Welcome to the party. Humans were introduced to their 79th organ after scientists at the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland found that the mesentery, a band of connective tissue in the digestive system, wasn’t fragmented. Instead, it was one continuous structure and vital to remaining alive. As for its exact function, the jury’s still out.

This is a big discovery, opening up an entirely new field that has never been explored.

“This is relevant universally as it affects all of us,” Professor of Surgery at UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School, J Calvin Coffey, who made the discovery, said. “Up to now there was no such field as mesenteric science. 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.”

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