Scientists discover a brand-new, tiny body part

Scientists have found a new layer in the human cornea dubbed Dua's layer. They say it could broaden understanding of corneal diseases.

Scientists have discovered a brand-new body part.

According to the Alpha Galileo Foundation, a professor at the University of Nottingham in England recently found a new layer in the human cornea. Just 15 microns thick, it's been dubbed Dua's layer after the professor, Harminder Dua.

"This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be rewritten," Dua told the foundation. "Having identified this new and distinct layer deep in the tissue of the cornea, we can now exploit its presence to make operations much safer and simpler for patients."

Related: Older corneas may be OK for transplant

Before now, scientists believed the cornea had just five layers. They found the new layer by injecting air bubbles into eyes donated for scientific research, the foundation reported.

The foundation said the discovery could broaden understanding of corneal diseases. A previously mysterious bulging of the cornea is now believed to be caused by a tear in Dua's layer, for example.

Related: Protect your eyes at every age

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