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The Dutch Are Opening Europe's First Donor Bank ... for Poop

It’s for a good health cause, but encouraging people to, uh, contribute is a challenge.
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Flickr/Steven Lilley

Surely you’re familiar with donation banks for blood, semen, or internal organs such as kidneys. But the Netherlands is taking the concept into new territory: now you can donate your poop.

Yes, that’s right. Starting this month, staff at the Leiden University Medical Center will be on the hunt for donors to provide them with fine, healthy stools to stock an institution that is the first of its kind in Europe: the Dutch Donor Feces Bank. The idea of medical staff seeking out and holding onto a substance that most people are extremely keen to get rid of might sound odd, but the bank’s work could indeed provide some Dutch people with much needed ... relief. Poop transplants, already pioneered by facilities in the U.S., have proven a viable treatment program to alleviate the nasty symptoms of a complaint called Clostridium difficile infection.