Researchers at Duke University Medical Center say that the function of the frequently discarded appendix, an organ often credited with little importance and often dismissed as having no significant function, does it seems have a role to play after all.
Researchers in the United States say the appendix produces and protects good germs for the gut by "rebooting" the digestive system.
The team of immunologists at Duke University Medical Center say the human digestive system contains massive amounts of bacteria most of which are good and help the digestion of food.
However the researchers say sometimes the bacteria die off or are purged from the intestines as in diseases such as cholera or dysentery.
According to the researchers, the appendix's job is to "reboot" the digestive system when that happens with the bacteria safely harbored in the appendix.
Many doctors believe the appendix is a vestigial organ with no function and is no more than a blind ended tube connected to the cecum, from which it develops embryologically.
The cecum is a pouch-like structure of the colon and the appendix is near the junction of the small intestine and the large intestine and has abundant infection-fighting lymphoid cells, which suggests it plays a role in the immune system.
The most common diseases of the appendix (in humans) are appendicitis and carcinoid tumors. Appendix cancer accounts for about 1 in 200 of all gastrointestinal malignancies.