So human anatomy has been changed, two doctors have forever changed the false notion about having only 78 organs supporting our existence; the team of two experts has recently announced the presence of a 79th organ in the human body known as the Mesentery. For more than a 100 years Mesentery was thought to be a disjointed set of tissues in the abdominal cavity, randomly distributed throughout the intestines, it was never really regarded as an organ; as for organ the certain part of the body has to be continuous and it must provide a vital function to our anatomy.
Mesentery was thought to be composed of segments of tissues as opposed to being one single structure. Thanks to the scientific advancements and technological innovations this particular appendage inside our bodies has been studied closely and extensively by J. Calvin Coffey, a researcher at the University Hospital Limerick as well as Dr. D Peter O’Leary who made the discovery about this important organ, crucial for our structure as well as its role in diseases.
The mesentery is a belt of tissue that is located in the abdominal cavity and it is because of this 79th organ that our intestines are being held in place; Mesentery plays a vital role in attaching the intestines to the wall of the abdomen. Moreover, several scientists also believe that it was because of Mesentery that people in the old ages were able to walk upright. The fact that mesentery is a distinct organ in our bodies is now being taught to medical students and the world’s most famous anatomy textbook, Gray’s Anatomy has been recently updated to make a place for Mesentery and to introduce it this time as organ, with a completely new definition to it.
It is quite surprising to know that the Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci was the first one to give a description about Mesentery back in 1508, but it took centuries to finally acknowledge this important organ inside our body. Mesentery was discovered in the year 2012 but it took Dr. J Calvin Coffey and Dr. D Peter O’Leary another 4 years to come up with further evidence to actually get Mesentery classified as a distinct organ.
While securing Mesentery the status of an organ on its own was a huge success for both the scientists, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered; like how and why our digestive system is arranged the way it is as it could be crucial to our understanding of diseases like Crohn’s and irritable bowel syndrome. Research and studies examining Mesentery’s role in digestive diseases, most importantly the Crohn’s disease, are still underway.