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The Nation's First Poop Transplant Bank Has Opened

Illustration for article titled The Nations First Poop Transplant Bank Has Opened

Poop transplants—in which doctors take poop from one person and then put it directly into another person's butt—are a relatively new technology that can save lives. So it only makes sense that a human stool bank has opened to provide doctors with safe fecal matter from screened donors.

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OpenBiome was founded by 27-year-old doctoral candidate Mark Smith along with three of his colleagues in order to help doctors treat patients with Clostridium difficile, which kills 14,000 Americans a year. C. diff, as it's called, is a gastrointestinal infection that occurs when a course of antibiotics has killed off the good bacteria in the colon.

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A study published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine found that fecal transplants—that restores the colon's good bacteria through donor poop—are the most effective way to treat patients with C. diff. The problem, though, was finding healthy stool donations.

Enter OpenBiome, the nonprofit organization which has provided more than 135 frozen donations to 13 hospitals since September. But if you're looking to donate any poop, OpenBiome says, "We currently have a full team of donors hard at work, though we appreciate the offer!"

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DISCUSSION

yvanehtnioj
yvanehtnioj

I just finished reading Gulp, Mary Roach's book about the alimentary canal, and the chapter about this procedure was easily the most interesting in the book. It seems gross, but it's an incredibly simple procedure with a very high success rate.