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How The Horseshoe Crab Is Lucky For Humans, But Not For Itself

Something about the blood of horseshoe crabs makes it an ideal medium for testing drugs intended for use in humans. Not ideal for the horseshoe crab, obviously.

There's a whole industry involved with bleeding the crabs and securing the permissions to do so. And it's described in great detail by William Sargent in his book Crab Wars: A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Ecology, and Human Health.

Sargent joins us to talk about the risks to the continued survival of the crab, and what alternatives may exist now or in the future to its use in pharmaceutical development.

The book was originally published in 2006 and has been updated in a second edition.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.