Everybody poops, but not everyone makes money out of it. What’s considered to be bodily waste can prove to be a prized gem with a total annual earning of $13,000. OpenBiome, a non-profit stool bank, treasures poop to be some form of life-saving treatment.
People infected with Clostridium difficile experiences diarrhea and other symptoms severe enough that they can get hospitalized. Complications include colitis or inflammation of the colon and sepsis, leading to approximately 14,000 deaths each year. The infection is often due to prolonged use of antibiotics, making it quite difficult to treat. Fecal bacteriotherapy or a stool transplant is currently the most effective way to treat a C. difficile infection where medications and probiotics have been insufficient.
Putting fecal matter onto an infected patient’s gut using nasogastric tubes (NG tubes) may sound horrible, but that was how traditional methods saved lives. The newer treatment arrives in capsule form, whereas frozen fecal matter thaws out once it enters the body to be released in an infected person’s small intestines. The modern, less invasive method has seen a success rate of 90 percent.
Where do the feces come from? That’s where the opportunity to make money out of poop comes in. OpenBiome collects and screens stool samples and distributes the frozen material across clinics and hospitals. The organization is willing to pay $40 for every donation for stool donors who can drop off multiple samples a week for two months. You get a $50 bonus if you come in for five days, meaning you can earn $250 in a single week.
Joining the registry is easy, but only a chosen few gets rewarded to poop. Certain requirements should be met in terms of age, BMI, and close proximity to their labs. Qualified members will be contacted for screening and are asked to fill out a health questionnaire, attend a clinical interview, complete a stool and blood test. Donating is made fun at OpenBiome with incentives for participants who donate the most or provide the largest poop sample.