They say that we learn something new at least once a day. Well, that includes scientists, who found a new organ in the human body. And no, this is not a late April Fools joke.
The Interstitium is a very unique part of the body that is now an organ; photo from nbcnews.com
The Interstitium had been under scientist’s noses for years now since this “new” organ is already a part of our tissues in the body. Scientists had to examine the body in a new way to determine that the Interstitium was indeed a part of the human body.
In a study published in the journal “Scientific Reports,” the Interstitium is defined as a network of dense connective tissues and fluid-filled compartments. That would make the Interstitium, a full-fledged organ, a group of tissues with a unique structure that is performing a task (just like the heart or liver).
The human body is two-thirds water and most of the water contains cells. Much of the rest of the body contains fluid which is called “interstitial,” a Latin word combining “inter” or “between” and “sistere.”
The fluid and tissues connect to make the Interstitium which is found all throughout the body. You can find it below the skin and in the digestive, respiratory, and urinary systems.
The question that scientists have to figure out now is: Is the Interstitium an actual individual organ or is it a part of a system?
Along with that, the “new” organ could be particularly significant in diagnosing diseases like cancer and tracking them as well. This is because the Interstitial fluid is the source of lymph which dispatches white blood cells (they fight off disease) to wherever they are needed in the body. A panel of scientists in 2016 did report that the immune system could be key in finding very effective treatments for cancer.
Whether or not this organ is an “actual organ,” we could be going down the path towards finding a cure for cancer.