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This creature’s blue blood can help develop COVID-19 vaccine

USA Today has a fascinating piece about a creature’s blood blood and how it can help develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

In this Monday, May 11, 2015, photo, Shane Godshall of the American Littoral Society holds a pair of horseshoe crabs in the Reeds Beach section of Middle Township, N.J.
In this Monday, May 11, 2015 photograph, Shane Godshall of the American Littoral Society holds a pair of horseshoe crabs in the Reeds Beach section of Middle Township, N.J. A mainstay for shorebirds, migrating horseshoe crabs affect the numbers of shorebi
Mel Evans, Associated Press

Can a horseshoe crab’s blue blood lead to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine? It certainly seems like it.

USA Today recently published a lengthy report about how the horseshoe crab’s blue blood can help defend against toxins.

The horseshoe crab’s blue blood can be used for the Limulus amebocyte lysate test, or the LAL test, which is an alarm system that sounds off when there’s bacteria.

Here’s how it works, according to USA Today:

“Simply put, it works like this: A mixture of lysate is first made from the horseshoe crab’s amebocyte or blood cells. Next, that fluid is added to whatever material a researcher is testing for safety. Depending on the test, the fluid will either clot or change color to signal the presence of a dangerous toxin.”

Researchers will use the blood when trying to determine the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, too. Read more over at USA Today.

China to manage horseshoe crab blood

Scientists in China are looking to manage the supply of horseshoe crabs blood as they look to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, The Global Times reports.

China remains one of the few natural habitats for the horseshoe crab. But there’s been concern about the amount of supply.

  • “Currently, there is insufficient horseshoe crab lysate during the COVID-19 epidemic,” according to a report from Zhanjiang Customs, The Global Times reports.