Inducing mutations

Dr. David Rosen drosen
Fri Nov 3 10:11:31 EST 1995

One problem a small lab can have is that mutagens are often carcinogens.
However, all lab experiments must be done with caution.  Go for it!
	Most forms of radiation cause mutations, usually by deleting a gene.  UV light
can induce mutations.  A black light or sun tan lamp can be used. Even visible
light is slightly mutagenic.  Some forms of nuclear radiation may be safe
enough for a small laboratory (like an alpha or beta source), but you must
check out all regulations and safety requirements.  The safest types of
radiation are the least penetrating.  This may cause a problem exposing the
organism's reproductive parts.  Suggestion: shine the radiation directly on the
spores.  Get some dentist to collaborate with you, and have him expose your
samples with X-rays (do NOT work with X-rays yourself).
	I don't know whether this is safe for a small laboratory.  The chemical
choline can induce chromosome anomolies, like chromosome doubling.  However, it
is a strong terotogen.  Ozone can induce mutations: place the plants in an
ozone filled containors.  Careful, ozone is a poison gas.  Nicotine can induce
mutations, and one can buy it from Aldrich or Sigma chemical (did I mention
safety, before?).

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