To cure my wife, you want to transplant my *what*?

New York Times gets to the fundamentals of the strange world of microbes-as-medicine:

“She was just dwindling down the drain, and she probably would have died,” Dr. [Alexander] Khoruts [of the University of Minnesota] said.

Dr. Khoruts decided his patient needed a transplant. But he didn’t give her a piece of someone else’s intestines, or a stomach, or any other organ. Instead, he gave her some of her husband’s bacteria.

Dr. Khoruts mixed a small sample of her husband’s stool with saline solution and delivered it into her colon. Writing in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology last month, Dr. Khoruts and his colleagues reported that her diarrhea vanished in a day. Her Clostridium difficile infection disappeared as well and has not returned since.

The procedure — known as bacteriotherapy or fecal transplantation — had been carried out a few times over the past few decades.