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Metabolomics Comes of Age

Move over, genome, transcriptome, proteome. The latest ome aims to map every metabolite linked to human health and disease. Metabolomics, although still a nascent field, offers hope for biomarkers and treatments in neurodegenerative disease. The field's current task is to standardize experimental procedures while scientists are pursuing pilot studies in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As reporter  Amber Dancediscovered, scientists are following up on hints of new molecules involved in these conditions without knowing just yet what most of these molecules are. The full import of these experiments will not be realized until biochemists name the pieces and figure out how they fit into the body's myriad metabolic and catabolic pathways. Read Dance's four-part exposé. [Image of Rima Kaddurah-Daouk courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.]