Animal testing will no longer be required to assess a group of deadly neurotoxins, thanks to University of Queensland-led research.
Associate Professor Bryan Fry, of UQ's Venom Evolution Lab, said a new technique could replace conventional methods of testing paralytic neurotoxins, which previously required euthanasia of test subjects.
Method - Euthanisation - Animals - Order - Tissue
"The old method, while extremely efficient, is limited in that it's slow and requires the euthanisation of animals in order to obtain the necessary tissue," Dr. Fry said.
"Our new method uses optical probes dipped into a solution containing the venoms and we measure the binding to these probes—the critical factor—by analysing changes in the light reflected back.
Numbers - Animals - Research - Testing - Implications
"It's going to reduce the numbers of animals used for research testing, but it also has significant biomedical implications."
Testing and trialling paralytic neurotoxins is not only critical for research into anti-venoms, but also for the treatment of a wide array of diseases and conditions.
Team - Use - Animal - Subjects—screen - Venoms
"The team can now—without the use of animal subjects—screen venoms for non-target activities that may be relevant for drug design and development, helping treat all types of ailments," Dr. Fry said.
"For example, we've showed that temple pit viper venom has an unusual...
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