Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Modern Medicine Changes Its Mind ... Again

You've heard the same old story over and over again. One day Modern Medicine says you should eat X or Y and the next day the medical advice is the exact opposite. This time the medical merry-go-round concerns your appendix. About 1 in 20 people have their appendix removed and doctors have said for decades that it was a useless organ, a leftover from our earliest ancestors.

"Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks" according to researcher William Parker, an immunologist at Duke University Medical Center. Along with his colleges they recently suggested that the appendix serves as a warehouse for good bacteria, waiting to repopulate our digestive tract after diarrhea and other illnesses. Sounds like a pretty useful purpose to me.

The research was published in this month's issue of Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

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