Newly Discovered Or Recognized Human Organs


Parish Watch
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Oct 29, 2002
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East of Suez
The answer, I suppose, depends on how one defines an organ, but by one measure at least the response to the thread's title should be in the affirmative. It sounds--on the face of it--implausible: that this far into the development of modern medicine science could conceivably have discovered something the could accurately be described as, at least, organ-like in the human body with which we are so familiar. the truth, of course is that beyond the canonical-ish 11, there are a great many more 'organs' in the human body, some less readily discernible than others. The explanation for the elusiveness of this new discovery is in the text.

Newly-discovered human organ may help explain how cancer spreads
By Jessica Hamzelou

A newly discovered network of fluid-filled channels in the human body may be a previously-unknown organ, and it seems to help transport cancer cells around the body.

This discovery was made by chance, from routine endoscopies – a procedure that involves inserting a thin camera into a person’s gastrointestinal tract. Newer approaches enable doctors to use this procedure to get a microscopic look at the tissue inside a person’s gut at the same time, with some surprising results.

One team had expected to find that the bile duct is surrounded by a hard, dense wall of tissue. But instead, they saw weird, unexplained patterns. They took their findings to Neil Theise, a pathologist at New York University School of Medicine.

Shock absorbers
When Theise used the same endomicroscopy device to look under the skin of his own nose, he saw a similar result. Further investigation of other organs suggested that these patterns are made by a type of fluid moving through channels that are everywhere in the body.

Theise reckons that every tissue in the body may be surrounded by a network of these channels, which essentially form an organ. The team estimate that the organ contains around a fifth of the total fluid volume of the human body. “We think they act as shock absorbers,” says Theise.

This organ was likely never seen before because standard approaches for processing and visualising human tissue causes the channels to drain, and the collagen fibres that give the network its structure to collapse in on themselves. This would have made the channels appear like a hard wall of dense protective tissue, instead of a fluid-filled cushion.

Continued with discussion of a link with the transmission of cancer:


Justified & Ancient
Mar 10, 2015
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It is quite surprising. I believe it's only recently they discovered that we have a large clump of neurons near our stomach as well.


Ephemeral Spectre
Nov 23, 2013
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It is quite surprising. I believe it's only recently they discovered that we have a large clump of neurons near our stomach as well.

Apparently we have more neurons (brain cells) around our stomachs than a cat has in its entire brain.
So when we say we have ‘gut instinct’. . .


I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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Jul 19, 2004
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Out of Bounds
A mysterious structure - presumed to be a set of glands - has been discovered in the back of the nasopharynx, in the center of the human head. It may be a previously unrecognized set of salivary glands. Its location suggests radiotherapy should avoid irradiating it as often as has occurred before knowing it's there.
Scientists Just Discovered a Mysterious Organ Lurking in The Centre of The Human Head

Medical researchers have made a surprise anatomical discovery, finding what looks to be a mysterious set of salivary glands hidden inside the human head – which somehow have been missed by scientists for centuries up until now.

This "unknown entity" was identified by accident by doctors in the Netherlands, who were examining prostate cancer patients with an advanced type of scan called PSMA PET/CT. When paired with injections of radioactive glucose, this diagnostic tool highlights tumours in the body.

In this case, however, it showed up something else entirely, nestled in the rear of the nasopharynx, and quite the long-time lurker.

"People have three sets of large salivary glands, but not there," explains radiation oncologist Wouter Vogel from the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

"As far as we knew, the only salivary or mucous glands in the nasopharynx are microscopically small, and up to 1,000 are evenly spread out throughout the mucosa. So, imagine our surprise when we found these." ...

The new discovery made by Vogel's team is much larger, showing what appears to be a previously overlooked pair of glands – ostensibly the fourth set of major salivary glands – located behind the nose and above the palate, close to the centre of the human head. ...

"We call them tubarial glands, referring to their anatomical location [above the torus tubarius]." ...


The tubarial salivary glands: A potential new organ at risk for radiotherapy

Matthijs H. Valstar, Bernadette S. de Bakker, Roel J.H.M. Steenbakkers, Johannes A. Langendijk,
Ludi E. Smeele, Wouter V. Vogel, et al.

Published:September 22, 2020


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