New human organ discovered

EnlargeUniversity of Limerick

This is an important distinction because it could change the way researchers view the human body and lead to new research on mesentery-related diseases.

Although it has no identifiable function, clarifying the structure of the mesentery, the university said, makes way for better understanding of the organ. In a recent study, Coffey and O'Leary suggest that the mesentery deserves to be recognized as an new human organ.

As the mesentery extends across all the other organs of the abdomen, conceiving it as having a continuous function and goal will mean that diagnosing abnormalities affecting the mesentery and surrounding organs will be charted along a different path.

The organ in question, known as the mesentery, has been reclassified as a single, continuous organ rather than the series of fragmented, separate structures it was previously believed to be.

He also said we had established the anatomy and structure. The mesentery would be the 79th, although it is unclear who has the last word on classifying it as such.

With Coffey's disproval of the Treves's theory comes and additional challenge: if the mesentery is contiguous and, therefore an organ, what is its function? "It maintains the intestine in a particular conformation, 'hitched up, ' so that when you stand up or walk about, it doesn't collapse into the pelvis and not function". Though the classification as an organ is new, the mesentery itself is not a contemporary discovery; what appears to be the mesentery can be seen in a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci.

At the moment, Coffey began to research the impact of the mesentery's reclassification.

A double membrane called the mesentery curls throughout the abdomen, enveloping the small intestine and anchoring the guts to the rest of the body. "Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science ... the basis for a whole new area of science". This research lays the foundation for investigating possible prescriptions and how less-invasive endoscopic procedures during a colonscopy could map the mesentery.

"This is relevant universally as it affects all of us". "This could help in identifying the mechanisms underlying these conditions and help us in unraveling their cause and how they develop".

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