New year, new you – quite literally in the case of the mesentery, a newly identified organ that scientists have just confirmed is inside each human being.
It’s found in the digestive system, connecting the intestine to the abdomen.
Scientists say it was previously thought to be a series of fragmentary bits and pieces but they have now confirmed that it is one complete organ – although how it works is yet to be determined.
J Calvin Coffey, University of Limerick, explained, “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.
“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.”
Professor Coffey now hopes that his team can find out more about the mesentery, which will allow them to develop new treatments for abdominal and digestive diseases.
“Now we have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function,” he added. “If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease.”
Grey’s Anatomy – the world’s leading textbook on the make up of the human body – has been updated to include the new organ.