Prospects for Cellular Mutational Assays in Human Populations

  • Mortimer L. Mendelsohn
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series


Practical, sensitive, effective, human cellular assays for detecting somatic and germinal mutations would have great value in environmental mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. When available, such assays should allow us to fill the void between human mutagenicity and the data that exist from short-term tests and from mutagenicity in other species. We will be able to validate the role of somatic mutation in carcinogenesis, to identify environmental factors that affect human germ cells, to integrate the effects of complex mixtures and the environment in the human subject, and to identify people who are hypersusceptible to genetic injury. Human cellular mutational assays, particularly when combined with cytogenetic and heritable mutational tests, promise to play pivotal roles in estimating the risk from low-dose radiation and chemical exposures. These combined methods avoid extrapolations of dose and from species to species, and may be sensitive enough and credible enough to permit politically, socially and scientifically acceptable risk management.


Somatic Mutation Single Amino Acid Substitution Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte High Variant Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mortimer L. Mendelsohn
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomedical Sciences DivisionLawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA

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