how'd that get there?
The human body has one more organ than anyone had originally thought.
The organ, called the mesentery, is nestled in the digestive system and was originally mistaken to be several separate structures, Science Alert reports. New research, though, has revealed that the organ is actually all a single continuous piece of the same whole and an argument for its reclassification as an organ has been presented in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology. Medical texts like Gray's Anatomy have already been updated to reflect the discovery.
"The anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy was incorrect," said J. Calvin Coffey, a researcher who worked on understanding the new organ. "This organ is far from fragmented and complex. It is simply one continuous structure."
The mesentery is "a double fold of peritoneum — the lining of the abdominal cavity — that attaches our intestine to the wall of our abdomen, and keeps everything locked in place," Science Alert reports. Understanding further what exactly the mesentery does is the next step.
"Now we have established anatomy and the structure, the next step is the function. If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science … the basis for a whole new area of science," said Coffey.