Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

'The Ultimate Probiotic'

Antibiotics no longer treat the superbug Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, so researchers are trying something else: transplanting fecal matter from healthy patients into the colons of C-diff sufferers in the hopes that the healthy bacteria will fight off the C-diff infection and repopulate the patient's colon, says the AP's Lauran Neergaard. Lawrence Brandt, at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, calls the treatment the "ultimate probiotic." He has performed 17 of these fecal transplant procedures, and he — and other doctors and researchers — says that this method is the only way to improve the health of C-diff sufferers. Here's the catch, Neergaard says — fecal transplants haven't really been studied in a way that's consistent with scientific standards of accuracy, and no one has ever really recorded the instances when it didn't work. Some doctors are holding off on the procedure until studies are conducted and confirmed to prove the method really does work. Brandt is planning to conduct a pilot study to see how well the method really works, Neergaard adds.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.