Which animal has saved the most human lives?Evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod answers your wild question.
November 16, 2016
The award for ‘most lives saved’ must go to the Atlantic horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus.
In the 1950s, scientists isolated from its bright-blue blood a clotting agent, coagulogen, that binds to fungi and endotoxins.
This led to a simple, reliable method for detecting impurities in medical equipment and pharmaceutical drugs.
Oxygenated blood is harvested from the pericardium of wild-caught crabs, which are then returned to the sea.
The product is used to test drugs and medical instruments, saving pretty much anyone who has ever received any medical attention.
Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine
STOP THE WILLIAMS FRACKED GAS PIPELINE THROUGH NY HARBOR!
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS ABOUT NY HARBOR
1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
2.Heartbeats in the Muck by John Waldman
3. The Fisheries of Raritan Bay by Clyde L. MacKenzie Jr.
4. Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell