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A procedure for the assessment of a substance by measuring its effect in living cells or on organisms. Animals have been used extensively in drug research in bio-assays for the pharmacological activity of drugs. However, bio-assays are now usually developed using bacteria or animal or plant cells, as these are usually much easier to handle than whole animals or plants, are cheaper to make and keep, and avoid the ethical problems associated with testing of animals. Sometimes used to detect minute amounts of substances that influence or are essential to growth.
Publication Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Publication Date: 1999
See also: Potency
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