A new approach to testing toxic chemicals that mimics the mammalian sense of smell and taste has been devised by researchers at the University of Leicester, UK. The fluorescent assay combines environment-sensitive dyes and human skin cells to generate spectra akin to particular physiological conditions. The team then uses multivariate data analysis of the optical signals to spot any correlation between sample spectra and toxicity. The approach might thus preclude the need for animal testing in some areas of biomedical research.
Animal approach to analysis