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article imageNew organ discovered in the human body

By Tim Sandle     Jan 4, 2017 in Science
Part of the human digestive system has been reclassified — and, as part of the process, a new organ has been declared. This means the human body now has 79 organs.
The declaration of the new organ comes after research conducted at the University of Limerick in Ireland. The anatomical change refers to the mesentery, which connects the intestine to the stomach. This organ was previously thought to be made up of lots of separate parts. However, an investigation led by Professor J Calvin Coffey has found that it is, in fact, one single structure. Although the research is "new", those with an interest in history may note that the organ was first described by the Italian polymath Leanardo da Vinci in 1508; however, the description was generally ignored throughout the centuries, at least until now.
A digital representation of the small and large intestines and the mesentery.
A digital representation of the small and large intestines and the mesentery.
Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology
The mesentery is the double fold of peritoneum that attaches the intestines to the wall of the abdomen. The peritoneum is the membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity. Until recently it was not considered to be an organ; however, following microscopic and electron microscopic examinations, the mesocolon has been shown to be a single, continuous structure that commenced from the duodenojejunal flexure and extended to the level of the distal mesorectum.
The outcome is that there are now 79 recognized organs in the human body. the leading medical textbook Gray's Anatomy has been updated to include the mesentery as a complete organ. There is, however, more to learn about the organ. Interviewed by the BBC, Professor Coffey said: "Now we have established anatomy and structure. The next step is function. If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science."
The findings about the new organ have been published in the journal Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology. The research paper is titled "The mesentery: structure, function, and role in disease."
More about Organs, Human body, Digestive system
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