The metabolome is the complete complement of all small molecule chemicals (metabolites) found in or produced by an organism. By analogy, if the genome represents the blueprint of life, the metabolome represents the ingredients of life.
The scientists have catalogued and characterized 2,500 metabolites, 1,200 drugs and 3,500 food components that can be found in the human body.
The research is published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.
The researchers believe that the results of their work represent the starting point for a new era in diagnosing and detecting diseases.
They believe that the Human Metabolome Project (HMP), which began in Canada in 2004, will have a more immediate impact on medicine and medical practices than the Human Genome Project, because the metabolome is far more sensitive to the body's health and physiology.
"Metabolites are the canaries of the genome," says Project Leader Dr. Wishart, professor of computing science and biological sciences at the University of Alberta and Principal Investigator at NRC, National Institute for Nanotechnology. "A single base change in our DNA can lead to a 100,000X change in metabolite levels."
This $7.5 Million project funded by Genome Canada through Genome Alberta, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Machine Learning, and the University of Alberta will have far reaching benefits to patient care.
"The results of this research will have a significant impact on the diagnosis, prediction, prevention and monitoring of many genetic, infectious and environmental diseases," stated Dr. David Bailey, President and CEO of Genome Alberta.
The metabolome is exquisitely sensitive to what a person eats, where they live, the time of day, the time of year, their general health and even their mood. The HMP is aimed at allowing doctors to better diagnose and treat diseases.
"Most medical tests today are based on measuring metabolites in blood or urine," Wishart says. "Unfortunately, less than 1% of known metabolites are being used in routine clinical testing. If you can only see 1% of what's going on in the body, you're obviously going to miss a lot."
By measuring or acquiring chemical, biological and disease association data on all known human metabolites, the HMP Consortium, which consists of some 50 scientists based at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, has spent the past two and half years compiling the remaining 95% of all known metabolites in the human metabolome. Detailed information about each of the 2500 metabolites identified so far can be found on the Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) at http://www.hmdb.ca.
"With the data in the HMDB, anyone can find out what metabolites are associated with which diseases, what the normal and abnormal concentrations are, where the metabolites are found or what genes are associated with which metabolites," Wishart says.
"It's the first time that this sort of data has been compiled into one spot. By decoding the human metabolome, we can identify and diagnose hundreds of diseases in a matter of seconds at a cost of pennies," Wishart added.
Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society
Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy