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!
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Separate brain systems cooperate during learning, study finds
22.02.2018 | Brown University
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences