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September 13, 2005

Chicken Eggs Made to Produce Human Antibodies

Topics: Medicine

eggs.gif Who would have believed it possible that scientists would come up with another application for an age-old breakfast staple - the egg? Researchers now report that they have manufactured fully functional human monoclonal antibodies, molecules that mimic the immune system to fight specific invaders, using chicken eggs.

(...) In a bid to manufacture the antibodies in a more cost-efficient manner, Etches and his colleagues recruited chickens to man the production lines.

(...) First, they inserted genes encoding one antibody, as well as genes that controlled its expression, into chicken embryonic stem cells. These stem cells were then introduced into developing chick embryos. When the resulting animals themselves laid eggs, they contained milligram amounts of the desired antibodies.

(...) According to a report published in the September issue of Nature Biotechnology, the resulting monoclonal antibodies also demonstrated a 10- to 100-fold increase in cell-killing ability compared to those produced by conventional cell culture approaches.

(...) The egg production method also offers a relatively short eight-month production time and a good starting point for isolation of the protein from the stable and sterile environment provided by the egg

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Related: Flu vaccine makers look beyond the chicken egg

Posted by Richard at September 13, 2005 11:45 AM

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