The blood of this animal costs $60,000 per gallon because of its use in the pharmaceutical Industry. It is quite unbelievable that this animal blood is very expensive.
Many called the blood, magic blood. It is blue in color and contains an important chemical known as Limulus amebocyte lysates. This chemical is so vital in the pharmaceutical industry because it is used to detect bacterial toxins in drugs and vaccines.
All Intravenous-drip, implant medical devices are passed through this blood to know if it will be safe for human use, it will detect if there are bacteria toxins in it or not.
The animal which possesses this blood is called Horseshoe crab. They are mostly found in North America and can also be found in China too. They look so much like a spider, and they are often called Misnomer, but they do not belong to the Crustacean family.
Many people have been farming and looking for this horseshoe crab for so many years because of its profit, as at October 2019, one liter of this blood cost about $15, 850, which means 1gallon which is 4 liters cost $60,000
You can get up to 500mls of blood from a large female Horseshoe crab, I.e. about 8 of them will give you a gallon of the blood. However unlike the female, the male has little quantity of blood, you can only get a maximum of 100mls from a male Horseshoe crab.
People in the east and gulf coast of the United States and Mexico have been farming this animal for many years, because of the importance of the blood to the pharmaceutical Industry.
The Pharmaceutical company in a year drains the blood of about 500,000 Horseshoe crab, to determine if vaccines or drugs produced are safe for use by Human.
After their blood is drained and used for the test, they are returned to the ocean, but a little number has been recorded to survive this, many of them end up dying due to the low level of blood in their body. Their reproductive health is also affected especially in the females, this will affect the laying of eggs because a larger amount of blood is drained from them.
Their numbers in population have reduced drastically over the years majorly because they are not only used to test vaccines but also a source of food for humans and other bird species such as the Red knot bird.
Considering the over-reliance on Horseshoe crab for vaccine and drug tests, conservationists have detected a synthetic alternative to Horseshoe crab which is Recombinant Factor C (RFC). This will end the reliance on Horseshoe crab.
In the early 2000s, a synthetic form of amebocyte lysate, the chemical found in the blue blood of the crab was produced known as Recombinant Factor C and it is also used to determine bacteria in vaccines and drugs, but it's widespread use have been hampered by U.S regulations, which have ruled that any pharmaceuticals that will opt for the synthetic form would have to undergo an extra test to confirm it's potency.
So next time you see a Horseshoe Crab don't kill or throw away, you might be making millions of naira from it.
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