Ames test


a test that exposes a strain of bacteria to a chemical compound in order to determine the mutagenic potential of the compound.

Origin of Ames test

1975–80; after U.S. biochemist Bruce N. Ames (born 1928), who developed the test Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for ames test

Ames test
/ (eɪmz) /


a method of preliminary screening for carcinogens, based on their ability to cause mutations in bacteria

Word Origin for Ames test

named after Bruce Ames (born 1928), US biochemist who invented the test
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for ames test

Ames test


A test in which strains of Salmonella that are unable to synthesize histidine are introduced into a test substance lacking in histidine. If the strains then regain the ability to synthesize histidine, the substance is considered mutagenic and thus carcinogenic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.