Getting a fecal transplant in a pill might be just as effective as a colonoscopy

Getting a fecal transplant in a pill might be just as effective as getting one with a colonoscopy, according to new research. This could be very good news for people with a painful bowel infection, since taking a capsule by mouth is far less unpleasant than undergoing surgery.

Fecal transplants involve replacing a person’s feces in the bowel with those of a healthy donor. They are used to treat a type of infection, brought by the bacteria Clostridium difficile, that causes severe diarrhea and sometimes fever, nausea, or even kidney failure. Because the C. diff bacteria disrupts the normal bacteria in the gut, fecal transplants — which include plenty of healthy gut bacteria — can solve the issue. Though the procedure is usually done via…

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The FDA has approved the first digital pill

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first digital pill for the US which tracks if patients have taken their medication. The pill called Abilify MyCite, is fitted with a tiny ingestible sensor that communicates with a patch worn by the patient — the patch then transmits medication data to a smartphone app which the patient can voluntarily upload to a database for their doctor and other authorized persons to see. Abilify is a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and is an add-on treatment for depression.

The Abilify MyCite features a sensor the size of a grain of sand made of silicon, copper, and magnesium. An electrical signal is activated by the sensor when it comes into contact with stomach acid — the sensor…

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