Humans have been studying the anatomy of our own bodies for thousands of years – but, to this day, scientists are still uncovering new secrets.
A team of NYU-led researchers has identified what’s said to be a previously undiscovered organ, and may even be one of the largest in the body.
A team of NYU-led researchers has identified what’s said to be a previously undiscovered organ. File photo
What was once thought to be dense, connective tissues running all throughout the body has now been found to be a network of fluid-filled compartments.
Dubbed the ‘interstitium,’ interconnected compartments act like a ‘highway of moving fluid’ that sits beneath the top layer of the skin.
It also lines the digestive tract, lungs and urinary systems, and surrounds the arteries, veins, and the fascia between muscle.
The interstitium is made up of both strong (collagen) and flexible (elastin) connective tissue proteins, with interstitial fluid moving throughout.
The system drains into the lymphatic system, and is said to be the source of lymph, which is vital to the functioning of inflammation-causing immune cells.
According to the team, the discovery of the fluid ‘highway’ could help to explain how cancer spreads in the body, and pave the way for new ways to detect and treat the disease.
Read more: dailymail.