GUELPH, Ontario — Outside of Emma Allen-Vercoe’s office is a bulletin board pinned with her team’s scientific papers since 2013. It’s the academic’s answer to a military uniform grown heavy with medals.
But all of that research has come with a side effect: an impressive intimacy with the smells of human digestion.
“This is what we formally call the poopy lab,” she said one morning at the end of January. “Every donor that we use has a distinct aroma, because they have a different profile of microbes in the gut, so it’s like a fine wine — just not quite so fine. I guess this is Eau de Ulcerative Colitis … which smells different from Eau de Obesity, and Eau de Healthy Person.”
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Developing laboratories to replicate the functionality of each component can be the beginning of building labs that simulate systems and ultimately the whole body. Concurrently, a science and engineering model of the body should be created on a computer to study the functionality of components, systems, and the whole body.
Interesting article on a topic that we don’t usually thinking about. It makes perfect sense.
Thank you, Emma Allen-Vercoe, and those who work in the “poopy lab” at the University of Guelph. T
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