The Horseshoe Crab

Are you familiar with the Horseshoe crab?

  
Did you know that their blood is blue?  Humans have red blood since our blood is based on iron, but the Horseshoe crab’s blood is based on copper, so it is more like baby blue.
Did you know that most of us have a minute quantity of their blood inside of us?
Backing up the story…..  Horseshoe crabs live in the sea, there is lots of bacteria in the sea, the Horseshoe crab has NO immune system and no way to fight off infection.  However, they have a chemical that so far as we know is totally unique to them.  This chemical called Coagulogen binds to and inactivates unwanted bacteria, viruses and fungi.  It forms a gooey barrier around the bad stuff.  
 
Frederic Bang found out about the Coagulogen in the 1960’s and we have been using it for humans ever since.  Five labs in the world do a collection of Horseshoe crabs once a year, hook them up to needles and then have a blood drive.  They drain up to 30% of their blood, and release them.  The blood goes for $15,000 a liter.

Then the coagulogen is separated out, and shipped off.  All vaccines, and other injectable drugs have some of the coagulogen inserted into it.   If no gooey barriers form, then the pharmacists know that there is no bacteria, etc within the drug, and it can be safely used for injections.  

This is called the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate test or LAL.
It is supposed that most of us owe our lives to the safety that the Horseshoe crab gives us.  Just think-- every injection you get, is protected by a minute quantity of this life saving blue blood.  
 
But while the Horseshoe crab’s blood helps to protect us in this life, we know whose blood gives us hope for the future.
1 Peter 1:18,19 tells us:

...knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

© Vivian P. Kirkpatrick, 2015

Originally published: http://www.hutchinsoncog.org/encouragement/2015/02/04/the-horseshoe-crab