Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Beyond the Microbiome (Week of July 29, 2013)

I’ve been blogging elsewhere about microbiome research, and collecting a ridiculous number of links and articles about it. I’ve been lucky enough to have long conversations with some of our faculty who are publishing in this area. This week one of the faculty asked me to proofread a chapter they are writing about the microbiome, which was a great treat for me. Beautifully written, engaging and educational, I’m really looking forward to seeing it in print.

Midway through the process of writing about the microbiome, the faculty member was asked to include the virome. Oh. Well, let’s mix things up a bit, shall we? By the time I saw the draft, the mycobiome had also been added in. A brief ‘glossary’ for those not currently working in this space. Also note that because of the lack of a true glossary for some of these terms, I am intuiting definitions from a scan of the writings using the term. In other words, doing the best I can, but part of this is sort of made up*, even though the terms exist and are being used. While we don’t have enough for an alphabet book, there were enough that I felt compelled to alphabetize.

Biome = community of living things in a particular space or habitat
Exobiome = a community of living things external to the Earth’s air space
Exposome = measuring and assessing health impacts of environmental exposures external to the individual (beginning in utero)
Genome = genes of an organism
Metabolome = “small-molecule metabolites (such as metabolic intermediates, hormones and other signaling molecules” [Wikipedia]
Microbiome = genomes of a community of microbial or bacterial living things etc.
Mycobiome = genomes of the community of fungi …
Parisitome = genomes of the community of parisites …
Pathobiome = genomes of the pathological components of a microbiome; behaviors and changes in a microbiome that lead it toward a pathological state
Proteome = proteins produced by a genome
Retrovirome = genomes of the community of retroviruses …
Transcriptome = a subset of the genome comprised of the transcripts or various types of RNA fragments from a given cell
Virome = genomes of the community of viruses …
Xenome = genomes of microbiomes involved in xenografts or xenotransplants

And then there are the specific microbiomes for body regions, such as the vaginal biome, oral microbiome, aural microbiome, nasal microbiome, and the skin microbiome. I’m not aware of specialized terms for microbiomes of external locations (hospital, home, school, jungle, waterways, etc.) and other species (canine, feline, various bird species, various rodent species, etc). Most of the other Omes also are studied across species and locations. And there are more.

Here’s a tutorial for an introduction to just the genomics part.

And while this isn’t a tutorial, these are videos from the recent conference on Human Microbiome Science: Vision for the Future. That should give you an overview of that portion.

So let’s take a look via Twitter at some of the other “Ome”s and omics. As you might guess, these are BUSY topics, with formal Twitter chats discussing fine points of methods, sharing articles, conference presentations, news, and general buzz.

Personally, I find this hysterically funny.

* A proper glossary for these types of terms was just brought to my attention by Ian Bosdet.

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