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Not to Be Confused with 'Ohm'

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.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.