Although a large part of us have not heard of it at all, in the opinion of many serious scientists transplantation of fecal flora is to be an effective method of treatment of many diseases, from autism to inflammatory bowel disease.
Now, new research from the University of Queensland suggests that the same technique can be used to help koalas adapt to environmental changes. According to Michaela Blyton, explaining the origin of their tests: – In 2013, the population of koalas reached high density, which resulted in the stripping of the leaves of the trees of their favorite species, the eucalyptus rosaceae. This, in turn, led to a 70% death rate from hunger, which was very worrying.
Researchers observed the koalas and noticed that many starving animals did not even try to feed on another eucalyptus species called Eucalyptus obliqua. And while some koala species are known to eat only this type of eucalyptus, it looks like those accustomed to the pink are not able to change their diet. – It led me and my colleague at Western Sydney University to think about whether it is by chance that koala microbiome defines the eucalyptus species that they can consume and whether we could not try to expand their diet through faecal flora transplantation.
And so researchers began collecting samples of fecal koala eating Eucalyptus obliqua, and then focusing on bacteria to create special transplant capsules. Test koalas accustomed to Eucalyptus rosaceae were then isolated and fully controlled conditions at a local ecology center fed with these capsules. The animals were examined for several weeks and their microbiomes were observed to change – the koalas also expressed a greater desire to reach for Eucalyptus obliqua, which they had not previously moved.
It could be a really big breakthrough for koalas in Australia that are losing their natural habitat and are starting to die out top web guides. In the state of New South Wales, for example, the koala population has decreased by 25% over the past 20 years and, according to the National Parks Association of NSW, their total extinction is taken into account if they take their natural environment at the same pace as recently. Now, thanks to new research, a light appeared in the tunnel, because if you manage to switch koalas to eating more eucalyptus species, their chances of survival will increase significantly.