New Organ Discovered In Human Body

Posted: Jan 4 2017, 5:44am CST | by , Updated: Jan 4 2017, 7:12am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

New Organ Discovered in Human Body
A digital representation of the small and large intestines and mesentery. Credit: Calvin Coffey
 

Reseachers confirm that mesentery is a continuous organ, not broken or fragmented

Human body originally has 78 organs. Now, add one more to the list: the mesentery.

The mesentery has not grown suddenly. It was always there - hiding in our digestive system, but was just not recognized before. Researchers have now confirmed its existence. Though, the function of the organ is still not clearly understood.

The new organ which was previously thought to be just a few fragmented and disparate structures in the digestive system turns out to be a single, continuous organ that connects the intestine to the abdomen. 

In 2012, researchers from University of Limerick had showed that mesentery is indeed a connected structure. In the latest study, published in journal Lancet, they have outlined their evidence for reclassifying this part of digestive system as an organ.

“In the paper, which has been peer reviewed and assessed, we are now saying we have an organ in the body which hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date,” said Calvin Coffey, a professor at University of Limerick.

“During the initial research, we noticed in particular that the mesentery, which connects the gut to the body, was one continuous organ. Up to that it was regarded as fragmented, present here, absent elsewhere and a very complex structure. The anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy was incorrect. 

“This organ is far from fragmented and complex. It is simply one continuous structure.”

While the reclassification does not seem that much important for a layman perspective, the finding can have long-lasting effects on medical field. Better understanding of the organ may hold the key to more advanced and low cost treatments of abdominal and digestive diseases which will inevitably lead to few complications and faster recovery of patients. 

“This is relevant universally as it affects all of us. Up to now there was no such field as mesenteric science. Now, we have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function,” said Professor Coffey.

“If you can understand the function you can identify abnormal function and then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science… the basis for a whole new era of science.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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