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Canceled: EFC Lecture: The Complex Relationship of Humans and Horseshoe Crabs — Jerrold Weiss, PhD

Apr 20, 2023

04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

Biology Building East, 101

210 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52240

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Photo of Jerrold Weiss

All multicellular organisms use “innate immune” receptors to detect and mobilize defensive responses to invading microbes. This includes proteins recognizing lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria. LPS-recognizing defense systems have been characterized in both humans and horseshoe crabs that have inhabited the Earth for 300+ million years.

The ability of horseshoe crab LPS-binding protein to detect minuscule amounts of LPS has prompted pharmaceutical development of the horseshoe crab protein for sensitive detection of contaminating LPS in injectable vaccines and drugs, sterile infusion fluids, and diverse environmental samples.

This approach has been successful but threatens depletion of horseshoe crab populations that are needed both for their own renewal and that of other coastal species dependent on horseshoe crabs.

Dr. Jerrold Weiss is Professor Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine (Infectious Diseases Division) and the Inflammation Program

~ Sponsored by the Emeritus Faculty Council and the Office of the Provost ~

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