What does your poo say about you?
Faecal microbiota transplants and the mind-blowing research behind them at Melbourne Museum's new exhibition Gut Feelings.
March 16, 2019 - February 2, 2020 | Melbourne Museum
Organ transplantation has been around since the 1800s and although it is one the most challenging and complex areas of modern medicine, it is now a common procedure with the potential to not only prolong but save a human life.
In recent years though, the medical world has welcomed a new player on the scene whose profile continues to rise in popularity - the faecal microbiota transplant.
What is it, you ask? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like; you take microbe-rich-poo from a healthy person and put it into a sick person. Why? Because the easiest way to get close to our microbes—those trillions of little organisms living in and on us—is through our poo.
As more and more research comes out about our gut microbes and the powerful connection they have to our immune, nervous and hormone systems, scientists are considering how these microbes may be used to treat various health concerns. The way they are doing this is by sequencing the DNA of the microbes living in our bodies from our poo.
Seen as an amazing research tool, poo transplants are now being used as therapy for serious gut problems but also have the potential to alter mental health, thinking and behaviour!
What does this potential medical breakthrough mean for our future selves? If we can work out what role certain microbes have in different parts of our body, will we be able to modify our personality, behaviour and mood via a microbe transplant depending on what we needed?
It seems too good to be true, but with mouse studies constantly revealing astounding possibilities of faecal transplant research, anything is possible.
Gut Feelings: Your Mind, Your Microbes is now open at Melbourne Museum and explores the world of faecal transplants and more.
Visitors can listen to personal stories of donors, doctors and patients, look at objects showing the what and how of transplants such as the type of medical equipment used, learn the story of microbe evolution including antibiotic resistance, and even be part of a world-first research project by contributing saliva samples to show how, or indeed if, our inner microbes reflect our daily lives.
Gut Feelings: Your Mind, Your Microbes | Melbourne Museum
16 March, 2019–2 February, 2020
Open daily, 10am–5pm
Admission included with museum entry
Adult $15, Concession and Children FREE
Gut Feelings Lecture | Melbourne Museum
Professor Felice Jacka, Director of the Food and Mood Centre, School of Medicine at Deakin University, will reveal the latest research about how our minds, guts and microbes are inextricably linked and expand on the theme of the Gut Feelings exhibition.
15 May, 2019 | 6pm–7pm
Adult $12, Concession $10, Members $8
Interviews available with:
- Dr Johanna Simkin is the curator of Gut Feelings: Your Mind, Your Microbes
Creates exhibitions and manages the museum’s health and medicine collection
- Bobbie Riley is the faecal microbiota transplant recipient
A passionate, humorous, young gut advocate
- Dr Amy Wilson-O'Brien is the one who makes the 'poo shakes'
Clinical research scientist at the University of Melbourne
- Dr Chamara Basnayake is the surgeon who does the procedure
Consultant Gastroenterologist at the University of Melbourne & St Vincent's Hospital.