Post-Genomics: Wikipedia says no

There is no Wikipedia article on this subject at the time of writing, but it is now a well established field which cries out for a much wider public understanding

Here’s a video of a talk which offers a valuable introduction for the uninitiated to some strategic post-genomics issues:

I found 13,000 results for the term “post-genomics” on Google (over 11 million results if I leave out the quotation marks).

Here are my candidates (some of which are hotly disputed) for what post-genomics is all about:

  • everything significant which has been discovered about genomics/genetics since the sequencing of the human genome in the Human Genome Project (HGP): a rough draft of the human genome was announced by the HGP in June 2000
  • everything which subsequently contradicted or transformed the HGP-derived understanding of the nature of the genome
  • every major new field relevant to the study of genetics which emerged subsequent to (and in some cases as a result of) the HGP
  • Omics (which includes many relevant fields, both pre-and post HGP, as well as some fields which are not at all relevant to genetics, so the next term on this list is sometimes used in distinct preference to the term omics)
  • Systems Biology: not because this is necessarily an exclusively ‘post HGP term’, but because Systems Biology is the name of the field where most of the post-HGP topics are commonly grouped together, a bit like Omics, but some would claim with more ‘credibility’)

Some of the relevant fields which are often grouped together under the heading of Systems Biology and are not necessarily post-HGP (but are typically included under the post-genomics umbrella) are in this list, which includes definitions from and links to relevant Wikipedia pages:

  • Epigenomics / Epigenetics: organism and cell-specific regulating factors not coded in the genome
  • Transcriptomics: organism, tissue or whole cell gene expression measurements
  • Interferomics: organism, tissue, or cell level transcript correcting factors
  • Proteomics: organism, tissue, or cell level measurements of proteins and peptides
  • Metabolomics: organism, tissue, or cell level measurements of all small-molecules known as metabolites.
  • Glycomics: organism, tissue, or cell level measurements of carbohydrates
  • Lipidomics: organism, tissue, or cell level measurements of lipids
  • Interactomics: organism, tissue, or cell level study of interactions between molecules
  • Fluxomics: organism, tissue, or cell level measurements of molecular dynamic changes over time
  • Biomics: systems analysis of the biome
  • Metagenomics: study of metagenomes, genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples

The extent to which any of the terms above (perhaps with the exception of epigenomics) is either a predominantly (or even exclusively) post-HGP or post-genomic field will have to be the kind of controversy which any future Wikipedian (who has the temerity to put up a post-genomics article) may have to wrestle with, if any zealous protagonists on either side (‘is this field really pre- or post- genomics?) take up their respective adversarial positions.

Here’s another excellent introductory video which surveys the field of epigenomics:

A seminal article published in Nature, ten years after the HGP, covered the issue in March 2010, it was called:

Human genome at ten Life is complicated “The more biologists look, the more complexity there seems to be”