RePOOPulate: Fecal Transplants without the GROSS POO!
Episode 50 by Scott Unger (Click here to directly access the MP3)
(Access the full text transcript)
Fecal transplants - literally taking poo from one person and putting it into another person. It may sound incredibly gross (and it is) but it’s a valid and tested treatment for a number of diseases where the gut microbes become compromised, like in Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections where use of a broad spectrum antibiotic has wiped out your natural microbes and allows C. diff to thrive.
Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, a researcher in the University of Guelph’s Molecular and Cell Biology department, has been working to take the Poo out of fecal transplants using a robotic gut in the lab to produce a cleaned up microbial ecosystem called RePOOPulate that can be used in place of a fecal transplant.
Listen to the podcast to learn more…
Also - check out some of these references:
Elaine O Petrof1, Gregory B Gloor, Stephen J Vanner, Scott J Weese, David Carter, Michelle C Daigneault, Eric M Brown, Kathleen Schroeter and Emma Allen-Vercoe. 2013. Stool substitute transplant therapy for the eradication of Clostridium difficile infection: ‘RePOOPulating’ the gut. Microbiome. 1(3).
RePOOPulate: How Fake Poop Can Cure Patients’ Stomach Ailments (Fast Co.)
Fake Fecal Transplants for Gut RePOOPulation (Scientific American 60s science podcast)
Artificial Poop, RePOOPulate, May Lead To Synthetic Fecal Transplants (Huffington Post)
Scott Unger is the producer / director of Experimental. He’s also a career science communicator with a background in Microbiology, and spent seven years working in a series of laboratories before moving into science writing. He is an alumni of the Banff Science Communications Program. Learn more about Scott from his LinkedIn résumé. You can also follow Scott on Twitter @scottu487.