Llamas have joined the West’s crusade, er, fight at the frontlines of the war on terror, reveals the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.
The ill-tempered mammals will give up their valuable botulinum neurotoxin-detecting antibodies for Our Boys fighting the good fight. Botulinum neurotoxins, or BoNT, are roughly 100 billion times more toxic than cyanide, and the only toxins found in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s category A threat list alongside anthrax, the Ebola virus and other agents.
Llamas contain a unique antibody which, unlike conventional antibodies, are molecularly flexible. This means that llamas are useful in detecting BoNT as well as understanding how they bind. Andrew Hayhurst, A Virologist, said to Science Daily that the llama breakthrough will hopefully lead to more sensitive testing, so that one day it may be possible to detect tiny amounts of toxins found in patients blood.
The test llama, a forward thinking and brave volunteer, was pumped full of seven types of BoNT. The antibody genes were then cloned, and used to test BoNT presence in drinks, vitally including milk.
*EyeSee Camels and llamas can mate, you know.