February 13, 2013

Appendix Evolved More than 30 Times

Colin Barras, Science Now

AP Photo

The appendix may not be useless after all. The worm-shaped structure found near the junction of the small and large intestines evolved 32 times among mammals, according to a new study. The finding adds weight to the idea that the appendix helps protect our beneficial gut bacteria when a serious infection strikes.

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TAGGED: Appendix