Friday, October 10, 2014

New Technology Can Test How Toxic a Substance is to Your DNA

By  October 7, 20Read More 
A technique for high throughput screening of substances that could cause DNA damage has been developed by scientists. The technology allows for testing of drugs and cosmetics that could pose a risk to human health, and assesses damage done to DNA, while reducing reliance on animal testing, researchers say.
As more hand held and portable devices on the market are being developed for nanoparticle-based DNA sensing, many are able to detect and analyze organisms one-thousandth of the width of a human hair.
In the not too distant future, consumers will even be able to run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, GMOs, pesticides, food safety and more with their smartphones and other hand-held devices.
Although still not cost-effective for the retail market and not yet capable of handling mobile configurations, the University of Leicester has teamed up with Cleaver Scientific Ltd., a specialist UK-based manufacturer, for the development and commercialization of high throughput systems for performing Comet Assay.
The Comet Assay, also known as single cell gel electrophoresis, is a sensitive and reliable technique for the detection of DNA damage in individual cells. The test is increasingly used as a method of assessing substances — including drugs and cosmetics — that could pose a potential risk to human or environmental health by causing damage to DNA. In recent years, it has also gained recognition by regulators as a way of reducing reliance on animal testing.
As demand for comet screening has increased, sample throughput has become a limiting factor.
Researchers from the University of Leicester’s Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, in collaboration with Cleaver Scientific Ltd., have developed a novel, high throughput method of performing the assay which is set to overcome this problem and to push down the costs of processing large numbers of samples.

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