Brute-force screens

A "brute-force screen" is a genetic screen that requires assaying individual colonies for a particular mutant phenotype. Although it sounds simple, unless a very limited the number of colonies that must be screened to find the desired mutant, this is a very difficult and time-consuming approach. For example, although most assays (including automated assays) would require much longer time than this, imagine that each assay that only required 1 second per colony. At a typical frequency you might expect to find the desired mutant, it would take the following amount of time to do the assays:

And, during this time you would be doing nothing but assays for 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

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Last modified July 5, 2004