‘Ome,’ the Sound of the Scientific Universe Expanding

‘Ome,’ the Sound of the Scientific Universe Expanding

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The age of “omes” is here. It began with the genome, continued with the proteome, branched out with the memome and reached full flowering with the notion of the omome. This probably sounds like raw material for nonsense poetry, but it’s a real biological and linguistic trend that makes sense, once you get the idea of just what an “ome” is. The genome is the place to start. It is the totality of all the genes, whether in an organism or in something else, like a tumor. The human genome, mapped out about a decade ago, includes all the genes that make a human being. Then came the proteome and the secretome and the glycome, and numerous other omes that are pretty much impossible to keep track of. Interactome. Regulome. Connectome. Epigenome. The list goes on. In fact, it goes on for about 18 pages if you go to the Omics.org site and print out its list of omes and omics. The list could be said to be the omome, the ome of all the omes,

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