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Name: Nancy
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
What is the function of the appendix in a human before it is taken out through surgey?


Replies:
Hi Nancy...

as you must know the appendix is a tube of which one end is closed and the opens into the cecum, that is the beginning of the large intestine. The appendix occurs in men and in othe animals: higher apes, wombats, some rodents and a few lower mammals.

And now for your question: the appendix has no known physiological function but probably represents a degenerated portion of the cecum that, in ancestral forms, aided in cellulose digestion. It is believed that the appendix will gradually disappear in human beings as our diet do not includes cellulose no more. In the other animals, the appendix is much larger and provides a pouch off the main intestinal tract, in which cellulose can be trapped and be subjected to prolonged digestion.

And thanks for asking NEWTON!

Mabel
(Dr.Mabel Rodrigues)


The appendix contains lymphoid tissue and may produce antibodies; however, there is no definitive function per sa. We can obviously live without it.


Up-date: 2002
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/mole00/mole00225.htm

and

http://www.sciam.com/askexpert/medicine/medicine8.html

Steve Sample


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