Minuteman News Center recently ran an article about the biology of the horseshoe crab and its contributions to science and medicine.
Here’s an excerpt:
Those ugly, scary-looking creatures found along the shoreline of our beaches, are actually helping to create medical breakthroughs. Additionally, if you’ve been vaccinated, thank a horseshoe crab. The blood of the creatures, that have been around since before the time of the dinosaurs, is used to test every batch of vaccine in the United States for toxins.
Researchers in Singapore are using horseshoe crab protein to develop a cure for diabetes. Other scientists are using horseshoe crabs to find anti-cancer agents. Still other indications point to a possible break-through in AIDs research. Astronauts have taken horseshoe crab blood into space because it will give them an instant reading on whether or not they have a bacterial infection. No need to wait for a culture to grow.