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!
Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering