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Hidden in plain sight but invisible for decades to scientists using old methods of pathologic analysis, a new organ has been discovered in the human body. This organ termed "the interstitium" consists of an interstitial space in the submucosa with fluid-filled compartments defined by a complex lattice of thick collagen bundles. This forms an interactive network connecting the skin and lining the gut, lungs, bladder, muscles, fascia, arteries, veins, and nearly every major organ. These layers had been long thought to be just dense connective tissues. This was because the anatomical structure of the organ couldn't be seen by traditional fixing methods for medical slides that drain away fluid from the tissue sample in the process, causing the protective protein meshwork of the interstitium to pancake like floors in a collapsed building. Scientific Reports published the study in March that describes the process of discovering the interstitium using advanced "in vivo" microscopy technology.

This discovery may be one of the most significant medical findings of our time and may shed light on causes and treatments for cancer and inflammatory conditions and how they spread through the body. The team that discovered the interstitium observed how its components act as shock absorbers to protect the body tissues from damage. The study of the organ was made possible with a procedure called freezing biopsy and researchers found that the layers drain into the lymphatic system, which transports lymphatic fluid and is involved in the body's immune system response. Researchers also found that cancer cells from tumors can make their way through the layers and into the lymphatic system and lead to the spread of cancer through the body.

Researchers say the findings of their study of the interstitium call for "reconsideration of many of the normal functional activities of different organs and of disordered fluid dynamics in the setting of disease, including fibrosis and metastasis," and the new organ needs to be recognized as "a potential conduit for movement of injurious agents, profibrogenic signaling molecules, and tumor cells."

It is hoped the findings of this research will prompt further study in ways of using the interstitium and its fluids to detect early stages of 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, a lead partner in the research. .


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Arbor Day has been observed every year since 1872. This year April 27th marks the 146th celebration of Arbor Day to inspire people to plant trees. The nonprofit organization formed to support this annual holiday strives to help people understand and use trees as a solution to many global issues including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger. During the last 46 years, more thatn 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world.

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A new study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine has concluded that hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and hearing difficulty are more prevalent among noise exposed workers. Researchers say that if noise could be reduced to safer levels in the workplace, more than 5 million cases of hearing difficulty among noise-exposed workers could potentially be prevented. Regular screening for these conditions is recommended so interventions can occur. The study lists the percentages of highest prevalence of occupational and industrial risk to workers of loud noise exposure by workplace category...

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Other articles of interest in this Spring 2018 TMIS eNewsletter:

* Shoppers vow to protect one of nature's most beneficial insects -- the ladybug -- this Earth Day.

* Agricultural partners launch the "No Taste for Waste" campaign, an initiative for consumers to reduce household food waste and also learn how farmers work to minimize food loss in their fields.

* Water restoration projects across America through the Nature Conservancy's freshwater program receive major corporate support.

* Useful steps for homeowners to take to maximize efficiency of water use and reduce the monthly bill.

* A look at the growing consumption of renewable energy alternatives and how the economy is benefitting.

* Alzheimer patient experiences astounding success from treatment with stem cell therapy.

* New wildlife veterinarian training program created by Smithsonian collaborators to save animals' lives around the world.

* Grocery shopping trends for using new platforms and shifts in marketplaces require retailers to develop comprehensive strategies.


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I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.

- Mary Michele McLaughlin


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