Omes and Omics people


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Omes and Omics people

Bioinformatists and molecular biologists figured amongst the first scientists to start to apply the "-ome" suffix widely. Some early advocates were bioinformatists in Cambridge, UK where there have been many early bioinformatics and omics related labs such as MRC centre, Sanger centre, EBI, Cavendish lab, genetics, and biochemistry departments.

For example, MRC centre is where the first genome and proteome projects were carried out. Consequently, there were very early bioinformatists in Cambridge who dealt with structures, sequences, genomes and their datatbases. EBI members were some of the earliest bioinformatists. For example, Christos Ouzounis's lab used the term textome. In the mid 1990s, many scientists were not serious about omes and omics trend and jokingly talked about or playfully coined new omes and omics'. While some younger researchers took the terms seriously enough to organize and produce conceptual omes and omics en masse. Jong Bhak was one of the serious early takers of omes and omics trend as well as the biofying trend in Cambridge. In USA, Church lab in Harvard medical school was an advocate of conceptualizing omes and omics. In Yale, Mark Gerstein (who received his Ph.D. in MRC centre in Cambridge UK) was active in that trend, too. The historical observation showed one trend. As research scientists increasingly sought to integrate biology with information science, they took up the use of omics. For biologists -omics easily conveyed a key concept, the implications of a complex systems approach, an approach that is closely tied to study of networks, emergent properties and encapsulation concepts of theoretical computer science. Information savvy biologists took up the ideas of Steward Kauffman's work. In 1999 and early 2000s, physicists and computer scientists produced some debatable papers on scale-free network properties in biological systems. These also contributed significantly in the expansion of the use of omics as a way to describe a heterogeneous networks of objects.

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