New Human Organ Is Identified
A membrane that connects that large and small intestines and anchors them into place in has now been reclassified as an organ, according to scientists. Until now, most experts have considered the organ—which is called the mesentery—to be comprised of a series of fragmented membranes, but a recent review revealed that Leonard da Vinci actually identified the organ as a single structure in one of its earliest anatomical descriptions. Recent studies of patients undergoing abdominal surgeries and cadavers have led researchers to conclude the mesentery is indeed one continuous organ.
With the new classification, scientists will now begin studying the anatomy and structure of the mesentery more closely, with a goal of learning more about how the organ functions. A better understanding of mesentery function will help doctors identify abnormalities and diseases associated with the organ.
The distinct function of the mesentery is unknown at this time. Also, researchers have not yet classified the organ into one body system, as it plays an important role in the intestinal, vascular, endocrine, cardiovascular, and immunological systems.
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