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.”
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.