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January 03, 2017

New body organ has been hiding inside us all along

Research may lead to improved health outcomes

Some scientists had a gut feeling that an unclassified organ was lingering inside the human body, and as it turns out, they were right.

As reported by Science Alert on Tuesday, the newly classified organ, called the mesentery, is located in the digestive system, and with this finding comes the potential for major breakthroughs in understanding and treating abdominal and digestive diseases.

The finding was published in the November issue of one of the top medical journals, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatologyand its identification has been added into the latest medical textbooks.

In other words, medical students are now being taught that the mesentery is a distinct and continuous organ, whereas, in the past, it was taught that it was made up of fragmented, separate structures.

J Calvin Coffey,  the researcher from the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland who first made the discovery, explains that this new classification gives way to figuring out the organ's function and, more precisely, understanding when it's not functioning properly and how to fix it.