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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Testing Human Tissue

LONDON () -- The first pharmaceuticals company to test drugs exclusively on human tissue, bypassing the need for controversial animal tests, will open its doors in October.

According to a report in the current issue of New Scientist magazine, Pharmagene, based in Royston, central England, could start research because of the opening this year of the first European human tissue bank. Donors can offer tissue after death in the same way they donate organs. "We think we're the first company in the world to do all our work on human tissue," a founder of the company, told New Scientist.

Animal tests are controversial not only because animal welfare groups think they are cruel, but because the results often do not translate to people. For example, aspirin kills cats but is widely used for headaches, fever and heart disease in humans.

Coleman said the tissue bank would include contributions from every part of the human body, but it would be kept in test tubes. "We won't have arms and legs stored on meat hooks," he said.

Genes lie along microscopic strings called chromosomes, and the new study identifies a piece of a chromosome that appears to harbor a diabetes gene. The region may contain 100 genes or so, which is around a thousandth of the whole human collection, researcher Eric Lander said.

The precise causes of schizophrenia are unknown and, until now, its treatment has focused on patients in advanced stages of the illness.

Researchers at the conference were trying to change that by educating general practitioners and school counselors to recognize early warning signs.

Their specimens were from dinosaur types resembling the infamous Tyrannosaurus rex, the upright walking velociraptor, an ostrich-like type and an ornithopod (or "duckbill").

The scans showed that the dinosaurs in question had narrow, tube-like nasal passages with no trace of respiratory turbinates -- spiral structures that increase the surface area of the nasal passages of most warm-blooded creatures.

Reporting in the British Medical Journal, they said just over 1 percent of the British population was allergic to peanuts, while 7 percent of brothers or sisters of someone allergic to peanuts were also allergic.

"It has been suggested that before first exposure to peanut foods some infants have been sensitized to peanut by infant milk formulas that contain peanut protein or npeanut oil," they wrote.

They suggested that pregnant and breast-feeding women avoid peanuts -- especially if they have other allergies. In a second study, involving 1,200 children, Dr. Syed Tariq and colleagues at St. Mary's Hospital in Newport found that one in 100 children can become allergic to peanuts by the age of four.

The researchers studied dinosaurs , during which they reached maximum development prior to becoming extinct some 65 million years ago.

Researcher Eric Lander, of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reports the work in the September issue of Nature Genetics.