Human Organs Current Affairs

Scientist develop ingestible 3D-printed snake-like robot

Scientists have developed a tiny, ingestible 3D-printed snake-like robot called SAW (single actuator wave-like robot), that can navigate through the small intestines.

The snake-like tiny robot was made from a set of interlocking 3D-printed “plastic” pieces that look like vertebrae.

Key Facts
  • The robot moves in a wave-like motion and can travel through the extremely squishy environment of the small intestine.
  • The external shape of the robot is a 2D projection of a rotating helix, that result in a continuously moving wave. Its direction can be reversed simply by reversing the direction of rotation of the motor.
  • In tests, the robot was able to move incredibly fast and cross a wide array of terrains, from water to rough, rocky soil.
  • Potential application: It can be used to visualise the digestive system in real time, especially for colonoscopies.

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US Researchers discover the function of human appendix

Researchers from Midwestern University have identified the function of the human appendix, often viewed as a vestigial organ with little-known use.

They discovered that the human appendix has evolved at least 30 times and even possibly up to a maximum of 41 times throughout the mammalian evolution.

Key Facts
  • According researchers, once the appendix appears in human body, it never disappears, suggesting that the organ likely serves an adaptive purpose.
  • This may be due to evolutionary reason of the human body that never got rid of the appendix as it doesn’t harm most people, there’s simply little evolutionary pressure to eliminate the body part.
  • It was found that species with appendix have higher concentrations of immune (lymphoid) tissue in cecum (part of the large intestines), thereby suggesting that appendix could serve as a secondary immune organ.
  • The appendix might also function as a “safe house” for helpful gut bacteria as lymphatic tissue can stimulate the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Thus, fulfilling an important role in our bodies.

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