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Your appendix might serve an important biological function after all

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They found that species that had retained or regained an appendix had higher average concentrations of lymphoid (immune) tissue in the cecum - a small pouch connected to the junction of the small and large intestines.

This suggests that the appendix could play an important role in a species' immune system, particularly as lymphatic tissue is known to stimulate the growth of certain types of beneficial gut bacteria.

"While these links between the appendix and cecal factors have been suggested before, this is the first time they have been statistically validated," the team concludes in their paper.

"The association between appendix presence and lymphoid tissue provides support for the immune hypothesis of appendix evolution."

The study is far from conclusive, but offers a different perspective on the hypothesis that humans have been keeping the appendix around for its immune support this whole time.

The challenge now is to prove it, which is easier said than done, seeing as most people who have had their appendix removed don't suffer from any adverse long-term effects.

But it could be that when people get their appendix removed, immune cell-producing tissues in the cecum and elsewhere in the body step up to compensate for the loss.

One thing's for sure in all of this - while we're probably not going to regain our tails, it's too soon to write off the appendix just yet.


I always wondered about that.  Glad I've got mine! :)

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2 hours ago, Cinnamon said:

I always wondered about that.  Glad I've got mine! :)

This is something i have always wondered about myself.... This article does not satisfy my curiosity enough!


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