Crab Wars: A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Bioterrorism, and Human Health
William SargentPaper: $22.95
|Paper ISBN 13:|
|Paper Publication Date:||02/28/2006|
|E-book ISBN 13:|
|E-book Publication Date:||07/22/2014|
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In this unusual alert to species depletion, Sargent's heartfelt concerns for the horseshoe crab illustrate the human side of scientific inquiry.
A popular interest book about how a 300 million year old organism became essential to the modern pharmaceutical industry. Sargent traces the discovery of horseshoe crab blood as the perfect in-vitro test for gram-negative bacteria through the development of a multi-million dollar business. He recounts the battles between multinational pharmaceutical companies to "bleed" enough crabs for Limulus lysate and the demand for crabs by the bait fishery. Regulation of the fishery by individual states complicates the issue of preserving this natural resource.
[M]akes for fascinating reading . . . Crab Wars offers a compact introduction to the horseshoe crab and the controversy it has recently engendered.
--Journal of the History of Biology
Sargent...has crafted a surprisingly engaging tale ... Crab Wars makes for a helpful - and entertaining - case study.
Here's a species older than time, a species key to the great migrations transecting our planet--and in the space of a few years our short-term interests have brought it close to ruin. It's a powerful metaphor (one wishes it were only a metaphor) and its tale is told with enormous care and balance. And with just the faintest hint of optimism at the end.
--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
William Sargent is a NOVA consultant, recipient of the Boston Globe's Winship award and author of 27 books about science and the environment. His most recent book was Terror by Error? The COVID Chronicles.