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# Too much information?
New social network matches friends by... intestinal bacteria
Talk about social: it’s new, it’s exclusive, and signing up involves having to send a stool sample to Germany.

A NEW GERMAN social network promises to be one of the most exclusive in the world – requiring interest parties to mail them a sample of their poo in order to sign up.

The non-profit network, called MyMicrobes, will then analyse the stool sample (for a modest €1,500 fee) and match you up with other people with a similar presentation of gastrointestinal bacteria.

The general concept – which is actually much more noble than it may first appear – is that users suffering from an intestinal disorder, or some other kind of related health complaint, can be introduced to others with similar make-up and complaints.

It is then hoped that by allowing people within comparable make-up or experiences to discuss their conditions – and to share ideas on how they can be treated or contained – the general health of all can be improved.

The team of researchers behind the network proved earlier this year, according to, that people tend to fall into three broad categories in terms of the genetic make-up of the bacteria in their gut.

The site’s founder, Peer Bork, told Nature he was inspired to found the site after receiving dozens of emails from people asking for his help in managing conditions like diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.

While MyMicrobes will probably need around 5,000 members before it can accrue a meaningful selection of data, Bork is hopeful that the apparent prevalence of digestive complaints will be enough to make his project meaningful.

People willing to part with €1,500 and a sample of their human droppings can sign up for a stool sample kit at

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