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Can tiny high-tech anal beads cure your constipation?

Can tiny high-tech anal beads cure your constipation?
[Illustration: JuliarStudio/iStock]

Maybe one day! But not the kind of anal beads you think–and definitely not the kind Miki Agrawal has been mailing to journalists.

Unlike the sex-toy variety designed for rectal insertion, a biotech solution under development at Thomas Jefferson University combine snippets of genetic material with “micro metal beads” that can be injected into tissues controlling the muscles of the sphincter, ScienceDaily reports. These “microRNAs,” which target a gene (called “RhoA/ROCK”) that regulates muscle tone, are then held in place using a magnet.

I do feel bad for the lab rats on whose furry little butts researchers have tested this intervention. But this combination of gene therapy and magnets may prove to be an effective treatment for debilitating gastrointestinal disorders ranging from chronic constipation to acid reflux. That’s an innovation we can all get (ahem) . . . behind.RB