Instructions

You work for a Big Pharma company testing a new drug, a base modifier. You used Ames test for mutagenesis to measure mutagenic effect of your drug. (Often pharmaceutical companies need to prove that there is no such effect, but sometimes, for example for anticancer drugs, they need to prove exactly the opposite). To do so you used a his-mutant of Salmonella bacterium, unable to synthesize the amino acid histidine and therefore unable to grow on the medium lacking this amino acid. The evidence for mutgenenic effect is a systematic, non-random elevation of the frequency of revertant mutants who have reverted back to the his+ wild type and therefore happily grow on the plates without histidine. On one Petri dish you plated out 1 million his cells treated with the drug, on the other dish – 1 million his cells not treated with anything. You found 99 colonies on the plate with treated cells and 9 colonies on the plate with the untreated ones. You calculated the rate of induced mutations and reported it to your boss. “Strange”, said he, “I gave the same task to a guy next door and he got 4 and 5 colonies, not 99 and 9. You messed something up.” “Is he using the same his- Salmonella strain though?”, asked you. “Actually, no, but who cares? A his” is a his-, right? His strain is a good strain, we used it last week to test mutagenic effect of that acridine dye and it showed a strong mutagenic effect”. 1.1 Why a base modifier or base analog mutagen might harm cancer cells more than surrounding normal tissue and therefore can be used to be) considered as possible chemotherapy drugs? Your answer here, less than 15 words 12. What is the induced mutation rate you calculated? Your answer here, show work! 13. Is your boss right? Explain all differences between your and the other guy’s results Your answer here 23. Which of the two his strain, yours or “his” (pun intended) should you use if you wanted to measure the rate of spontaneous substitutions? Why? Have done so you already? If yes, what was the rate you measured? If no, explain why it could not be done in this experiment Your answer here

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