More than seven years ago, Austin at Not Ranting — Honestly contemplated the meanings of "-ome" and "-omics" at a time when resistance to this rhetoric was "useless." In a 2003 Physiology News piece, Austin wrote that "'ome is one of those made-up words, more and more common nowadays, produced by taking a sensible word – like 'transcription or 'protein or 'physiology' – and tagging '-ome' on the end. This instantly turns it into something incredibly modern-sounding but whose precise meaning no one understands. Transcriptome. Proteome. Physiome." Taking this concept a step further, he said, results in "Transcriptomics. Proteomics. Metabolomics." While Austin acknowledged at the time the practicality — and even sensibility — of the aformentioned terms, he predicted that "within the next five years many physiologists will be working in departments or schools of 'physiological genomics' (best case) or 'integrative biomics,' or even just 'integratomics.'" Given the National Institutes of Health's ongoing support for projects that aim to map the "connectome," it seems that '-omes' and 'omics' are still "necessary … for scientific now-ness," Austin says in a recent post.
Not to Be Confused with 'Ohm'
Jan 05, 2011