Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Worst new omics word & bad omics word of the day: receptorome

Well, I really want to quit with this "Worst New Omics Word Award" and with the new "bad omics word of the day" theme I started a few days ago. But I just can't quit. Today's reason for not quitting is a new PLoS One paper: Psychedelics and the Human Receptorome. Even though the word is not defined in the paper, it is alas, defined elsewhere. Wikipedia says
The receptorome, is a concept analogue to the genome and proteome, but also to other sets of structural or functional units such as the proteasome and connectome.
In analogy with the genome, where the genome is the total set of genes, the receptorome can be considered the total set of genes giving rise to receptors or receptor molecules. It could also be seen as the total number of receptor proteins in a certain organism.
There is even, receptorome.org.
I do not know the origins of the word. I do know, however, that it is a bit much. A key question for this and many other omics words is - is it needed? How much trouble would it be to say what we actually mean "all the receptors" or something like that. Recepterome gives too much formality to something that does not seem to be a concrete entity. Proteosomes - they are real things. Proteome - possibly annoying to some, but a straightforward concept independent of functional properties of proteins. Recepterome just is not a good analog of these terms.

And though at some level I do not want to thank them - I guess I should thank those who pointed this out to me: Bora in an email, mocost on twitter and PSI-Wavefunction in a comment. Thanks all - for for pointing out this new omics word ... so that I can give it today both by Bad Omics Word of the Day and Worst New Omics Word Award, even though it may not be so new. At some point I guess I should merge these awards. Then maybe I will call it the "Awardome.


  1. Do you ever wonder if people are using the academic literature to troll you?

  2. You don't like words that end in 'ome. We get it. To save time, let's just wrap them all into one term that covers them all for easily one-time criticism: "Omome".

  3. Ryan - you may get your wish

  4. Or call it the trollome.
    Back in the day, when J.E. and I were a mere grad students, we called 'omics "biology".


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