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It's All Icky

Much of medicine is gross. And fecal transplants are especially high on the gross-out scale, Steve Mirsky writes at Scientific American. But even icky things can be medically helpful — think leeches for re-attaching fingers rather than ones in murky ponds, maggots to clean wounds rather than ones feasting on carcasses, and now feces, he adds.

A name change may help people forget what such a procedure — the US Food and Drug Administration recently said it would require an Investigational New Drug application for such procedures before backtracking to say it was exercising enforcement discretion — may entail. After all, Mirsky notes that biosurgery refers to the maggots. "So embrace the Microbiome Transplant with a smile. It belongs," he writes. "Because everything about this is disgusting."