Horseshoe crab research

Horseshoe crab research

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This image is part of the feature Medicine From The Sea

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Horseshoe crab research. Researcher using a syringe to take blood from a horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus). The horseshoe crab, contrary to its name, is a distant relative of the spider. It has existed unchanged for over 500 million years. Its immune system is primitive but powerful. Two proteins (alpha2-macroglobulin and limulin) in its blood are thought to be responsible for its entire immune response to invading micro-organisms. Similar proteins are found in human blood, and the research may provide an insight into the human immune system. Photographed at the Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory, Massachusetts, USA, in 2002.

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Keywords: american, animal experiment, biological, biology, blood, equipment, experimentation, female, horseshoe crab, immune system, immunology, letting, limulus polyphemus, living fossil, marine biology laboratory, mbl, research, researcher, sampling, science, scientific, syringe, taking, united states, usa, wildlife, woman, woods hole, zoology

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