Scientist stars of The Good Sh*t to meet the teachers

08-Nov-2018 9:44 AM

Teachers have the chance to meet with Liggins Institute scientists who fronted a frank TV documentary about gut bugs transfer research.

The Good Sh*t, a three-part documentary that aired on THREE in October, went behind the scenes of the pioneering Gut Bugs Study by researchers at the University of Auckland-based Institute who are investigating whether a gut bugs transfer – already used to treat a severe form of diarrhoea - could also treat obesity. It followed teenagers affected by obesity who took capsules of healthy, lean people’s poo in the hope it would radically improve their health.

On 27 November, the two study leads Professor Wayne Cutfield and Associate Professor Justin O’Sullivan, along with the Institute’s Dr Jacquie Bay and education consultant Ally Bull will run a day-long course for teachers of Years 7-13 exploring how the documentary – still viewable on - might be used as a springboard for learning. Participants will also take part in an online discussion programme into the 2019 academic year. 

The course was developed by LENScience, a programme which involves schools and scientists working together to foster scientific literacy in students and translate scientific knowledge into community understanding.

LENScience director Dr Bay says that schools work with the Institute to develop programmes to enable young people to explore the latest research evidence relating to the health issues that matter to their communities, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

“Teenagers are then encouraged to consider evidence-based, positive actions that their generation can lead.”

The microbiome is an explosive new research frontier that is redefining our understanding of nutrition and health. It’s all to do with the trillions of bacteria that live inside and on the surface of our bodies. Ninety-five percent of them live inside the gut where they play a crucial role in how we digest and metabolise food.

Dr Bay: “Just like any other ecosystem, evidence suggests that the more diverse our gut microbiome is, the healthier we are likely to be.”

The course will be held at the Epsom Campus of the University of Auckland, 9am-4pm on Tuesday 27 November 2018. To register go to the LENScience site.
Nicola Shepheard | Media Adviser
Tel: 09 923 1515  Mob: 027 537 1319  Email:

Topic: Education

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