Certain bacteria in the colon are essential to survive. If you don't have that bacteria, it may be necessary to take someone else's poop and put it up your colon in order to transplant the bacteria. The conventional method is by colonoscopy, but there will soon be an oral delivery method.
Many hospitals maintain in-house poop banks to have the bacteria readily available for fecal transplants. But smaller clinics and independent doctors usually don't have such resources. That's where OpenBiome comes in. This new company founded by MIT scholar Mark Smith collects medical grade poop and distributes to doctors in need. Chelsea Rice writes for the Boston Globe:
“Think of us as a blood bank, but for poop,” said Smith, who developed OpenBiome when he saw the gap in the medical structure to provide many patients with the life-saving fecal samples. “You shouldn’t have to fly across the country to get poop.”
Donors undergo a thorough medical screening that includes tests for infectious diseases. Once approved, they visit the facility, make a deposit, and earn $40:
Once a donor’s sample passes the medical exam, he or she is enrolled and scheduled to visit the Medford facility every day. Each visit takes 30 minutes, during which the donor produces a sample into a hat-shaped bowl that rests over an ordinary toilet. Then the donor walks out with $40.
The cold, hard cash is not, however, the only reward. To further encourage new donors to sign up, and current donors to donate more often, OpenBiome is turning pooping into a game, awarding Super Pooper nicknames—such as Vladimir Pootin, King of Poop, and Winnie the Poo—to those donors with the most samples. (These heroes remain anonymous.) The more doo you donate, the higher your Super Pooper character will climbs in the rankings. So eat your fiber!
To celebrate the move to our new lab, some sweet treats inspired by our product line. Patty cake anybody? pic.twitter.com/gj1R61s3il— OpenBiome (@OpenBiome) April 17, 2014
-via Dave Barry