Seeing as breast implants are often considered unattractive nowadays and butt implants are fraught with complications from the use of industrial-grade silicone, I suppose it’s only natural that the synthetic transplant industry looks for a new product to market. That said, reports suggest that their latest efforts have gone to shit—literally. “The fake stool, dubbed ‘RePOOPulate,’ is intended to replace donated human stool used in fecal transplants,” according to The Canadian Press.
Mind you, people won’t be getting rePOOPulated for cosmetic purposes or as a part of the latest fad diet. It’s actually meant to be used in treatment of C. difficile, a noxious bacteria in the colon that really is the shits, causing “severe and often debilitating diarrhea,” as per the CP. It was developed by microbiologists at the University of Guelph as a less-disgusting alternative to having someone else’s fecal matter shoved up your rectum. No, really.
Y’see, Clostridium difficile often becomes a problem when people take antibiotics that kill the friendly bacteria in their stomachs in order to treat an infection elsewhere in their body. This allows C. diff, the illest of the ill, to own the colon as the biggest gangsta in the hood. Even when other antibiotics are used to flush out C. diff, it often comes back the very next day, like a cat in a Fred Penner joint. (Gangsta rap and Fred Penner in the same paragraph? Booyah!)
As it turns out, doctors found they could treat C. diff by injecting someone else’s dookie, but that procedure proved to be problematic. “Patients don’t like it,” Guelph microbiologist Emma Allen-Vercoe told the CP. “A lot of them will put up with it because they’re desperate … and donors are not terribly keen usually.” Mind you, I can’t say I’ve seen too many poop-donation clinics around town. They don’t seem to advertise in the Globe or the Star, in any case.
Nevertheless, by using one generous donor’s stool sample, Guelph U was able to produce a secret blend of 33 bacteria and fungi that’ll rock your body right. “It looks a little like a vanilla milkshake,” Allen-Vercoe told the CP. “And it doesn’t smell nearly as bad as poop, I must say.” While only two elderly patients have been rePOOPulated to date, both showed no signs of C. difficile for six months, even after taking other antibiotics. The doctor who performed the transplants also noted “stool samples from the women showed that some features of the synthetic stool had stabilized and persisted in their colons.” So maybe it does enhance your defecating experience after all…