An Irish surgeon has discovered a new organ in the human body. The organ in question is the mesentery, a double fold of peritoneum which now turns out to be an organ. "This discovery opens up a whole new field of science", the study claims.
The mesentery was already known as a double fold in the peritoneum, which hangs over the intestines and to which the intestines and other organs in the peritoneal cavity are attached. J. Calvin Coffey, surgeon in the academic hospital in the Irish city of Limerick has now discovered that the mesentery is a true organ itself and that it plays a role in our digestive system.
Although its function is yet unclear, "it does open up a whole new field of science", says Coffey, whose discovery was published in the leading scientific journal The Lancet.
"At the moment, we have determined the anatomy and structure of the organ. The next step is determining its function. As soon as we understand its function, we can tell when something is going wrong. Then we can use this information to diagnose illnesses. And we can come up with new treatments."
Leonardo Da Vinci
'Gray’s Anatomy', the world's most popular anatomy teacher, has already been updated with the new definition of the mesentery. This brings the total number of organs in the human body up to 79.
The mesentery was first described by Leonardo da Vinci in 1508, after which it was ignored for centuries. Until now.