The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is just one type of microbe that lives in the human gut.

(Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Inside your gut are trillions of microorganisms that are not your own cells, and scientists think they could hold the key to fighting disease.

A first step in learning more is to gather stool samples. That's the mission of The BioCollective, a Colorado-based company that gives people financial incentives to collect their stools for science.  As part of a recently announced White House Initiative, The BioCollective will collect samples for research into how gut bacteria impact sickle cell, a disease afflicting 100,000 people in this country, most of them African-Americans. Martha Carlin, founder and CEO of  The BioCollective in Centennial, spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.