Scrolling through my Facebook feed is usually rather uneventful; however, last Saturday lost in a web of “cash me ousside” and Donald Trump memes was an article that caught my attention. The headline read: scientists have discovered a new organ, the mesentery. I was sceptical, very sceptical. How could years of modern medicine and surgeries overlook a whole entire organ? This is exactly what makes the mesentery unique. Unlike the liver or stomach, some of the rather common organs, it is not in an oval or J-shaped mass of cells but rather is a continuous set of tissues connecting the intestine to the abdomen.
Before I continue, to clear up some confusion, we all have this organ and it isn’t “new” in the sense that it decided to grow yesterday, but it has only recently been analysed and studied, causing its recent classification as an organ. Due to its recent discovery and limited research, many parts of the mesentery are still a mystery, such as its function. Many hospitals and doctors are working collaboratively to figure out the function and ultimately the dysfunction of the mesentery to locate diseases and possibly cure them with this understanding. Stay tuned for more!
Written by Hannah Friedrichs (’17)