29 January 2007

'Omics - Oh My!

One of the fun aspects of writing my book Digital Code of Life was grappling with all the 'omics: not just genomics, but proteomics and metabolomics too. Here's what I wrote about the latter:

"Metabolome" is the name given to all the molecules - not just the proteins - involved in metabolic processes within a given cell.

And here's the big news:

Scientists in Alberta say they are the first team to finish a draft of the chemical equivalent of the human genome, paving the way for faster, cheaper diagnoses of disease.

The researchers on Wednesday said the Human Metabolome Project, led by the University of Alberta, has listed and described some 2,500 chemicals found in or made by the body (three times as many as expected), and double that number of substances stemming from drugs and food. The chemicals, known as metabolites, represent the ingredients of life just as the human genome represents the blueprint of life.

This does seem to differ from my definition, but hey, my shoulders are broad.
(Via Slashdot.)

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