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阑尾:消化益菌的庇护所

最新研究显示,阑尾的功用之一是维持消化益菌的繁殖

作者: 肖恩.多伊尔
译者:卢慧明(Candice Loh)
文章来源:Creation 30(4):37, September 2008

尽管阑尾已多次被证实有它的功用,它依然经常被用作退化器官的例子1 (参阅“The good, the bad and the evolutionary”2。不过有研究人员最近发现阑尾有一项新工作:作为「细菌的庇护所」3,4 。它负责保护和培养肠道的益菌,使消化系统细菌在疾病发作(例如流行性霍乱)后可以重新启动。

研究人员指出,阑尾的特征使人们以为它是一个无用的器官,但正正是这个重要的特征使阑尾的功用得以发挥。阑尾是一条盲管,位于大肠的开端,在阑尾培养出来的细菌,随着消化食物在肠道臑动进入大肠,这些益菌继而遍布大肠。阑尾的细长蚯蚓形状,限制了外物的进入,使细菌有一个「安全的庇护所」可以生长。

因为这点,研究人员指出,由于人口较以前稠密,今日阑尾的功用似乎被削弱。假如一个人的肠道菌群死亡,只要透过与其他人接触,肠道细菌就可重新进驻大肠。

研究人员表示,阑尾炎有可能是来自过度讲求卫生的社会,令免疫系统产生过敏反应。

帮助消化的细菌对人类生存非常重要。人体拥有细菌细胞远多于人体细胞,因此我们会预期,假如是创造主设计的人体,会照顾这些细菌群落,使它们总是有充足的供应以做好工作,而阑尾就为细菌提供所需的庇护所。这再一次证明,生物学与圣经中起初创造我们的创造主是多么一致。假如不是退化器官这错误的进化论观念期主导生物学(为何要研究退化器官?),研究人员可能在更早以前就得出今次的发现。5

注解

  1. Wilkinson, R., Cutting out a useless vestigial argument, Creation 26(3):51, 2004; creation.com/vestigial. 回上一頁.
  2. Doyle, S., The good, the bad and the evolutionary; creation.com/badly, 29 August 2007. 回上一頁.
  3. Bollinger, R.R., et al., Biofilms in the large bowel suggest an apparent function of the vermiform appendix, Journal of Theoretical Biology 249(4):826–831, 2007. 回上一頁.
  4. Purpose of appendix believed found, Associated Press, 5 October 2007, edition.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/05/appendix. 回上一頁.
  5. See: More musings on our ‘useless’ appendix; creation.com/appendix4. 回上一頁.

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