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Horseshoe crabs could help with development of COVID-19 vaccine

Horseshoe crabs have a unique attribute that help scientists determine if vaccines are safe.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There are fewer horseshoe crabs showing up on the shoreline. 

That's because studies show biomedical harvesting, overfishing for bait, and coastal development are causing a drop in the population. Still, as researchers work to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, these living fossils are once again in the spotlight. 

They have a unique blood clotting feature that helps scientists detect toxins in medical products from drugs to vaccines. Photojournalist Tim Burquest talks with Florida scientist Jack Rudloe about how it works.

Click here to learn more about the horseshoe crab.

Click here to watch a CBS story about horseshoe crab conservation.

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