Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spreading "culture"?

Remember my post on culture?

Looks like the "stool donor" approach is getting some traction -- Dr. Gordon is Director of the Center for Genome Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, talking to Terry Gross on Fresh Air a couple weeks back about doing exactly that:
Dr. GORDON: Well, in this particular case, a fecal community was transplanted into a diseased individual's gut and there was a beneficial effect observed over time, reflected in improvement of their symptoms. ...

GROSS: I guess one of the things I find so interesting about this fecal transplant is one, its a fecal transplant. It's so odd to think of using in this case, a spouse's feces or the community of microorganisms in those feces to transplant into the ill person's gut. Its a way of transplanting good guy bacteria instead of using antibiotics to just kill the bad guy bacteria and in the process, kill the good guy bacteria too.
I still think someday it will be more common for doctors to administer bacteria cultures than anti-biotics.

Also interesting from this interview is that 90 percent of the cells we carry around aren't actually human -- but bacterial and other non-human microbes. By count, we're ~10x more bacterial than human. Surprising, hard to believe, but also very interesting.

Having politicians kiss your babies? Maybe a good way to get healthy/successful peoples' bacteria on your kids.

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