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Toxicology: in silico approaches
Before a drug or chemical can be approved, regulators need to know that it is safe for humans and for the environment. That often involves using animals to test the toxicity of the chemical in question. But in vivo approaches aren’t the only way—as computer modeling advances and existing data leave the confines of corporate firewalls for more publically available databases, in silico models are promising alternatives. From simple models to complex networks to crowdsourced training, in silico models are becoming more accurate and better predictors of toxicity. If they can prove their value to regulators, such approaches may soon help replace or at least reduce the number of animals needed for toxicology testing.
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