HORSESHOE CRAB CONNECTIONS: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE MEDICAL USE OF HORSESHOE CRAB BLOOD IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC VACINES
Program Leaders: Dr. John T. Tanacredi, Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (CERCOM), Molloy College
The Horseshoe Crab’s blue blood provides the only known natural source of an endotoxin detecting chemical called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) that has long been used in every laboratory around the world to test for bacterial contamination in human medicines. LAL is now even more important as an aid to combating the Covid-19 pandemic with the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Tanacredi will discuss the importance of LAL in the medical field as well as the significant need for conservation of horseshoe crabs ecologically because of their connection to migrating birds. Their protein rich eggs support millions of migrating shorebirds as they journey from as far away as South America to their arctic breeding sites, each year. There are only four species of horseshoe Crabs on earth and they are all significantly endangered. As a group, Limulus has been Red listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as threatened. In addition, their current popularity as an exotic food may finally push these animals over the brink to extinction. Join Dr. John Tanacredi in this SOFO Zoom presentation to hear more about the links between this ancient animal and humans.
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