Metabolomics has been found to be applicable to a wide range of fields, including the study of gene function, toxicology, plant sciences, environmental analysis, clinical diagnostics, nutrition, and the discrimination of organism genotypes. This approach combines high-throughput sample analysis with computer-assisted multivariate pattern-recognition techniques. It is increasingly being deployed in toxico- and pharmacokinetic studies in the pharmaceutical industry, especially during the safety assessment of candidate drugs in human medicine. However, despite the potential of this technique to reduce both costs and the numbers of animals used for research, examples of the application of metabolomics in veterinary research are, thus far, rare. Here we give an introduction to metabolomics and discuss its potential in the field of veterinary science.
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