We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The JRC's ChemAgora web portal provides search capabilities to retrieve chemical data from a plethora of online resources enabling users to access both regulatory information on chemicals and public databases on chemical properties.
ChemAgora is intended to support chemical risk assessment activities by assisting stakeholders to gain a quick overview of globally available data about chemicals they are interested in. This speeds up the process of data discovery and saves valuable resources.
The JRC participated in an expert group of regulators, academics and industry to discuss the way forward in nanotoxicology, concluding that there is a strong potential for use of alternative methods that will impact the reduction, refinement and replacement (3Rs) of animal testing.
The outcome of a workshop reviewing progress in carcinogenicity assessment of chemicals has been published in the latest issue of Toxicology in Vitro Special Issue. The workshop was organised by the JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) and the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) and identified opportunities for exploiting recent advances in test methods and assessment approaches to move away from the two-year cancer bioassay in rodents.
JRC scientists have explored the application of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP) to improve mechanistic understanding of human disease pathophysiology in order to advance biomedical research and inform the development of new drugs.
The AOP concept was originally developed to facilitate better use of mechanistic understanding in determining the toxicological properties of chemicals.
In particular, the goal has been to deliver reliable, animal-free methodologies for the hazard and risk assessment of chemicals, making greater use of in vitro and in silico methods.
JRC scientists have commemorated their late JRC colleague, Dr Jose-Manuel Zaldívar Comenges, by publishing a series of six papers on the Virtual Cell Based Assay a special issue of the journal Toxicology in Vitro.
A detailed inventory - compiled by JRC scientists - of 800 knowledge sources relevant to the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (Three Rs) of animal procedures used for scientific purposes is now available online.
The JRC hosted EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has published its Status Report 2017 presenting an update on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods to animal testing.
Scientists from the JRC and US Environmental Protection Agency examined how and to what extent mathematical models of biological organisms are used in toxicology, and identified a number of challenges that need to be overcome for wider use and regulatory acceptance of these non-animal approaches.
JRC scientists have shown that human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons are suitable non-animal models for testing neurotoxicity during brain development. The study revealed that long term exposure to the pesticide rotenone induces oxidative stress and can trigger neuronal cell death.