Horseshoe Crab Blood For Sale

The blue color is caused by copper in the blood. However, that is not its most intriguing feature. A special clotting agent is present in the blood. It’s used to make a substance known as Limulus amebocyte lysate or LAL. Prior to LAL, scientists had no easy way of knowing if a vaccine or medical device was contaminated with bacteria. Such as E. coli or salmonella.Horseshoe Crab Blood For Sale

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Scientists would inject vaccines into large groups of rabbits and then wait for symptoms to appear. But when LAL was approved for use in 1970, everything changed. Drop a minuscule amount of it onto a medical device or vaccine, and the LAL will form a jelly cocoon around any gram-negative bacteria. While the jelly seal cannot kill bacteria, it acts as a fire alarm. Detecting the presence of a potentially lethal infection and preventing it from spreading.

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