Researchers build ‘robogut’ to make fake feces for safer transplants

Canadian researchers have built an artificial gut to synthesize feces in the lab in an attempt to make fecal transplants safer for the patients who need them. Along with her colleagues at the University of Guelph in Ontario, microbiologist Emma Allen-Vercoe is working to eliminate the risk that the transplanted poop contains pathogens which will endanger the recipient.

Fecal transplants represent an icky but promising way of treating deadly intestinal bacteria — particularly Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, a dangerous bacterium responsible for killing an estimated 14,000 Americans every year. But relatively few transplants take place in the United States, in part because of onerous regulations imposed by the Food and Drug…

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