I came across this article on IFLScience a few months ago, and I’m still bitter that I don’t live anywhere near Medford, MA.
Infections of C. difficile result in severe diarrhea, hospitalizing 250,000 Americans each year and causing about 14,000 deaths. It can actually come about after using antibiotics for too long, which ties into what makes it exceptionally difficult to treat. The patient’s gut microbiota is nearly wiped out, and conventional probiotics are not sufficient to replace them.
A new method [of treatment] uses capsules of frozen fecal matter, which thaw out in the body and release the contents in the small intestines. The success rates of the capsules is comparable to traditional treatments, around 90 percent.
These frozen fecal capsules are OpenBiome’s wheelhouse, as they collect and screen stool samples, and turn them into the ready-to-administer treatments for hospitals. Of course, the feces needs to be sourced from somewhere. OpenBiome pays donors who are committed to providing multiple samples per week.
The going rate is $40 per donation, with a $50 kicker for those who come five days a week. This translates into $250 per week, or $13,000 per year. OpenBiome tries to make the experience as fun as they can by offering prizes to donors who make the most donations, provide the biggest sample, etc.
So basically you can make almost a second salary per year, save lives, by just doing what you do every day anyway. I’ve never heard of anything as downside-free as this.
Well, since I can’t do it, let the Medfordians know! It’s basically free money, and you get to feel good about yourself.