Health, News

Scientists Identify New Organ

Mesentery: Four figures of the lacteals, the aorta & mesente. Image: Wellcome Images
Mesentery: Four figures of the lacteals, the aorta & mesente. Image: Wellcome Images

Scientists have identified a new organ in the human body. It’s called the mesentery (pronounced mess’-en-tair-ee).

An organ is a group of tissues that has a specific function in the body. Our bodies have 79 organs, including the heart, lungs, brain, skin and stomach.

The mesentery is made of fatty tissue and is shaped a bit like a fan. It is attached to the back wall of the abdomen and it helps to support the intestines and hold them in place.

The mesentery also carries blood and lymphatic fluid between the intestines and the rest of the body. It’s hard to see the entire mesentery at one time because it is partly hidden by the intestines.

Scientists used to think it was just separate ribbons of tissue. Late last year, a group of researchers from the University of Limerick in Ireland showed that the mesentery is one continuous piece of tissue that works as an organ.

Scientists think the mesentery may have several purposes in the body, such as helping with digestion, circulation and fighting disease.

Dr. J. Calvin Coffey was one of the scientists who helped to show that the mesentery is an organ. He said he hopes scientists will now be able to learn more about what it does.

Eventually, he said, understanding the mesentery could help doctors find new ways to treat diseases like diabetes or cancer.

Related Links
Information about organs

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
New discoveries are always exciting. What types of discoveries pique your interest most? why?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
Today’s article contains 8 different paragraphs. Your challenge is to write a 5 sentence summary of today’s article.

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details 
(OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea 
(OME, Reading: 1.4).

Language Feature: The University of Limerick
The university of Limerick is located in Limerick, UK. Limerick is most famous for spawning its own type of poetry. Here is an example,

There once was a wonderful star
Who thought she would go very far
Until she fell down
And looked like a clown
She knew she would never go far.

The rhyming pattern is as follows: A, A, B,B, A.
The syllable count per line is 8, 8, 5, 5, 8.

Now write your own limerick (bonus points if it’s about the mesentary!).