Sunday, March 15, 2015

Competition for the IgNobel Awards is heating up early this year

Garbage In, Garbage Out:

Abstract The impact of the insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) on the mammalian digestive system has been poorly described. The present study aimed at evaluating the effect of chronic, low-dose exposure to CPF on the composition of the gut microbiota in a Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem: the SHIME® and in rats. The SHIME® comprises six reactor vessels (stomach to colon). The colonic segments were inoculated with feces from healthy humans. Then, the simulator was exposed to a daily dose of 1 mg of CPF for 30 days.
Wim Delvoye's Cloaca machines were a joke, people.

But perhaps the human race is not yet completely obsolete, for the accuracy of this nutrient-to-poop simulation remains to be properly tested. I for one would like to know how it reacts to 5 pints of Fullers ESB and a hot Lamb Vindaloo.

10 comments:

rhwombat said...

Um. When are the non human microbiologists (!) going to remember their physics: that microbial flora don't swim (or fly) - they crawl. Reaction vessels don't simulate the biofilms of gut, and it matters a lot. I've smelt the products of Wim's machines at MONA (AKA David Walsh's Exploritorium) and the volatile organics don't register in anything like the same way with my portable molecular analyser as my experience on the poo bench of a lab - or doing poo transplants.

Smut Clyde said...

Delvoye's machines don't actually have bacterial cultures, if memory serves. Smells are added.
The SHIME machine from Joly &c is a lot of effort to produce worthless and meaningless results. They are feeding nutrients in at one end ("75 g of a typical meal containing carbohydrate, lipid, and proteins, homogenized in 300 mL of sterile water", plus pancreatic enzymes) but not extracting any nutrients along the way. So bacteria in the "colon" vat are fed far more richly than the ones in a human colon. HA HA HA.

rh wombat said...

I wasn't aware of the additions. Given that 90% of the "dry" weight of real poo is bacterial in origin, I think We've been sold a crock of shit by both Delvoye and Joly et al. How appropriate.

OBS said...

Uhm, there have been lots and lots of studies done about chlorpyrifos, on various critters. Lots of (65) studies are nicely summarized and referenced here.

But ok, go ahead and shove it in a poop machine. At least it'll add its own subtle mercaptan odor, to ensure that nice, heady piquant nose all the scientificamists adore.

OBS said...

Sorry, dropped the final "l" on the url (there's a joke about somebody shaking the ell out of me in here somewhere...). Anyway, here's the correct link:

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/chlorptech.html

fish said...

Dr. Mrs. fish would like to contract out my digestive tract function. Stating such reasons as "marital harmony" and "aroma remediation."

Smut Clyde said...

Next article in that issue of "Environmental Science and Pollution Research": Effects of chronic exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on energy balance in developing rats.

Yay Science!

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

Someone (i.e. Smut) should try giving the SHIME machine a coffee enema, just to see what comes of it.

fish said...

Next article in that issue of "Environmental Science and Pollution Research"

How unfortunate for someone named "Loos" to be publishing in that journal. Almost like destiny.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

It's a shime, innit, feesh?
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