Human Body


What was the likely purpose of the human appendix?

Experts can only theorize on its use. It may have had the same purpose it does in present-day herbivores, where it harbors colonies of bacteria that help in the digestion of cellulose in plant material. Another theory suggests that tonsils and the appendix might manufacture the antibody-producing white blood cells called B lymphocytes; however, B lymphocytes could also be produced by the bone marrow. The third theory is that the appendix may “attract” body infections to localize the infection in one spot that is not critical to body functioning. The earliest surgical removal of the appendix was by Claudries Amyand (1680–1740) in England in 1736.

The human digestive tract.


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