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February 19, 2015

Nice work if you can get it (15)

Donors wanted: your bodily waste could be a big earner

Think before you flush: your faeces could be earning you money. The Massachusetts-based company OpenBiome, which banks and sells frozen faecal samples, is offering up to $13,000 a year for contributions from healthy, clean-living individuals. But you'd have to pass a stringent screening test first. [...]

Emma Allen-Vercoe at the University of Guelph in Canada went further to find the ideal donor, whose faeces could be used for a synthetic version of a faecal transplant. Her group wanted someone who had not taken antibiotics, didn't drink or smoke, and was healthy and in shape. They ended up using samples from a woman brought up in rural India.

Colleen Kelly, at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, no longer uses overweight donors after one of her patients developed obesity (see main story).

A study in mice suggests that a faecal transplant can even pass on personality traits, so recipients may also want to consider the disposition of their donors. "I would pick the thinnest, nicest person who eats well," says Kelly.

Posted by joke du jour at February 19, 2015 07:02 PM

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