Definition of Ames test in US English:

Ames test


  • A test to determine the mutagenic activity of chemicals by observing whether they cause mutations in sample bacteria.

    • ‘The studies were performed under the direction of Dr. Bruce Ames, renowned expert on genetics and nutrition, and inventor of the Ames test for mutagenicity.’
    • ‘It is also mutagenic, as demonstrated by the Ames test.’
    • ‘Two hundred and six compounds had data from Ames tests and at least two mammalian cell tests, and of these 51 were available for study.’
    • ‘Animal cancer tests and the Ames test led to much public concern about the contribution to human cancer of synthetic chemicals, including pesticides, in food and the environment.’
    • ‘There is no evidence of mutagenic activity in animal experiments or in the Ames test.’


1970s: named after Bruce N. Ames (born 1928), the American biochemist who devised it.


Ames test

/ˈāmz ˌtest/