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The lab may reduce-and, in some cases, eliminate-the need for animal or human trials.
Albion Human Nutrition’s (Clearfield, UT) R&D department has opened a new cell biology laboratory that the firm says will give it a distinct advantage in product development and comparative studies. Importantly, the company says, because cell cultures can be used to construct highly controlled models of various biological systems, the ability to evaluate such systems may reduce-and, in some cases, eliminate-the need for animal or human trials. As such, the new lab, which is located at the company’s headquarters in Clearfield, will allow its researchers to rapidly gather data related to mineral transport, absorption, toxicity, and efficacy through in vitro simulations.
Albion says the new lab will also enable a reduction in cost and a faster turnaround time for specific test results. The new cell lab will be equipped with a Real-Time PCR instrument that allows for precise quantification of specific nucleic acids (DNA/RNA/genes) in a complex mixture. This quantification yields valuable clues about gene function, such as the type of cells or tissue where a gene is expressed, individual gene expression levels in a defined biological state, and detection of an alteration in gene expression levels in response to specific biological stimuli such as a pharmacological agent. “This will be beneficial for studying product cellular interactions in human gut cells,” it says.