Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Worst new omics word award: Negatome

Last week I asked for people to post suggestions for bad new omics words as candidates for my "Worst new omics word award". And there were some great ones posted there by MAT kinase (physiomics, orfeomics), Mr. Gunn (degradomics, though he noticed it was already suggested), anonymous (incidentalome), Karl Broman (human connectome), Paul (splicome), blJOg (Systemomics), Farhat Habib (resourceome), Rosie Redfield (sewa-genomics), Marmaduke (Microbial paleomics), and many others.

But by far and away, the worst of the worst, the most negative of all new omics words I have seen in a while, is the negatome suggested by multiple people. Yes, indeed, a group (
Pawel Smialowski, Philipp Pagel, Philip Wong, Barbara Brauner, Irmtraud Dunger, Gisela Fobo, Goar Frishman, Corinna Montrone, Thomas Rattei, Dmitrij Frishman and Andreas Ruepp ) has written about, and even created a database for the negatome (for an excellent description about what the negatome is about, see The ‘negatome’ – a database of negative information… « mental indigestion (from Dr. Jim).

The concept of the negatome is good - it- "is a collection of protein and domain pairs that are unlikely to be engaged in direct physical interactions". It is meant in many ways as a database for testing various interaction measuring methods. And it could end up being quite useful. See Dr. Jim for more on its uses at the link in the previous paragraph.

But the name. Oh the name. It hurts to see. It hurts to say.

And thus,
... as suggested by GenomeWeb "Just watch out for Jonathan Eisen's Worst New Omics Award."
...and Iddo Friedberg on Twitter (@phylogenomics is going to love this one. The Negatome. Actually, quite useful.)
...and PSI Wavefunction on my blog) ...
...and contrary to the suggestion by Ed Winstead on twitter who misinterpreted my twitter post about Iddo's post when he said "Liked "The ‘negatome’ – a database of negative information" http://bit.ly/5ht98d even got the nod from @phylogenomics"

...  Negatome the word is a winner of my coveted "Worst New Omics Word Award".

Previous winners were:

And thanks to all the people who posted comments - they gave me many ideas for new awards ....

Also see Friendfeed


  1. Seems like "nonome" would have been more appropriate, though equally prize-worthy.

    It reminds me of a totally perplexing name from another context - "negative click repository". Something to do with storing data without doing any work...I still don't understand what it means.

  2. RE your tweet about trichomes: thanks, now I'll never look at that word quite the same way again. eg. "If you compare Col-0 trichOME with that of gl1, you will find the latter does not exist." This would be called...trichomics... [overhears large collective groan]

    Oooh, now I'm gonna get so popular with my labmates, brb...

    ...hmmm. Reaction was similar to the one when I came up with the Taq-o Night idea, where you run PCRs and eat tacos. I wonder why.

    (don't have twitter so can't make [half]-witty comebacks there...)

  3. The attached picture of a mold covered X-men issue inspired me to coin the word "Comics", the study that is all about the microbial diversity associated with comic books.


  4. OK - Guus - you win the best one so far ...

  5. Oooooh.... the 'membranome' ... by none other than Tom Cavalier-Smith! o_O

    But what else can one expect from the megaeukaryotic megaevolution megaphylogeny guy? Speaking of whom, this line from his 2006 Massive Review of Everything (in Phil Trans R Soc B) is too epic not to share: "The anus was a prerequisite for intelligence" That cost me a mouthful of tea...

    I do like comics!