Build a solid foundation in science, formulation and product development—find out more!
Most Popular in:
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto: Robots to Reduce Animal Testing
Posted: March 25, 2008
page 2 of 2
The memorandum provides for sample and information sharing necessary to more rapidly and effectively identify chemicals that might pose possible risks to the health of humans and animals and to the environment. It addresses opportunities for coordination in four basic areas related to achieving the toxicant testing goals, including: identification of toxicity pathways; selection of chemicals for testing; analysis and interpretation of data; and outreach to scientific and regulatory communities. The collective budget is yet to be determined.
The memorandum and the plans articulated in the Science article provide a framework to implement the long-range vision outlined in the 2007 National Research Council (NRC) report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy, which calls for a collaborative effort across the toxicology community to rely less on animal studies and more on in vitro tests using human cells and cellular components to identify chemicals with toxic effects. Importantly, the strategy calls for improvements in dose-response research, which will help predict toxicity at exposures that humans may encounter.
The collaborative research program is outlined in the jointly authored Science paper. The co-authors, Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, NHGRI director; George M. Gray, PhD, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development which houses the NCCT; and John R. Bucher, PhD. NTP associate director, describe the possibility of shifting from reliance on animal testing to biochemical- and cell-based assays, as well as those using lower organisms, such as zebrafish and roundworms.
The EPA's engagement in this collaboration is part of its ToxCast program—an initiative launched in 2007 to revolutionize the agency's chemical toxicity evaluation procedures. ToxCast will use advances in computers, genomics and cellular biology to speed up toxicity testing and enhance capacity to screen new compounds. For more information, visit www.niehs.nih.gov/news/releases/2008/toxrelease.cfm.
-National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences