The Llama, the Hamster, and a New Path for Covid Treatment

A set of papers shows that llama-derived antibodies protect the rodent against the virus—which bodes well for making a version for people.

For decades, mice, monkeys, and roundworms have been the workhorses of science—“model organisms,” in academic parlance—and for good reason. After generations of research, scientists have a solid grasp on their genetics, physiology, and behavior, which makes it possible to study them in unparalleled detail. But some projects require something a bit more unique. To design a new potential Covid treatment, researchers at the Rosalind Franklin Institute at Oxford University took advantage of the biological quirks of an unlikely animal pair: the llama and the Syrian hamster.

Though llamas aren’t

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