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Genetic Assay for Transcription Errors: Methods to Monitor Treatments or Chemicals that Increase the Error Rate of RNA synthesis

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed a genetic assay for detecting transcription errors in RNA synthesis. This new assay extends the familiar concept of an Ames test which monitors DNA damage and synthesis errors to the previously inaccessible issue of RNA synthesis fidelity. The FDA requires genetic DNA focused tests for all drug approval as it assesses the in vivo mutagenic and carcinogenic potential of a drug. The new assay will open an approach to monitoring the impact of treatments on the accuracy of RNA synthesis. Errors in transcription have been hypothesized to be a component of aging and age-related diseases. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) seeks licensing partners for the genetic assay.