Amazing Scientific Discovery Goes Unnoticed
Amid the brouhaha over Britney Spears and the hysteria over Hillary Clinton, a huge scientific breakthrough has been made, almost totally unnoticed.Scientists now think they know what our appendix is for.
For a long time, scientists have told us that the appendix, that dangling dongle in our lower right abdomen that no one thinks about for years until it bursts and almost kills us, had no purpose. How could we have been so gullible? The human body is a triumph of form following function. Everything on our bodies has a purpose (ok, maybe not nipples on a man, but everything else). As Elaine says on one "Seinfeld" episode, "A man's body is utilitarian. It's for gettin' around. It's like a Jeep."
Even our cocyx has a purpose. It's a vestigial tailbone from early in our fetal development, when all mammals, even humans, have tails. Or, for you non-evolution-believing religious nuts out there, the cocyx is known as Adam's Pogo Stick, on which Adam bounced his way out of the Garden of Eden with that serpent hot on his, uh, tail.
So last October, with little or no fanfare, scientists at Duke University Medical School came up with what they think is the answer to the question no one was asking: what the hell is our appendix for, other than to sometimes burst, causing great pain and huge medical bills?
These scientists now say that the appendix is a factory that produces "good" bacteria in our digestive systems.
That's right, along with "good" cholesterol, we need "good" bacteria, and, before the invention of Yoplait yogurt, our bodies produced this "good" bacteria in our appendix.
According to the Duke scientists, the reason why the appendix was thought to be useless is that it is needed primarily to produce good bacteria when diseases such as cholera and dysintery wipe out such bacteria from our bodies, and these diseases are mostly extinct in the developed nations where most scientific research takes place. Or, as Elaine would say, if the Jeep ain't broke, don't fix it.
It seems to me that we owe the appendix a huge apology. We have ignored it for hundreds of years, ranking it at the bottom of the list of Important Organs, well below the heart, lungs, kidneys and naughty bits.
I, for one, am glad that one more mystery of the human body has apparently been solved. Now, will someone please tell me what the hell my spleen and gall bladder are for?