(Fox News) Think of it, in the words of Science News, as the “Brown Cross.” OpenBiome, started by grad students, has the distinction of being the nation’s first stool sample bank, and its creators make a convincing case that it’s long overdue.

Consider that about 14,000 Americans die each year from a gastrointestinal infection known as Clostridium difficile. Doctors have found that fecal transplants are an effective remedy for C.diff, but it’s such new territory that finding safe samples isn’t so easy.

Enter OpenBiome, which provides $250 samples to hospitals from screened patients, and has sent more than 135 such “preparations” to 13 hospitals since September; the samples are currently exclusively used for the treatment of C. diff.

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