What are omics sciences?

Mario Vailati-Riboni, Valentino Palombo, Juan J Loor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The word omics refers to a field of study in biological sciences that ends with -omics, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, or metabolomics. The ending -ome is used to address the objects of study of such fields, such as the genome, proteome, transcriptome, or metabolome, respectively. More specifically genomics is the science that studies the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes and aims at characterization and quantification of genes, which direct the production of proteins with the assistance of enzymes and messenger molecules. Transcriptome is the set of all messenger RNA molecules in one cell, tissue, or organism. It includes the amount or concentration of each RNA molecule in addition to the molecular identities. The term proteome refers to the sum of all the proteins in a cell, tissue, or organism. Proteomics is the science that studies those proteins as related to their biochemical properties and functional roles, and how their quantities, modifications, and structures change during growth and in response to internal and external stimuli. The metabolome represents the collection of all metabolites in a biological cell, tissue, organ, or organism, which are the end products of cellular processes. Metabolomics is the science that studies all chemical processes involving metabolites. More specifically, metabolomics is the study of chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes establish during their activity; it is the study of all small-molecule metabolite profiles. Overall, the objective of omics sciences is to identify, characterize, and quantify all biological molecules that are involved in the structure, function, and dynamics of a cell, tissue, or organism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPeriparturient Diseases of Dairy Cows
Subtitle of host publicationA Systems Biology Approach
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783319430331
ISBN (Print)9783319430317
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Veterinary


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