Definition - What does Ames Test mean?
The Ames test is a method that uses bacteria to determine the degree of probable mutagenic activity likely to occur in the presence of specific chemicals. It provides a fast method of predicting whether or not a chemical is associated with cancer risk from causing mutations in genetic material, including DNA. An alternative use of the Ames test is to illustrate that a chemical substance is not harmful. Many occupational exposures are known to cause an increase in mutagenic activity in the exposed subjects, which is why this quick and convenient method to estimate the carcinogenic potential of a compound is necessary.
Safeopedia explains Ames Test
The Ames test is a method that uses a strain of Salmonella typhimurium, which becomes reactive in the presence of the suspected mutagen. This test was originally intended as a predictive test of the carcinogenicity of chemical substances, and has since found wide application in occupational health screening of people who routinely work with carcinogenic substances in the working environment.
The test provides a faster alternative for estimating the carcinogenic potential of a compound than standard carcinogen assays on mice and rats, which are time-consuming. By determining the mutagenic potential of a substance, the Ames test can predict if a chemical poses a cancer risk from causing mutations in genetic material, including DNA for people coming in contact with it on a regular basis.