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闌尾:消化益菌的庇護所

最新研究顯示,闌尾的功用之一是維持消化益菌的繁殖

作者: 肖恩.多伊爾
譯者:盧慧明(Candice Loh)
文章來源:Creation 30(4):37, September 2008

儘管闌尾已多次被證實有它的功用,它依然經常被用作退化器官的例子1 (參閱“The good, the bad and the evolutionary”2)。不過有研究人員最近發現闌尾有一項新工作:作為「細菌的庇護所」3,4它負責保護和培養腸道的益菌,使消化系統細菌在疾病發作(例如流行性霍亂)後可以重新啟動。

研究人員指出,闌尾的特徵使人們以為它是一個無用的器官,但正正是這個重要的特徵使闌尾的功用得以發揮。闌尾是一條盲管,位於大腸的開端,在闌尾培養出來的細菌,隨着消化食物在腸道臑動進入大腸,這些益菌繼而遍布大腸。闌尾的細長蚯蚓形狀,限制了外物的進入,使細菌有一個「安全的庇護所」可以生長。

因為這點,研究人員指出,由於人口較以前稠密,今日闌尾的功用似乎被削弱。假如一個人的腸道菌群死亡,只要透過與其他人接觸,腸道細菌就可重新進駐大腸。

研究人員表示,闌尾炎有可能是來自過度講求衛生的社會,令免疫系統產生過敏反應。

幫助消化的細菌對人類生存非常重要。人體擁有細菌細胞遠多於人體細胞,因此我們會預期,假如是創造主設計的人體,會照顧這些細菌群落,使它們總是有充足的供應以做好工作,而闌尾就為細菌提供所需的庇護所。這再一次證明,生物學與聖經中起初創造我們的創造主是多麼一致。假如不是退化器官這錯誤的進化論觀念期主導生物學(為何要研究退化器官?),研究人員可能在更早以前就得出今次的發現。5

註解

  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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