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Environmental Health Science Laboratory

Mutagenicity test (Ames test)

This laboratory evaluates the possible impact of our products on human health and the environment using the latest scientific knowledge as well as state-of-the-art technologies.
The laboratory is further enhancing and accelerating its life science research by conducting genome-related research, including toxicogenomics, basic research relating to ES cells, and applied research.

Major Research Areas

Integrated analysis of the interaction of living bodies and chemical substances using “omics”

In recent years, omics profiling techniques (genomics, proteomics and metabolomics analysis) have become available. Many profiles of gene expression, protein expression and metabolites were collected and a huge database of omics profiling has been built in our lab. We use bioinformatics to analyze omics data and apply the findings to the safety assessment of our products.

  • 1.Database server
    Our enormous database is hosted in a centrally managed server.
  • 2.Pathway analysis
    Functional pathways are assigned from omics data. (A pathway map cited from GeneGo MetaCore)
  • 3.Hierarchical clustering
    Hierarchical cluster analysis based on gene expression profiles is useful for understanding homology relations among chemical compounds.

Safety assessment research using ES and iPS cells

ES *1 and iPS*2 cells are able to proliferate indefinitely and differentiate into various cell types in the adult body when given the correct stimulation in a culture dish. Our lab conducts basic research using ES and iPS cells to develop novel alternative methods to reduce the number of animal experiments and for elaborate assessments of the safety (toxicity) and efficacy of chemicals in humans.

  • *1 ES cells: Embryonic Stem Cells
  • *2 iPS cells: induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (artificially derived from non-pluripotent cells)
  • 1.Human ES cells (KhES-1 line, established at Kyoto University; phase contrast image)
  • 2.Neural cells derived from human ES cells (immunofluorescence image)
  • 3.Retinal pigment epithelium derived from human ES cells (phase contrast image)
  • 4.Retinal pigment epithelium derived from human ES cells (immunofluorescence image)

Development of in silico predictive technology for chemical safety assessment

Computational Safety Assessment Research

Aiming to establish prompt and highly precise predictive safety assessment methods using computers, we are working on development of predictive technologies based on mechanisms of toxicity and simulation technologies of intracellular signal transduction.