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Scientists have discovered a new part of the body

Scientists have recently discovered a part of the body that has never been described before: the deep layer inside the master muscle (the sciatic muscle) that lifts the lower jaw and is vital for chewing.

Modern anatomy textbooks state that the master muscle has two layers: the deep layer and the superficial layer. “Although few historical texts have suggested the possibility of a third layer, they are very contradictory about its position,” the study authors wrote in a new report in the Annals of Anatomy.

Therefore, the researchers decided to investigate whether the prominent jaw muscle may have a hidden and very deep layer, as stated in historical texts. To do this, they described 12 human corpses stored in formaldehyde. They also scanned 16 new bodies and examined MRI scans of a living person. Through these studies, the researchers were able to identify the third layer of the master muscle, which was anatomically distinct.

This deep layer extends from the cheek appendage (the bony protrusion that forms part of the cheekbones and can be felt right in front of the ear) to the occipital appendage (the triangular bulge in the mandible). “This deep part of the master muscle is clearly different from the other two layers in terms of direction and function,” said Zilvia Mezi, lead author of a paper from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel in Switzerland. “Based on the arrangement of muscle fibers, this layer of muscle is likely to help stabilize the mandible by lifting and shrinking the appendix,” the researchers wrote in their report.

Masseter muscle

The newly discovered muscle layer extends from the back of the cheekbones to the anterior muscular appendage of the mandible.

According to Mazi, the newly discovered muscle layer is the only part of the master muscle that can pull the jawbone back. Dr. Jens Christoph Turb, lead author of the article, said:

Although it is generally assumed that anatomical research over the past 100 years has spared no effort and discovered everything, our findings are a bit like zoologists finding a new species of vertebrate.

In their paper, the researchers suggested that the newly discovered muscle layer be called “Musculus masseter pars coronidea,” which means “the choroidal portion of the master muscle.”

They noted that the discovery could also be clinically important, as knowledge of this layer of muscle helps doctors better perform surgeries in that area of ​​the jaw as well as treat conditions associated with the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull.


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