Researchers can save time and reduce the number of rats sacrificed for toxicity studies by using cell lines, according to a National Toxicology Program official. One human and one mouse cell line tested in Europe show high correlations between lethality in the cell lines and in animals, explains William Stokes, director of the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods. That center recently released the "Report of the International Workshop on In Vitro Methods for Assessing Acute Systems Toxicity." By reducing the number of animals needed in testing, the use of cell lines will save researchers' time, Stokes says, and should reduce the their workload and increase efficiency in toxicity testing. Reducing animal deaths can also help curb criticism of scientific methods. Results of cell line tests combined with a regression formula allow scientists to estimate the dose which is lethal to half the animals being...

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