News :: Computational Toxicology and Biostatistics activities in JRC-IHCP
(14/12/2010) A new section on JRC-IHCP Computational Toxicology and Biostatistics activities is now available on the IHCP web site. Computational (in silico) methods, sometimes referred to as “non-testing methods”, can be used to reduce our reliance on experimental testing, and in particular animal testing. The Biostatistics team contributes its statistical expertise to activities on alternative (non-animal) methods and assessment strategies for chemical toxicity.
One of these computational methods, Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) Modelling, can be used to obtain information on the properties and activities of substances from chemical structure alone, and can thus be used to fill data gaps in the safety assessment of chemicals.
One of the activities of the JRC, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) is to support the implementation of EU chemicals policy (including the safety assessment of industrial chemicals, chemicals in consumer products, pesticides and biocides) through the development, assessment and application of computational (in silico) methods. The JRC-IHCP activities in the field of computational toxicology include background information on non-testing methods; a range of information sources; a list of IHCP publications, as well as freely available or accessible computational tools. These latter include: JRC QSAR Model Database(an online database which hosts structured and peer-reviewed information on Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) Models); Toxtree (a software tool which predicts mechanisms of action or toxicological effects by applying decision-tree approaches); Dart (Decision Analysis by Ranking Techniques) a powerful and user-friendly software tool designed for the ranking of chemicals according to their environmental and toxicological concern based on the most recent ranking; Toxmatch (a flexible, user-friendly application for grouping chemicals on the basis of chemical similarity. It is designed to facilitate the formation of chemical categories and the application of read-across). In the framework of the IHCP Biostatistics activities, freely available statistical tools have been developed and made available to the scientific community, including software that carries out concentration-response analysis for in vitro experiments (Stat4tox) and software that applies ranking methods (DART), for example on chemical datasets as a means of prioritizing chemicals for further evaluation.