Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Informally, an omics is a neologism referring to a field of study in biology, ending in the suffix -omics such as genomics or proteomics. The related neologism omes are the objects of study of the field such the genome or proteome, respectively (omes stems from the Greek for 'all', 'every' or 'complete').
The original use of the suffix "ome" was in the word "genome", which refers to the complete genetic makeup of an organism. Because of the success of large-scale quantitative biology projects such as genome sequencing, the suffix "ome" has been extended to a host of other contexts. Bioinformaticians and molecular biologists were amongst the first scientists to start to apply the "ome" suffix widely.
Usefulness and acceptance
The omes are a useful way for computational biologists to encapsulate a particular class of cellular processes, or information processing related mechanisms. However, the only "ome" other than "genome" to shake its origin as a buzzword is proteome, the totality of proteins (expressed genes that are translated) in an organism, tissue type or cell, and proteomics is now well-established as a term for studying the proteome.
Less well-established "omes" have been proposed, but are not universally used within genomics or biology as a whole. It is far less clear (unlike in the case of genomics or even proteomics) that a systematic enumeration of entities like these is feasible, or would help in providing biological insight.
Some of the new "omes"
- The transcriptome is the mRNA complement of an entire organism, tissue type, or cell; the associated field is transcriptomics ;
- The metabolome is the totality of metabolites in an organism; the associated field is metabolomics ;
- The lipidome is the totality of lipids; the associated field is Lipidomics ;
- The interactome is the totality of the molecular interactions in an organism ; interactomics has been proposed, but this field is now generally known as systems biology;
- The spliceome (see spliceosome) is the totality of the alternative splicing protein isoforms ; the associated field is spliceomics.
Speculative "omics" and "omes"
- Textome: The body of scientific literature which can be analysed by text mining. Textomics: The study of the textome.
- Kinome: The totality of protein kinases in a cell. Kinomics: The study of the kinome. Publications exist.
- Glycosilome: Related to glycosylation. Glycosilomics: The associated field of study.
- Physiome: Related to physiology. Physiomics: The associated field of study.
- Neurome: The complete neural makeup of an organism. Something a neurobiologist might be heard to say in the future. Neuromics: The study of the neurome
- Predictome: A complete set of predictions. http://predictome.bu.edu/
- Reactome: A Knowledgebase of Biological Processes. http://www.reactome.org/
"Comics" is not an omics
Note that comics is not an example of this suffix; the "omics" in this case is not a full morpheme.
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