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Thread: See appendix

  1. #1
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    See appendix

    AP: Scientists: Appendix Protects Good Germs

    Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut.
    [...]
    The function of the appendix seems related to the massive amount of bacteria populating the human digestive system, according to the study in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. There are more bacteria than human cells in the typical body. Most of it is good and helps digest food.

    But sometimes the flora of bacteria in the intestines die or are purged. Diseases such as cholera or amoebic dysentery would clear the gut of useful bacteria. The appendix's job is to reboot the digestive system in that case.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  2. #2
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    Never had to have my appendix out, thank god.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if, in some far distant future, humans could be engineered to be able to get rid of waste in a far less germ-ridden, repulsive manner? I find the idea that I am made up of more prokaryotes than eukaryotic cells rather disturbing on a deep level, and I did my thesis in an infectious disease lab.

    Had to say that. My mind is in the toilet today, I think.

  3. #3
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    So why do old world monkeys have appendixes but new world ones generally don't? Were there big differences between the two continents in the amount of monkey cholera? It seems like it mustn't have been a very useful function if new world monkeys lost theirs.

    Now sorry if I sound cynical but every now and then the appendix has its "function" discovered and then nothing ever really comes of it. Well we already know what its function is. Its function is to digest cellulose. And since we don't digest cellulose anymore it's pretty useless. Now it may have some other function but whatever it is it won't be "the" function of the appendix. Sort of like how the function of a clock isn't to serve as a doorstop but you can use a clock as a doorstop if you like.

  4. #4
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    I've heard that operating it is really stinky, because of the collected bacteria that the person incurs from the day he was born up to the age he got appendecitis.

    I wonder why does its bursts , does that means a person eats a lot of waste food likes junk foods , and processed ones ?


  5. #5
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    No, an appendix will become inflamed if the entrance to the organ is obstructed by feces, a tumour, or a whole host of other things. The organ fills with mucous, becoming distended and causing thrombosis. Blood flow is cut off, causing necrosis. Infection occurs and pus forms. If the appendix bursts, it can cause peritonitis and sepsis.

    So, the only way junk food could cause appendicitis is if a cheese doodle got stuck in the organ.

  6. #6
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    The contents of the appendix are stinky, but so is everything inside your bowels. We have trouble getting rid of our appendix because the smaller it gets the more likely it is to get blocked and infected, so we're kind of stuck. Some people are born without appendix, but this may not be due to genetic reasons. It would be interesting to know if this condition runs in families.

    I wonder why does its bursts , does that means a person eats a lot of waste food likes junk foods , and processed ones ?
    I wouldn't be surprised if the modern diet has something to do with it. (Modern as in anytime from invention of agriculture onwards.) Often when the human body seems poorly designed to us its because it's well designed for a hunter gatherer lifestyle and not our modern society. However I have no idea how diet affects appendecitus, But what you eat can certainly end up inside it.

  7. #7
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    I have to admit, getting appendicits is one of my worst nightmares, and any potential way to prevent it would be greatly appreciated. Is there any way for a person in a modern, industriazed country to stimulate the gut-rebooting effects of the appendix without having to go to a 3rd World country to do it? My father argues that living alone would help, and I argue that finding some means of purging the gut (contaminated water, perhaps?) would be sufficient. Which one of us is right?

    - Maha Vailo

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