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The Ames test is a biological assay to assess the mutagenic potential of chemical compounds. A positive test indicates that the chemical is mutagenic and therefore may act as a carcinogen, since cancer is often linked to mutation. However, a number of false-positives and false-negatives are known. The test serves as a quick and convenient assay to estimate the carcinogenic potential of a compound since standard carcinogen assays on rodents are time-consuming and expensive. The procedure is described in a series of papers from the early 1970s by Bruce Ames and his group at the University of California, Berkeley and work by Kristien Mortelmans at Stanford University.
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