Cosmetics can be dangerous in surprising ways, which is why it's important that they be tested. But many people object to testing cosmetics and drugs on animals. Soon there may be a way to test potentially hazardous chemicals on a microchip instead.
Science Daily reports that new biochip technology could eliminate animal testing in the chemicals and cosmetics industries, and drastically curtail its use in the development of new pharmaceuticals. The website quotes researcher Jonathan S. Dordick as saying, "We looked at the issues facing companies and realized that we needed to develop something that was low-cost, high-throughput, easily automatable, and did not involve animals. We developed the MetaChip and DataChip to deal with the two most important issues that need to be assessed when examining the toxicity of a compound?the effect on different cells in our body and how toxicity is altered when the compound is metabolized in our bodies."
Their eventual aim is to develop a customized biochip for each patient, based on your personal DNA, so that drugs could be tested on the chip before you took them, eliminating (or at least predicting) any side-effects. Dordick says, "We are still a ways off from personalized medicine, but the MetaChip offers that future possibility."
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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