University researchers have discovered a new part of the human body. But, there’s a reason it has gone unknown for so long — it’s only 15 microns thick.

The new part is a previously unknown layer of the eye’s cornea. It was discovered by scientists at the University of Nottingham while they were studying the clear protective part in front of the eye, which was originally thought to have only five layers.

Scientists Discover New 15 Micron Layer of Human Cornea

The human cornea is 550 microns thick (0.5 mm). The new layer of the cornea discovered by researchers composes only 15 microns of this structure. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

“This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written. 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,” Professor Harminder Dua, who discovered the layer, said, according to Alpha Galileo.

He said that more diseases of the cornea are now being related to the absence or a tear of this very layer, dubbed the “Dua layer.”

The “Dua layer” is located at the back of the cornea. To give you an idea of its thickness — or thinness rather — the entire cornea averages 550 microns thick, which is about 0.55 mm.

The discovery was made when scientists injected air bubbles into the corneas of eyes donated for research. This separated the layers and allowed them to view details with electron microscopy.

The researchers findings were published in the journal Opthalmology.

(H/T: Popular Science)

Featured image via Shutterstock.com.

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