by Wei Perng, PhD

Recent technological advances have landed us in a new age of research known as “the omics era.  While the number of omics categories is rapidly increasing, the core four involve the large-scale evaluation of gene expression (genomics), mRNA expression (transcriptomics), protein structure and function (proteomics), and metabolite patterns (metabolomics) - all in hopes to gain knowledge on disease development. Scientists have recently taken a keen interest in metabolomics; specifically, on how low-molecular-weight compounds (e.g. amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, hormones) in tissue can provide information on disease progression and prognosis. Metabolomics could provide a snapshot of the good, the bad, and everything in between.