Data website FiveThirtyEight kicked off their weekly tribute to gut science with an interesting video about your poop and what your excrement says about your health.
Scientists sometimes study human waste to learn more about diseases. Last summer, it was revealed that researchers studied poop from airplanes to track global illnesses.
The FiveThirtyEight video documents the different factors that shape someone's waste, including their age, their geographic location and their lifestyle choices. One element that binds everyone's poop together is that they all contain a numerous types of microbes, including Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli and Lactobacillus.
Scientists at the University of British Columbia's Center for Microbiome And Inflammatory Research developed a special method to study poop for medical purposes. Using a process called homogenization, the researchers mix the poop with liquid nitrogen and grind it. They then extract part of it for a DNA test.
"One day, we'll have an understanding of what each microbe in everybody's microbial signature actually means and therefore, we can test early on to correct any dysfunction that one individual might have," Dr. Deanna Gibson told FiveThirtyEight.