Yet Another “-ome”


As if we didn’t have enough “-omes” in biology, I have come across yet another one: the methylome. It’s beginning to sound like a Hindu temple up in here. My fascination with the -ome is well documented. I was made aware of the newest -ome in my collection by this preview of this article in Cell. The preview is entitled “The First High-Resolution DNA ‘Methylome'” and describes a paper announcing a high resolution map of DNA methylation in the Arabidopsis genome.

We can thank Andrew Feinberg for introducing the term methylome, which he defines as “a neologism that describes the complete set of DNA methylation modifications of a cell.” Check out this definition of neologism: “A meaningless word used by a psychotic.” Exactly. Enough with the -ome already.


  1. #1 Thinker
    September 25, 2006

    … or, as the headline of an editorial about creative renaming of research in grant applications a few years ago (in Nature or Science, can’t remember which) said: “‘Ome is where the Art is”.

  2. #2 razib
    September 25, 2006

    as a brown person i am offended by your exoticization of my ethnicity.

  3. #3 RPM
    September 25, 2006

    As a calloused person I’m offended by your over-sensitivity.

  4. #4 razib
    September 25, 2006

    you trivialize your white male privilege by dismissing it as “calloused”? there is a long history of structural discrimination against womyn and people of color in this country. you should educate yourself.

  5. #5 Peter Ellis
    September 27, 2006

    Might I propose the “omeome”? Of course, it’s the word for entire collection of -omes coined by scientists.

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