The Excrement Experiment






“The inspiration for OpenBiome was a friend of Smith’s, an otherwise healthy man in his twenties who, in 2011, acquired C. difficile following gallbladder surgery. ‘He ended up on seven rounds of vancomycin over a year and half,’ Smith told me. ‘He was very sick.’

The man found a doctor who was open to the idea of performing a fecal transplant and waited six months while the doctor researched the procedure. Finally, unable to wait any longer, he gave himself a transplant using his roommate’s stool. ‘It worked for him,’ Smith, who was then completing his Ph.D., said. ‘But the whole thing seemed very bizarre to me: why is it so hard to get a treatment that is very effective?'”

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