. Called Ames Study Manager, from U.K.-based Perceptive Instruments (www.perceptive.co.uk), the integrated software suite is used to do the Bacterial Mutation Test employed by safety assessment labs in pharmaceutical, medical device, and chemical companies. The software accommodates experimental designs based on templates for substance, strains, treatments, and positive and negative controls with or without metabolic activations. New experiments can be created from user-defined templates and complete studies produced in minutes, says the company. The program can connect live to an automatic colony counter, or count data can be entered manually.

All study information is sent directly to an Oracle relational database where it is stored securely and can be tapped for audit trails. The software works with MS Word and offers individually definable access rights to Users, Advanced Users, Study Directors, and Auditors.