Shark Antibodies Could Create New Methods To Fight Illness

by | May 18, 2014 | Fish, Science | 2 comments

sharkScientists have now turned to sharks in an effort to to see what makes shark antibodies so stable. Antibodies in humans can protect against a multitude of illnesses and disease.  It is difficult to stabilize antibodies to make them useful. This is where sharks come in. Although sharks have been in existence for more than 400 million years, their immune system is ‘modern’ and similar to the human immune system. This makes the study of sharks’ robust antibodies, and how they work, very useful for modern medicine. Sharks blood contains high levels of urea. In humans, and other animals as well, high levels of urea would be toxic, causing proteins to destabilize and cease to function properly. While humans and other animals would need to excrete urea without it becoming too toxic, sharks routinely maintain toxic amounts of urea. By studying the antibodies of sharks, scientists were able to study what makes sharks antibodies stabilizing, and integrate these qualities into human antibodies. MORE

  • Francis Yupangco

    Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

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  1. John Donnelly

    So maybe we should stop slaughtering them and learning more about them …

  2. Jose Davila

    They have been on this many years using the great white.


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