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  Health Highlights: Jan. 5, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Scientists Identify New Organ in Body

Scientists say they've identified a new organ in the body -- a swath of tissue dubbed the mesentery that connects the intestine to the abdomen and holds everything in place.

For years, anatomical experts have thought the organ was composed of several different segments of tissue, as opposed to being one single structure, according to Discover magazine. Since an organ must be one structure that performs a vital function, it was not deemed worthy of organ status.

But recent research from doctors at the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland shows that the mesentery is actually one single band of tissue, the magazine reported Tuesday. It begins at the pancreas and wraps around the small intestine and colon. Its purpose: to hold these organs in position so they can perform their respective functions.

"Without it you can't live," lead researcher Dr. J. Calvin Coffey, a colorectal surgeon at Limerick, told the magazine. "There are no reported instances of a Homo sapien living without a mesentery."

"Understanding how and why our digestive system is arranged the way it is could be crucial to our understanding of diseases like Crohn's and irritable bowel syndrome," Coffey added.

"There are a lot of diseases that we are stalled on, and we need to refresh our approach to these diseases," Coffey said. "Now that we've clarified its [the mesentery's] structure, we can systematically examine it. We're at a very exciting place right now."

The discovery was published recently in the Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology journal.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=718418

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Tissues
Digestive System
Pancreas
Lead
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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