Bioassay is a shorthand commonly used term for biological assay and is a type of scientific
Bioassays are typically conducted to measure the effects of a substance on a living . Bioassays may be or . Qualitative bioassays are used for assessing the physical effects of a substance that may not be quantified, such as abnormal development or
deformity. An example of a qualitative bioassay includes Arnold Adolph Berthold's famous experiment on castrated chickens. This analysis found that by removing the testes of a chicken, it would not develop into a rooster because the endocrine signals necessary for this process weren't available. Quantitative bioassays involve estimation of the concentration or potency of a substance by measurement of the biological response that it produces. Quantitative bioassays are typically analyzed using the methods of biostatistics.
The use of bioassays include:
# measurement of the pharmacological activity of new or chemically undefined substances
# investigation of the function of
# determination of the side-effect profile, including the degree of
# measurement of the concentration of known substances (alternatives to the use of whole animals have made this use obsolete)
#Assessing the amount of pollutants being released by a particular source, such as
wastewateror urban runoff.
Bioassays are essential in the development of new
drugs, and monitoring pollutants in the environment. Environmental bioassays are generally a broad-range survey of toxicity, and a toxicity identification evaluation is conducted to determine what the relevant toxicants are. Although bioassays are beneficial in determining the biological activity within an organism, they can often be time-consuming, laborious, and organism-specific factors may result in data that isn't applicable to others in that species. For these reasons, other biological techniques are often employed, including radioimmunoassays.
* [http://www.toxicitylab.com/content/services/toxicity_testing_faq.php#Bioassay What is a bioassay (ToxicityLab.com)?]
* [http://www.nj.gov/dep/oqa/powerpoint/DEPBasicsCourse.ppt Whole Effluent Toxicity Basics (PowerPoint file)]
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