Darwin was wrong!
One hundred and fifty years ago, the English scientist estimated that the appendix in humans was only a
"useless vestige", a
residue of how the digestive tract has evolved as the fiber content in the human diet.
A hypothesis which was reasonable at the time, given the little knowledge about this area of the intestine, but which lasted for a long time.
“The appendix is a bit like the spleen: as we can live without it, we imagine that it is useless, but we are only beginning to understand what functions it could well conceal”
, notes Éric Ogier-Denis, director researcher at Inserm and specialist in inflammatory processes in the intestine.
Appendicitis: an antibiotic instead of a scalpel?
With three colleagues, he has just published, in the
Journal of Anatomy
, work that for the first time establishes a correlation between the presence of a cecal appendix and greater longevity in mammals.
Data that sheds light from an angle
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