Why do we need the blood of a threatened species for a COVID-19 vaccine?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs, a threatened species, are "milked" for up to 30% of their blood that's used to test new medical drugs, including possible COVID-19 vaccines, for bacterial contamination. The animals are eventually released but, surprise, a large percentage of them die. Revive & Restore, the wildlife conservation organization most famous for their efforts to resurrect the Woolly Mammoth and Passenger Pigeon, is pushing the adoption of a synthetic test alternative to the unsustainable horseshoe crab blood method. In the video above, Revive & Restore co-founders Ryan Phelan and Stewart Brand explain how "Biotech Can Save This Threatened Keystone Species & Keep Covid-19 Vaccines Safe."

(Bonus: the video's original score is by Revive & Restore's longtime friend Brian Eno! Double bonus: My sister-in-law Heather Sparks is Revive & Restore's communications and outreach manager!)