Here’s something else to think about the next time you sit on a toilet.
Singapore-based Asian Microbiome Library, a gut microbiome company and Southeast Asia’s only stool bank, is calling on Singaporeans to donate poop that could potentially be used to treat cancer and more than 10 other diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Donors would need to undergo strict reviews and tests before they can donate their feces for use in transplants, while any form of stool is welcome in its microbiome library for research purposes.
“For this to happen, we will need to [have] a large library of donors with faeces containing suitable gut microbiota that will enable future therapeutic applications of [Faecal Microbiota Transplant] in cancer management,” said David Tan, senior consultant at the National University Cancer Institute.
Evidence has shown that gut bacteria responds well to cancer treatments like immunotherapy, according to the poop library. It can also be used to treat bacterial infections like clostridium difficile, a spore-forming bacteria that causes diarrhea for people who have been treated with antibiotics, it said. This is done through a fecal microbiota transplant, in which feces from healthy individuals are used to repopulate patients’ intestines with the right bacteria.
The stool bank has already kicked off its #PoopSavesLives campaign, in partnership with the National University Health System, urging non-constipated individuals to come forward and add to their fecal library with quirky posters across Singapore.
“Dropping the kids off at the pool saves lives,” reads one showing an image of children smiling and posing underwater, while another said, “Sitting on the throne saves lives,” against a backdrop of a man sitting on a throne in royal garments.
Interested donors can fill out an online questionnaire to find out whether their poop is worth the scoop.
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