Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It is the study of symptoms, mechanisms, treatments and detection of poisoning, especially the poisoning of people.
The relationship between dose and its effects on the exposed
organism is of high significance in toxicology. The chief criterion
regarding the toxicity of a chemical is the dose, i.e. the amount of
exposure to the substance.
All substances are toxic under the right
conditions. The term LD50 refers to the dose of a
toxic substance that kills 50 percent of a test population (typically
rats or other surrogates when the test concerns human toxicity).
LD50 estimations in animals are no longer required for
regulatory submissions as a part of pre-clinical development package.
The conventional relationship (more exposure equals higher
risk) has been challenged in the study of endocrine disruptors.
There are various specialized subdisciplines within the field of
toxicology that concern diverse chemical and biological aspects of this
For example, toxicogenomics involves applying molecular profiling
approaches to the study of toxicology.
Other areas include Aquatic
toxicology, Chemical toxicology, Ecotoxicology, Environmental
toxicology, Forensic toxicology, and Medical toxicology.
Chemical toxicology is a scientific discipline involving the study of
structure and mechanism related to the toxic effects of chemical agents,
and encompasses technology advances in research related to chemical
aspects of toxicology.
Research in this area is strongly
multidisciplinary, spanning computational chemistry and synthetic
chemistry, proteomics and metabolomics, drug discovery, drug metabolism
and mechanisms of action, bioinformatics, bioanalytical chemistry,
chemical biology, and molecular epidemiology.
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