Here's a weird-counterintuitive sounding piece of news: You might be knocking back pills filled with bacteria in the future.

Not all bacteria is bad. You know this. It turns out, some are so useful, they can be used to fight off diseases.

A company called Seres Health has been working on a bacteria pill for two years, and now it's ready to test it in patients. The only tricky part is how it will deal with the variation of microbes living in different peoples' guts. The company plans to use molecular analysis to understand what bacteria are required to do good.
In recent years, large-scale studies by the National Institutes of Health and others have shown that the healthy human body is home to 10,000 or so species of microbes—outnumbering human cells 10 to one. At the same time, medical researchers have shown that the microbiome can affect health, and that swapping bacteria can cure gastrointestinal infections and potentially treat conditions such as inflammation and obesity...

The company will examine the differences between microbiomes in healthy patients and those with a particular condition... [W]hen considering how to rebalance an unhealthy microbiome, Seres Health researchers will look at which functional roles of microörganisms are out of balance and then try to restore balance by delivering microbes capable of producing or regulating those functions. If successful, Seres Health could create a new kind of medicine.
The company hasn't said what kinds of bacteria it plans to use but it does say it is trying to keep the number low.

Bacterial treatments aren't new either. The one with the most fame attached to its name is fecal transplants for C. Difficile—which are less rigorously tuned for patients. The treatment is really a see-what-happens kind of method. Seres Health's technique however would adopt a more tailored approach.

Anything is better than putting other people's poop back in your ass. [Technology Review]