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Horseshoe Crab Blood Is Vital To Pharmaceutical Companies, But Now Populations Are Falling

By Nick Visser

From Mother Nature Network’s Laura Moss:

If you’ve ever taken medication or received a surgical implant, thank a horseshoe crab. Although they look prehistoric, these sea creatures have become essential to modern medicine.

Every drug certified by the FDA — as well as every implant and prosthetic device — must be tested using an extract from the animal’s milky blue blood.

Horseshoe crabs have a primitive immune system, so they fight off infection with a compound in their blood called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate. LAL binds and clots around fungi, viruses and bacterial endotoxins, protecting the crabs from …read more

Source: Huffington Post Green