Vaccines have saved millions of lives, but they still need to be tested for safety before they can be used in humans.
One of the most important tests is for endotoxins, which are harmful bacteria that can cause fever and sepsis.
Traditionally, the test for endotoxins has used horseshoe crab blood.
However, this test is expensive, time-consuming, and harmful to horseshoe crabs.
Scientists have developed a new synthetic alternative to horseshoe crab blood for endotoxin testing.
This alternative is called recombinant factor C (rFC), and it is just as accurate as the traditional test.
The switch to rFC testing will be a major victory for horseshoe crabs. Every year, millions of horseshoe crabs are bled for endotoxin testing.
10 Crucial Steps
Master your Money