appendix does nothing at all, and we would manage very well without it.

So, what is the appendix? The appendix is a small tube at one end of a large intestine. It is closed at one end, like a sort of pocket. The appendix has to be removed when it becomes seriously inflamed by an infection, which is quite common. Substances from the intestine enter the appendix and cannot easily get out again. If they stay there, these substances may harden, forming a plug, which squeezes the appendix's blood vessels. This can cut off the blood supply to the appendix, and an infection may easily arise. Pain starts in the stomach, and then is concentrated on the right side of the body. Then it is case of calling for the doctor and having the appendix removed by a simple and quick operation.
« Last Edit: 30/07/2007 01:48:02 by Karen W. »
 


Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #4 on: 30/07/2007 01:44:39 »
I thought this was interesting also! There are many different views as to weather it has functions or not! The following information I attained from this site, refer to full article for more details:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/vestiges/appendix.html



 The following discussion makes four main points:

   1. The human appendix may have bona fide functions, but this is currently controversial, undemonstrated in humans, and irrelevant as to whether the appendix is a true vestige or not.
   2. The appendix is a prime example of dysteleology (i.e. suboptimal structural design), a prediction of genetically gradual evolution.
   3. The appendix is a rudimentary tip of the caecum and is useless as a normal, cellulose-digesting caecum.
   4. Thus, the appendix is vestigial by both the evolutionary and non-evolutionary, typological definitions of vestigiality.

The vermiform appendix: background info
[]
Figure 1: The human vermiform appendix (image reproduced with modifications from Gray 1918)






In humans, the vermiform appendix is a small, finger-sized structure, found at the end of our small caecum and located near the beginning of the large intestine (Fawcett and Raviola 1994, p. 636; Oxford Companion to the Body 2001, pp. 42-43; Williams and Myers 1994). The adjective "vermiform" literally means "worm-like" and reflects the narrow, elongated shape of this intestinal appendage. The appendix is typically between two and eight inches long, but its length can vary from less than an inch (when present) to over a foot. The appendix is longest in childhood and gradually shrinks throughout adult life. The wall of the appendix is composed of all layers typical of the intestine, but it is thickened and contains a concentration of lymphoid tissue. Similar to the tonsils, the lymphatic tissue in the appendix is typically in a constant state of chronic inflammation, and it is generally difficult to tell the difference between pathological disease and the "normal" condition (Fawcett and Raviola 1994, p. 636). The internal diameter of the appendix, when open, has been compared to the size of a matchstick. The small opening to the appendix eventually closes in most people by middle age. A vermiform appendix is not unique to humans. It is found in all the hominoid apes, including humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons, and it exists to varying degrees in several species of New World and Old World monkeys (Fisher 2000; Hill 1974; Scott 1980).
« Last Edit: 30/07/2007 10:55:48 by Karen W. »
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #5 on: 30/07/2007 02:59:26 »
OOOPS !!..Thank You George for pointing out Pauls earlier question.
.....and Thank You Karen for providing an abundance and wealth of information in your posts !!..

Good point about tonsils Kadie !
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #6 on: 30/07/2007 04:11:26 »
Thanks Neily!
 

another_someone

  • Guest
My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #7 on: 30/07/2007 04:24:48 »
we don't need tonsils either. i thought the appendix had something to do with digesting raw meat, which is rather unnecessary now that we mainly cook our food

So you don't eat steak tartar? (neither do I).

Actually, as Karen's post points out, it is cellulose digestion that is often then function of the appendix in herbivores.

One of the quotes in response to Paul's question did suggest that the appendix might have a role in the immune response (this is only speculative - but would probably mean it has more similarity with the tonsils beyond the fact that doctors have no qualms about removing either).
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #8 on: 30/07/2007 05:55:05 »
I think Your right George! LOL I like mine very well done also...!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

My Appendix...What Does It Do ?..Why Can I live Without It ?
« Reply #8 on: 30/07/2007 05:55:05 »

 

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