GOOD

Swallowing These Expensive Poop-Pills Could Help Save Thousands From a Life-Threatening Disease

A new oral method for fecal transplantation is turning heads—and maybe a few stomachs, too.

image via (cc) flickr user silvergelatin

Usually when someone tells you to “eat shit,” they don’t have your best interests in mind. Not so, however, if that someone works at OpenBiome, referred to by The New York Times as “ the nation’s first human stool bank.” There, researchers and doctors work to fight Clostridium difficile—a dangerous, and sometimes deadly, bacterial infection—by “expanding safe access to fecal microbiota transplants.


In other words, they’re in the business of putting poop inside people.

You see, Clostridium difficile, or C. Diff, which affects hundreds of thousands of Americans annually, can be effectively treated by transplanting healthy fecal matter into an infected person. Doing so essentially overwhelms the infection with the “right” digestive bacteria, thereby reestablishing intestinal balance. To date, transplantation has typically been done by way of inserting donated poop up through the colon, or down a nasal tube directly into the stomach. Now, however, OpenBiome has developed pills which are able to introduce healthy fecal bacteria without necessitating a colonoscopy or nasal tubing.

At a cost of $635, OpenBiome’s pill-based treatment simplifies the otherwise complex fecal transplant process while maintaining a high rate of success; a single round of 30 pills was shown to cure 70 percent of patients suffering from a C. Diff infection, with a second round bumping that number up to 94 percent, reports The Times. That isn’t to say it’s a foolproof system. The Times explains that there are still risks involved with swallowing poop pills, such as the potential fatal effect should the capsuel’s contents accidentally be introduced into a patient’s lungs.

All this, however, may someday be irrelevant, as scientists work toward removing feces from the equation entirely, relying on lab-cultured microorganisms instead of donated stool samples. For now, however, patients suffering from C. Diff can take solace in the fact that, while their options may still be predicated on poop, treatment, at least, has become a much easier pill to swallow.

[via ars technica]

Articles
via Jason S Campbell / Twitter

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager defended his use of the word "ki*e," on his show Thursday by insisting that people should be able to use the word ni**er as well.

It all started when a caller asked why he felt comfortable using the term "ki*e" while discussing bigotry while using the term "N-word" when referring to a slur against African-Americans.

Prager used the discussion to make the point that people are allowed to use anti-Jewish slurs but cannot use the N-word because "the Left" controls American culture.

Keep Reading
Politics

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet

According to the FBI, the number of sexual assaults reported during commercial flights have increased "at an alarming rate." There was a 66% increase in sexual assault on airplanes between 2014 and 2017. During that period, the number of opened FBI investigations into sexual assault on airplanes jumped from 38 to 63. And flight attendants have it worse. A survey conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA found that 70% of flight attendants had been sexually harassed while on the job, while only 7% reported it.

Keep Reading
Travel