We have regular banks for storing our money. We have blood banks and milk banks to distribute life saving bodily fluids. We have sperm banks. The latest idea for storage that might be of benefit to one’s health is a poop bank. It has become more common to treat digestive problems caused by the bacteria Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) by cleaning out a patient’s digestive biome with antibiotics, and then performing a fecal transplant to establish a new colony of digestive bacteria. But there’s the possibility that another person’s bacterial colony might not be best for our bodies. A new science paper from researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital posit that it may be time to establish the option of storing one’s own poop when they are young and healthy for possible autologous transplant is and when they ever need it. They call it a stool bank. In fact, there’s already one in the US.
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Yeah, there are quite a few unknowns. What conditions should a, er, stool deposit be kept under for years? Would the essential bacteria survive freezing, drying, or long term storage at all? How much energy would such a project require? And would it be only available to the wealthy, like umbilical cord blood, eggs, or frozen heads? Read more about the concept of a stool bank at Gizmodo.
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