A movement toward fighting infections
Don’t flush away a chance to make a scientific contribution (and earn some cash, too). Having just the right type of poop could earn you $40 a sample and help the nation fight drug-resistant infections.
That’s the case for 22 individuals in the Boston area with “fairly close to perfect” stools, which they donated in special laboratory toilets, according to a recent CNN article. The healthy, life-saving bacteria from their guts helps to fight harmful bacteria such as C. difficile when transferred via fecal transplant into the guts of people sickened with the microorganism.
OpenBiome, a company that says it has “set the standard of care for fecal microbiota transplantation and stool production,” has created thousands of treatments using the method.
But when it comes to medical research, not just any poop will do. Less than 3% of prospective donors pass the company’s rigorous screening process that involves a 109question clinical evaluation and stool-based infectious pathogen screenings. Acceptable offerings also must fall in the middle of the types catalogued on the Bristol Stool Chart, which has seven rankings for excrement based on consistency.
As OpenBiome’s Research Director, Mark Smith, told CNN: “It’s easier to get into MIT and Harvard than it is to get enrolled as one of our donors.”