05 January 2017 Current Affairs: Researchers have recently discovered a new organ that was hidden in plain sight inside our digestive system this whole time.
The existence of the human body’s 79th organ, known as the ‘mesentery’, has been known for hundreds of years. However, until recently, it was thought to be a fragmented structure comprising separate parts.
It was Dr. J Calvin Coffey, Professor of Survey at the University of Limerick in Ireland, who discovered that it was one continuous organ.
Highlights : Although the structure of the organ is known, its functions are not very well understood.
Studying the organ more closely could be the key to better treatment of various abdominal and digestive diseases.
The evidence of the organ’s new found status has been now published in the Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology journal.
The organ has been listed in the journal as one that had not been acknowledged up until now.
The anatomic description of the organ that had been laid down in research books in the past 100 years has been completely incorrect. The organ is far from being fragmented and complex. It is, in fact, one continuous structure.
Gray’s Anatomy, the world’s best series of medical textbooks has been updated to include the new definition of the organ.
Mesentery : It is a double fold of peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity that attaches our intestines to the wall of our abdomen. It is the organ that keeps everything locked in place.
For centuries, it was ignored as an insignificant attachment in the abdominal structure.
In 2012, Calvin Coffey and his colleagues proved through detailed microscopic examinations that the organ was actually a continuous structure.
They used the past four years to gather more evidence on its organ status and made it official in their latest research paper.
While the discovery doesn’t really change anything inside our bodies, it does open a whole new field of medical science that could help understand and improve our health issues.
The next step from here is to understand the function of the organ.