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Coming to a Standard for Fecal Transplants

Fecal transplants can be a successful way to change up a patient's gut microbiome and to treat resilient Clostridium difficile infections, but there isn't a standard way to perform one, Nature reports.

The US Food and Drug Administration has said that it oversees such procedures, and doctors wishing to perform one must file a Investigative New Drug application with the agency that contains details of their procedure. But, it may be years, Nature says, until FDA comes down on which way is the safest and best.

Until then, it adds, there are a number of unresolved questions to address, a major one being: What conditions can this treat? Other items to consider are the source and preparation of the "drug."

Still, regulation could be difficult given the nature of such a transplant. "How the FDA plans to regulate human feces is a mystery to me," Trevor Van Schooneveld from the University of Nebraska Medical Center tells Nature.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.