DICTIONARIES: Omics, Schmomics

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Science  01 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5522, pp. 1615
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5522.1615c

Everybody's talking about proteomics and structural genomics these days, but have you heard of transcriptomics? How about cellomics? One site trying to track the dizzying evolution of the postgenomics lexicon is Genomics Glossaries, maintained by Mary Chitty, librarian at Cambridge Healthtech Institute, a biotech consulting company in Massachusetts.

Chitty wanted to smooth communication among the many disciplines in genomics, from analytical chemists to cell biologists and computer scientists. So 2 years ago, she began working on “a kind of guidebook for people who know about one or more of the disciplines, but who don't recognize all the acronyms and specialized vocabulary they encounter.” The lists she's compiled, in categories such as microarrays and drug discovery, explain terms ranging from “combinatorial library” to “royalty stacking” to “zinc finger protein.” You'll even find an -omes and -omics glossary.


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