If you thought you studied enough about your body in Science classes, mind you, you are wrong! Well, you are not at fault here; it is just the scientists who missed out a significant organ for thousands of years while studying human body. But nevermind, scientists have now discovered that new organ which was ignored for the longest time.
Called as ‘Interstitium’, the newly found human body organ is a shock-absorbing tissue under the skin. It is basically a series of fluid-filled compartments, found beneath the skin and in the lining of lungs, blood vessels, gut and muscles. All these compartments join together to build a network supported by a mesh of strong and flexible proteins.
Interestingly, according to a team co-led by New York University’s School of Medicine, Interstitium can be labeled as the 80th and the largest organ in the human body.
If it is the largest organ, how did it go unnoticed? Well, it is because this fluid-filled failed to show up on microscopic slide which is the traditional method used by scientists. According to the Independent, “The researchers realised traditional methods for examining body tissues had missed the interstitium because the “fixing” method for assembling medical microscope slides involves draining away fluid – therefore destroying the organ’s structure.”
It was during a study of a patient’s bile duct for signs of cancer that they came across Interstitium. These ‘shock absorbers’ protect body tissues from damage. Apart from that, Independent reports, “The researchers found evidence that cancer cells from tumors could make their way via the interstitium into the lymphatic system.”This means interstitium may, therefore, have the unfortunate side effect of spreading cancer around the body.
This new discovery will help scientists to develop new tests for cancer. “This finding has potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine, including the possibility that the direct sampling of interstitial fluid may become a powerful diagnostic tool,” said Dr Theise.