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Ames Assay

Environmental Health

  1. Barry H. Margolin1,
  2. Byung-Soo Kim2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vaa016

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Margolin, B. H. and Kim, B.-S. 2006. Ames Assay. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 1.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of North Carolina, NC, USA

  2. 2

    Yonsei University, Korea

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Who would have thought that Salmonella bacteria, the very same strains that are the bane of travelers, would also contribute to human health via their use in bioassays for genetic mutation? Developed by Ames and colleagues in the early 1970s, the Ames assay continues to hold a preeminent position in genetic toxicology. Its applications have grown increasingly diverse, ranging from attempts at cancer prediction to screening of industrial byproducts for possible mutagens. The assay is currently conducted in thousands of laboratories worldwide. The Ames assay has produced a wealth of experimental data over the last two decades. During the same period many authors have proposed mechanistic models for the analysis of Ames data. Much of this modeling, based on radiation ‘hit theory’, derives from the work of Haynes and Eckardt.