Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Robot Screening System Released To Predict Chemical Effects

Several federal agencies have unveiled a new robot screening system that will test 10,000 different chemicals for potential toxicity, including chemicals found in industrial and consumer products, food additives and drugs. The robot system, which is located at the National Institutes of Health Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC), was purchased as part of the Tox21 collaboration established in 2008 between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program, and NCGC, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010. Tox21 merges existing research, funding and testing tools to develop ways to more effectively predict how chemicals will affect human health and the environment.

Tox21 has already been used to screen more than 2,500 chemicals for potential toxicity using robots and other innovative chemical screening technologies, including different types of oil spill dispersants used during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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