Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers develop computer-aided models to replace animal testing

02.10.2013
Every year, October 4 is all about the protection of animals. On World Animal Day, animal welfare organisations around the globe advocate the respectful treatment and welfare of animals.

One of the central demands of the animal activists is to abolish animal testing and to use alternative testing methods instead. In this context, the European Union has taken a huge step forward at the beginning of this year: On March 11 a full ban on the marketing of cosmetics and hygiene products tested on animals entered into force in the EU.

The search for alternative testing methods for safety assessment is thus more pressing than ever. The development of such non-animal testing methods, especially when it comes to reliably predicting long-term toxic effects, represents a major scientific challenge. The NOTOX project, which is co-funded by the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe, the European trade association of the cosmetics industry, significantly contributes to this endeavor by developing and validating predictive bioinformatics models characterizing long-term toxicity responses. “These computer-aided models will help predict possible long-term toxic effects on the human body”, explains Elmar Heinzle, Professor of Applied Biochemistry and Biochemical Engineering at Saarland University, who coordinates the NOTOX project. In consequence, the use of living organisms to test the safety of substances to be found in daily-life products such as make-up, soap or toothpaste is no longer needed.

Computer-aided models as an alternative to animal testing
The liver is the central organ for the elimination of toxic substances in the human body. Therefore NOTOX scientists closely examine in test-tube experiments how such substances affect human liver cells in the long run. The processes and reactions they observe in the cells are being translated into highly complex computer models. The overall goal is to develop algorithms that closely mimic the processes which actually take place in human tissues when exposed to toxic substances. These computational models will allow for reliable long-term predictions and thus help to replace animal testing in the long run.

In order to achieve this ambitious goal, NOTOX brings together eleven internationally renowned and interdisciplinary research teams from all over Europe, including academic research laboratories and four small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Apart from Professor Heinzle and his research team, additional partners from Saarland are involved in the project. These include the department of Genetics/Epigenetics at Saarland University, the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as well as the European Research and Project Office GmbH – Eurice, responsible for the management of a large number of European research projects at Saarland University.

NOTOX in motion: Scientists open their labs for camera crew
Over several months a film team captured statements and pictures of NOTOX scientists in various settings and on different occasions: during project meetings and at work in their laboratories. The result is a vivid glance behind the scenes of the project, with exciting insights into the challenges of developing validated alternative testing methods. Moreover, the film shows how cutting-edge research on alternative testing methods contributes to improving the overall welfare of animals.

The NOTOX film is available on the project website: http://www.notox-sb.eu/film

About NOTOX: On the way to alternative testing methods
To advance research in the field of alternative testing methods for long-term systemic toxicity, the Research Initiative SEURAT-1 was established in 2011. It stands for “Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing”. This initiative, comprising six research projects as building blocks, pursues a common strategy “towards the replacement of current repeated dose systemic toxicity testing in human safety assessment”. One of the SEURAT-1 research projects is NOTOX, which started in 2011 and will run for five years. The 9 million € project is co-funded by the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe, the European trade association which represents the interests of the cosmetics industry. Project coordinator is Prof. Elmar Heinzle of Saarland University, Department of Biochemical Engineering. The research results achieved by SEURAT-1 projects will not only be relevant for the cosmetics industry, but are expected to also have an impact on the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

Internet: http://www.notox-sb.eu

Further information on the project, please contact:
Project Coordination:
Prof. Elmar Heinzle
Universität des Saarlandes
Technische Biochemie
Gebäude A 1.5
66123 Saarbrücken
Tel: +49 681 302 2905
e.heinzle@mx.uni-saarland.de
Footage Material
The film as well as cleanfeed and additional footage material is available from the project management partner Eurice on request. Please contact:
Project Management
Dr. Verena Peuser
Eurice – European Research and Project Office GmbH
Science Park 1
66123 Saarbrücken
Tel. +49 681 9592 3396
v.peuser@eurice.eu

Saar - Uni - Presseteam | Universität des Saarlandes
Further information:
http://www.notox-sb.eu
http://www.notox-sb.eu/film
http://www.uni-saarland.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>