New microarray chip improves drug safety, helps stop animal testing

Jonathan West a micro-engineer and his colleagues at the University of Dortmund in Germany, has  developed the new microarray chip which can test an estimated 30,000 chemicals  their toxicological risk.

Called a Network Formation Assay (NFA), the chip lets researchers test compounds faster and more reliably. A normal drug test takes up to 10 hours because each compound is tested 30 times at 10 different doses. With this new chip, it will take just a few hours at most.

This approach involves patterning neuronal cells within a hexagonal array to standardize the distance between neighbouring cellular nodes, and thereby standardize the length of the neurite interconnections. This feature coupled with defined assay coordinates provides a streamlined display for rapid and sensitive analysis

The invention includes a new protocol for the detection of the neurite outgrowth, which requires neither fixation nor staining of cells.

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FDA launches “Basics” transparency microsite

The FDA unveiled phase 1  of its transparency initiative with the launch of FDA Basics, a microsite aimed at demystifying the agency’s workings for the public.

It’s the first of a 3 phase transparency initiative launched FDA as part of the Obama Administration’s broader commitment to openness.

Phase 2, will deal with disclosure of sensitive information like clinical trials and postmarket surveillance data,

Phase 3, dealing with the agency’s transparency to regulated industries, will be completed by 2010 mid

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