Irish boffins discover a new organ in human body
A new organ in the body has been identified by a group of Limerick scientists.
The organ is known as the mesentery and it was previously thought to be just a few fragmented structures in the digestive system.
But now scientists at the University of Limerick have realised it is in fact one, continuous organ.
Although its function is still unclear, the discovery opens up "a whole new area of science", said J Calvin Coffey, a researcher at UL who discovered it.
Following its reclassification, medical students are now being taught that the mesentery is a distinct organ.
Although there are generally considered to be five organs in the human body, there are in fact now 79, including the mesentery.
The heart, brain, liver, lungs and kidneys are the vital organs, but there are another 74 which play a role in keeping us healthy.