Omics / Genomics Session Introduction
Erin E. Carlson, Indiana University
Omics: Assemblage of an organism’s “-omic” information, which includes the genome (genomic), transcription products (transcriptomic), proteins (proteomic) and metabolic products (metabolomic).
Generally speaking, the aim of this field is the global identification, characterization and quantification of biomolecules as a means to learn about their structure, function, regulation, evolution and medical or technological relevance. Genomics is by far the most mature of the “–omic” fields. However, recent years have seen a dramatic expansion in the pursuit of proteomics, metabolomics and subfields such as metagenomics, study of genetic material obtained from environmental samples and activity-based proteomics, assessment of protein catalytic activity and not only protein abundance. Together, the data acquired in –omic studies can be utilized to assemble the complex molecular networks critical to all living beings, with each discipline providing unique and important perspective (Figure). However, a major challenge has and will continue to be the development of practical methods to interpret the vast quantities of data that are often acquired. As such, computational science has also played a critical role in evolution of the –omics disciplines.
Figure: Study of the biomolecules of an organism can provide a comprehensive picture of the transcription, translation and resulting activities (e.g., protein, metabolite) associated with myriad genes.
Background Review Article:
The end of genomics, the beginning of analysis, Razib Khan, September 11, 2013, blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/09/selection-through-the-sieve/