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The Use of the Ames Test as a Tool for Addressing Problem-Based Learning in the Microbiology Lab

    Authors: Eliana Rodríguez1,*, Claudia Piccini2, Vanessa Sosa2, Pablo Zunino2
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    Affiliations: 1: Unidad Académica de Laboratorios Prácticos, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay; 2: Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 03 December 2012
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Unidad Académica de Laboratorios Prácticos, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Iguá 4225, Montevideo 11400, Uruguay. Phone: 598-2-525-8618 ext. 229. Fax: 598-2-525-8617. E-mail: eliana@fcien.edu.uy.
    • Copyright © 2012 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2012 vol. 13 no. 2 175-177. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.421
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    Abstract:

    Our environment is full of potential carcinogens such as UV light, industrial pollutants, pesticides, and food additives, among others. It is estimated that 90% of all carcinogens are also mutagens. The Ames test is one of the most common tests for mutagens. In this problem-based learning activity, undergraduate biology students used the Ames test to screen a substance they provided, to see if it could be considered a mutagen. The idea of surveying substances used in everyday life appealed to our students, and helped engage them in this activity.

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References & Citations

1. Clark CE 2006 Problem-based learning: how do the outcomes compare with traditional teaching? Br J Gen Pract 56 722 723 16954011
2. Dolmans D, Schmidt H 1996 The advantages of problem-based curricula Postgrad Med J 72 535 538 10.1136/pgmj.72.851.535 8949589 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/pgmj.72.851.535
3. Maron DM, Ames BN 1983 Revised methods for the Salmonella mutagenicity test Mutat. Res 113 173 215 10.1016/0165-1161(83)90010-9 6341825 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0165-1161(83)90010-9
4. Naderi NJ, Niakan M, Kharazi Fard MJ, Zardi S 2011 Antibacterial activity of Iranian green and black tea on Streptococcus mutans: an in vitro study J. Dent. (Tehran) 8 55 59
5. Stoicov C, Saffari R, Houghton J 2009 Green tea inhibits Helicobacter growth in vivo and in vitro Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents 33 473 478 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2008.10.032 19157800 2694061 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2008.10.032
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2012-12-03
2017-06-24

Abstract:

Our environment is full of potential carcinogens such as UV light, industrial pollutants, pesticides, and food additives, among others. It is estimated that 90% of all carcinogens are also mutagens. The Ames test is one of the most common tests for mutagens. In this problem-based learning activity, undergraduate biology students used the Ames test to screen a substance they provided, to see if it could be considered a mutagen. The idea of surveying substances used in everyday life appealed to our students, and helped engage them in this activity.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Controls for the Ames test. Left: negative control, right: positive control.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2012 vol. 13 no. 2 175-177. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.421
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FIGURE 2

Results for the Ames test. Screening for tea as a potential mutagen (the assay was done in duplicate).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2012 vol. 13 no. 2 175-177. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.421
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