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Virtual Tissues Knowledgebase (VT-KB)

New approaches are needed to evaluate the human health risk due to thousands of chemicals in commercial environment. In vitro models offer a high-throughput approach for assaying chemical-induced molecular and cellular changes. Additionally, technological advances in multi-resolution imaging and multiscale simulation are making it feasible to reconstruct tissues in silico. Virtual Tissues (VTs) are in silico models that simulate cellular function and events in tissues to analyze complex relationships and predict multicellular behaviors in specific biological systems. VTs will provide a platform for testing hypotheses about the control of cellular phenotypes by molecular pathways, which can be evaluated using in vitro and in vivo data (ToxCast™). At present EPA is developing VT models for hepatic function (v-Liver™) and embryo development (v-Embryo™) to aid in the integration and interpretation of high-throughput screening data, such as ToxCast™ in vitro assays, with information about molecular pathways and cellular processes in target organ systems, and their perturbation by environmental chemicals.

VT Knowledgebase (VT-KB) is a human and machine readable knowledgebase developed by extracting and organize relevant facts from the scientific literature and other sources of information in to central database. VT-KB will also provide researchers with interactive graphical tools to analyzed/curate the literature and navigate the VT-KB.

Chart Singh AV, Yang C, Kavlock RJ, and Richard AM (2010) Developmental Toxicology Research Strategies: Computational Toxicology. Comprehensive Toxicology, 2nd Edition (editors: GP Daston and TB Knudsen), Elsevier: New York [Click on the image for a larger view.]

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