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Question Your World: What new organ did scientists just discover?

In science, sometimes big discoveries are sitting there right in front of us just waiting to be found. This has caused some strange discoveries in our timeline of exploration and understanding. For example, as weird as it may seem, the planet Uranus was discovered long before Antarctica, even though the Antarctic continent has been right here on Earth this whole time. It was only a couple of years back that we understood that we’ve had four species of giraffes walking around in Africa the whole time we’ve been on Earth. These discoveries seem late to the game, but keep in mind it’s based on how much research we’re doing and the process that goes into that work. With that said, scientists have just made another interesting discovery. They’ve found a new organ in our body. No, it’s not little and tucked away in one specific place, it’s actually everywhere within us. What new organ did scientists just discover? 

You would think that after thousands of years of studying the human body, we’d know about all of our organs, right? Well, here in 2018, a new organ in the human body was just discovered! Like we said, stranger things have happened. 

While trying a new observation process during a study of the human gut, scientists recently observed a special fluid-filled cushion. The as-of-yet unnamed organ acts as a padded cushion to protect our many vessels and organs, and it basically spans the entire body.

The reason scientists had never come across this before is because in the past, when they would cut out a part of an organ or study the inside of the body, they would effectively damage this fluid filled area and cause it to dry up, drain out, or collapse in on itself. Also, when studied outside of the body it looks like just another layer of tissue, thus making it a bit hard to “discover” since we didn’t know what it was this whole time. 

However, by chance during a recent medical examination using special new cameras, scientists were finally able to see it in action inside the living system for the first time ever. Remarkably, this is not a small discovery; the collective amount of fluids held by this organ is roughly 14% of your total weight. This works out to be about a fifth of all the fluids in your body. For the average US male (approximately 198 lbs) this new organ holds roughly 28 lbs of fluids! Meaning this organ accounts for about a fifth of all the fluid in your body

This interstitium, or network of fluid-filled sacs, is also of particular interest to those studying how cancer spreads. Scientists will need to do a lot more research to see if this organ acts as a gateway for cancer to spread to the rest of the body, considering that this fluid-carrying organ is literally everywhere! Perhaps this is an easy channel by which cancer cells can access different parts of the body, but more research is needed to support that notion. 

So, there you have it, there are still many new discoveries left to be found all around us and even within us. Science is a great way to get to know ourselves better, even for things that have been hidden in plain sight this whole time. Now that this body-wide organ has been found, scientists can finally focus their energy on discovering more new body parts, like that elusive third eye! 

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