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Over-simplification and over-standardization in biological methods: Sperm bioassays in eco-toxicology as a case of study, and a proposal for their reformulation

Autor Murado García, Miguel Anxo ; Prieto, Miguel Ángel
Palabras clave Robust bioassay
New model
Toxicological assessment
Sperm half-life
Sea urchin
Fecha de publicación 2014
EditorHindawi Publishing Corporation
Citación Scientific World Journal 2014: 936202 (2014)
ResumenAn interesting toxicological bioassay (fertilization inhibition in sea urchin) uses as assessment criterion a variable (fertilization ratio) whose variation with time creates two types of difficulties. First, it fails to distinguish between the toxic effect and the spontaneous decline in the sperm activity, causing some inconsistencies. Second, the sensitivity of the fertilization ratio to many other variables of the system requires a complex standardization, constraining the achievement of the method without solving its main problem. Our proposal consists of using a parameter (sperm half-life) as the response of the assay, and describing explicitly the behavior of the system as a simultaneous function of dose and time. This new focus is able to solve the problematic character of the results based on the fertilization ratio and by using the same data set which is required by the conventional approach; it simplifies the protocol, economizes experimental effort, provides unambiguous and robust results, and contributes to the detection of an artefactual temperature effect, which is not very evident under the usual perspective. Potential application of this new approach to the improvement of other formally similar bioassays is finally suggested
Descripción 13 páginas, 8 figuras, 2 tablas.-- This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/936202
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/91819
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