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February 9, 2018

Strange But True!

Q. It's rare today that newly approved drugs are riddled with infectious substances that actually make a person sicker. For that, we can thank the horseshoe crab. Explain, please.

A. Before the 1960s, testing for bacterial endotoxins was slow and expensive, writes Dan Lewis on his Now I Know website. That changed when researchers discovered that something called limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) readily detected these toxins (PBS report). But where to find this critical substance?

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