Molecular Toxicology Protocols


Author : Phouthone Keohavong & Stephen G. Grant

Published in : Humana press

ISBN : 1-59259-840-4

File Type : pdf

File Size : 7 mb

Language : English


It seems fashionable today to simply place the word “molecular” in front of a traditional field and consider it reinvented. This, without a clear consensus on what the “molecular” actually means. Certainly chemists working in the field of toxicology have always considered that they worked at the “molecular” level. It has not been so clear on the biological side, however, where there has been a history of ongoing discovery and characterization of toxic mechanisms. In other biological fields, “molecular” really implies using the tools of “molecular” biology, i.e., recombinant DNA. Just as the adoption of molecular biological techniques first invaded, then transformed such biological fields as genetics, physiology, and developmental biology, so too have these new methods begun to transform toxicology. Molecular Toxicology Protocols is a book about science on the interface, and a science that is about to explode upon the clinical and popular horizon. Toxicology, a subdiscipline of pharmacology, is actually the interface of chemistry and biology. As most practice it, this field also extends into nonchemical “agents” of deleterious biological effects, especially radiation, the purview of the radiobiologist and health physicist. With the huge increase in computational power made available over the last ten years it has become possible to model and predict the potential toxicity of as yet unmade chemicals. Perhaps the greatest change in the practice of toxicology has been application of the the tools of the trade directly to the human population, in what are known clinically as “translational” studies, opening the new frontier of epidemiology through the more conventional portal of biostatistics. These studies expand the traditional public health aspect of toxicology, screening of synthetic agents for toxicological potential prior to their introduction into the environment, attempting to define “normal” or “background,” perhaps unavoidable, exposures as mechanisms of human disease, and to design methods of preclinical intervention (“chemoprevention”). Thus, for our purposes, we will define “molecular” toxicology as either any study of toxicological mechanism, or any translation of toxicological practice into the human population.
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