Omics, Systems biology and Bioinformatics


The study of -omics is often regarded as the same assystems-biology, although the relationship between the two islike the relationship between computational biology andbioinformatics. One is a much more detailed and specalisedsubset of the other. While the basic principles and ethos ofsystems-biology are correct, -omics takes a muchbroader and more philosophical perspective.

Modern uses of the term "omics" derive from the term genome (hence genomics), a term invented by Hans Winkler in 1920, although the use of -ome is older, signifying the ‘‘collectivity’’ of a set of things. The oldest of these terms, and one that seems due to come back into fashion, may be biome. Thus, although the explosion in the use of this terminology may appear fatuous, it does signify a widespread interest in moving toward an integrative, rather than reductionist, approach to biology, following from the early successes of genomics and functional genomics.

Original "genomics" article: Winkler H (1920). Verbreitung und Ursache der Parthenogenesis im Pflanzen- und Tierreiche. Verlag Fischer, Jena.