NPR

Gut Check: Gas-Sniffing Capsule Charts The Digestive Tract

The electronic pill looks like the biggest multivitamin a human could possibly swallow. Tests have show that the experimental device can measure gases tied to microbes and digestion.
These large capsules, which can be swallowed, measure three different gases as they traverse the gastrointestinal tract. Source: Courtesy of Peter T. Clarke/RMIT University

To study the human gut and the microbes that live within it, scientists have a couple of options. They can grab a small piece of tissue from the gastrointestinal tract or collect a sample of fecal matter.

Neither way is ideal, says Jack Gilbert, a microbiologist and director of the Microbiome Center at the University of Chicago. "By studying [the sample], you're changing it, just by observing it, because you have to cut it out and analyze it," he says.

But a third way may become available to both scientists and clinicians. It's an ingestible electronic

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da NPR

NPR2 min letti
Photos: The Culture Of Whales
Belugas play, a sperm whale nurses, and orcas teach their pups to hunt in a series of photographs from National Geographic photographer and explorer Brian Skerry.
NPR3 min lettiCrime & Violence
Trial Of Derek Chauvin In The Death Of George Floyd Goes To The Jury
Ahead of closing arguments in the case of the former Minneapolis police officer, Judge Peter Cahill issued detailed instructions to the jury. Chauvin faces three counts.
NPR2 min letti
Eco-Activist Greta Thunberg Has A New Issue: The Moral Threat of Vaccine Inequality
The 18-year-old gave her point of view at a World Health Organization press conference, saying it's "unethical" to vaccinate young people in wealthy countries ahead of health workers in poor places.