Saved by crab blood

Here’s one of the more surreal corners of industrial medicine: crab blood donors. Apparently the best way of detecting some bacterial contamination is to add some crab blood extract to it, and see if it clots. So 250,00 crabs a year are scooped up and part-drained of blood, before being released with just enough blood left that most of them will survive the process.

To make it even odder: crab blood is blue.

[Thanks to Julien for pointing me at this bizarre micro-industry]

1 reply on “Saved by crab blood”

Hey Dan. I also find this really weird. Even more weird/interesting, these are actually horseshoe crabs, which are more closely related to spiders than actual crabs. They’re ancient ancient creatures too, predating dinosaurs by about 200 million years. Awesome.

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