Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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TP Replacement

Colonies of Symbiotic Fecal Eating Bacteria
  [vote for,

I would dearly love to do away with TP. In fact, even though the act of defecation can sometimes be very rewarding, it is often just an annoyance. What if, however, we could get 'innoculated' with a symbiotic colony of bacteria, that would live in our colon, eating fecal matter and creating rose- or pine- scented gas?
Paladyne, Oct 09 2002

Digestion Overview http://www.ibs-rese.../digestion1ie4.html
[Paladyne, Oct 09 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Study of Digestion Times http://elecpress.mo...4s2p2.htm#v5n4s2a19
[Paladyne, Oct 09 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Composting Dead Birds http://www.agnr.umd...lication.cfm?ID=145
[Paladyne, Oct 09 2002]


       So, you want to increase the efficiency of the gut? Fair enough. This can be done. You would still excrete, just less often and the rose scented and pine scented gases are unlikely to happen.   

       The main side effect is that you would have to extend the length of the colon and retain faeces longer increasing non-muscle bulk and weight. Imagine gaining 10-20% in weight and going up a few inches around the waist.   

       This extra tissue is going to put more strain on your circulation - you're going to need bigger lungs and a bigger heart or just put more strain on the existing ones.   

       I prefer the alternative. Eat healthily and put less stress on your digestive system. (goes off to find pot of natural yoghurt) fishbone.
st3f, Oct 09 2002

       Indeed. And what do these symbiots excrete and where do they excrete it?
phoenix, Oct 09 2002

       [St3f] -- Check out the following links: http://www.ibs-research-update.org.uk/ibs/digestion1ie4.html http://elecpress.monash.edu.au/APJCN/vol5n4s2p2.htm#v5n4s2a19 http://www.agnr.umd.edu/MCE/Publications/Publication.cfm?ID=145   

       The average CTT is 15 hrs. Plenty of time for a good genetically engineered bacteria, I think. And since we're talking about fecal matter already sitting in your gut, it wouldn't be necessarily adding additional weight.   

       [Pheonix] -- they excrete the pine- scented gasses.
Paladyne, Oct 09 2002

       Paladyne: Check out the [link] button, near the bottom of the idea. Links there are actually clickable, and make it look like you've used the site before.   

       Don't you know how to use the seashells yet? ("He doesn't know how to use the seashells?..")
Mr Burns, Oct 09 2002

       Paladyne: It was your phrase, "Colonies of Symbiotic *Fecal* Eating Bacteria" (emhasis mine) that led me to believe that you wanted to extend the digestive tract.
If you want to replace the existing bacteria in the gut then you face three problems (that I can think of right now):
1) Designing a bacterium that is significantly more efficient than the ones that have evolved over millennia.
2) The decreasing marginal returns of extracting each unit of energy against the increasing marginal costs of further breaking down that which has already been significantly digested. (There are bacteria that do this. They are in use in sewage works and are used at high concentrations compared to the matter they are digesting and take a considerable period of time to work).
3) Trapped wind.
st3f, Oct 09 2002

       Didn't we have a post somewhere about training your dog to lick your butt? I completely fail to see the attraction of letting any living thing that close to me.
DrCurry, Oct 10 2002

       /Nick@Night "go to india. they don't have toilet paper, or toilets"/ Ya, and you better be careful which hand you eat with or try to shake hands with too   

       Crack maggots.
polartomato, Oct 10 2002

       //the act of defecation can sometimes be very rewarding//
"I'd like to thank the Academy..."
thumbwax, Oct 10 2002

       //they don't have toilet paper over there. Nor do they have toilet bowls//

Nick@Nite, where on earth did you get that from? I can assure you that they do, having been forced to make extensive use of the facilities one horrific week in Delhi.
DrBob, Oct 10 2002

       //you would have to extend the length of the colon//   

FlyingToaster, Jun 23 2008


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