Can dog poop be used for cancer research?
A local bioscience company accepts donations of your dog’s poop for medical research.
SAN DIEGO – Everyone poops. It might be clichÃ© but it is the truth, it can also tell you a lot about your body.
“Oh wow, do you have dog poop for me?” Shaun Singer exclaims outside Nate’s Point Dog Park in Balboa Park.
It might be a weird thing to ask, but Singer and his wife Stephanie Culler will give you $ 5 for a bag of dog poop and some of your time.
The couple is a husband and wife team. Dr Stephanie Culler is the founder of Persephone Biosciences at Torrey Pines, a laboratory that analyzes gut bacteria to develop drugs for the treatment of cancer.
And, you have to get your data somewhere. This is where Shaun, the director of “Poop for the Cure” comes in.
“Over the past four years, through campaigns like ‘Poop for the Cure’, we have collected thousands of stool samples from cancer patients and healthy patients across the country.” Says Dr. Culler “We are able to really understand which microbes in our microbiome impact the response to treatment.”
So, after man’s best friend does his job, what can this tell us about fighting cancer in men?
âIt turns out that dogs actually have over 60% in common in their mircobiome, with us. They live in our environment, some of them eat the same food, they drink the same water,â says Dr. Culler “We have now realized that dogs have the same rate of cancer as humans. And we can potentially understand cancer in dogs to improve our treatments in humans.. “
Once each poo is picked up, it is placed in a cold place and the owner fills out a form about their dog’s health. To complete his research, Culler needs donation of stool samples from dogs with cancer, something hard to come by.
To find a cure, scientists have to look everywhere. Sometimes it can be on the bottom of your shoe.
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