Freezing human feces samples to create a “germ dump” that could save humanity from extinction!
Bags of feces from all over the world have been sent to scientists in Switzerland and one day they may help save humanity from extinction.
Frozen stool samples collected from places like Ethiopia and Puerto Rico were taken to Adrian Egli’s laboratory at the University of Zurich.
Egley, director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology, says he’s making a microbial dump and says the most endangered organisms live in the human gut, so we should strive to preserve them.
There are about 30 trillion cells in the human body, but the human microbiome is made up of approximately 39 trillion microbial cells, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
They play an important role in breaking down the food we eat, which helps us absorb essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
They can also regenerate the intestinal mucosa and skin, repair damaged cells, and replace dead cells with new ones.
But over the past few years, scientists have honed how important they are to our well-being.
These microbes are associated with depression, immune response, memory loss and life expectancy.
This community of micro-organisms is known as the “gut microbiota,” but its exact composition depends on our food, medications, exercise, stress levels, and sleep.
Our way of life has changed a lot in the last century. Today, we eat processed foods, practice good hygiene, and prescribe antibiotics to fight diseases that kill bacteria.
As a result, the study showed that the diversity of the human microbiota is decreasing.
“People are well aware of biodiversity, the decline of flora and fauna. If the elephant dies out, you will have no problems with your health. And if your microbiome is disturbed in a certain way, it can have serious consequences.” consequences,” Egli said. To mitigate this loss, Mr. Egli, along with colleagues from the US and Germany, launched the so-called “Microbiota Repository”. This is a bank of frozen stool samples with various microbes that can be re-cultured if they prove beneficial to the human body.
It was inspired by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which stores “backups” of valuable plant seeds in case assets are lost.
The Rationale for the Microbiota Repository was first published in 2018, and it was registered as a non-profit organization the following year.
Since then, a pilot project has begun to test the ability to effectively revive microbes from a few grams of stool, as well as discover better freezing methods. To date, an international team has collected around 3,000 stool samples, most of which come from western Switzerland.
However, Egli wants to include samples from people with different lifestyles to expand the microbial diversity in his collection, including those from rural areas.
“We are not only looking for people living in the forest – it can also be people living on farms and very different from the West,” he said.
In addition to faeces, scientists store samples of fermented foods that may contain beneficial bacteria.
Samples are currently stored in a laboratory freezer at a constant temperature of 112 degrees Fahrenheit (-80 degrees Celsius).
But as the collection grows to an expected 100,000 specimens, Egli realizes he will have to look for a larger repository.
The first batch of samples is due to be thawed after two years, and the project has received £825,000 (US$1 million) in funding to keep them frozen until then.
Source: Daily Mail