disease… ome

diseasomeI shudder each time I read a new ‘ome’ coined. “Omes” have proliferated to the point of meaninglessness I believe sometimes. Though, I have to say my favorite to date is the “Unome” (the network of genes of unknown function). Seems very Zen.

Ok, that mini rant over.. the diseasome. The NY Times had an interesting article about some research done on the genetic interconnections of diseases. It was an interesting read on a purely personal level, and they have a fun little interactive graphic (I’m a sucker for fun little interactive graphics). The article is about this research published in PNAS last year. The research is actually a fascinating read. Using OMIM to find interconnected disease genes, the authors seek to:

” improve the single gene–single disorder approach by developing a conceptual framework to link systematically all genetic disorders (the human “disease phenome”) with the complete list of disease genes (the “disease genome”), resulting in a global view of the “diseasome,” the combined set of all known disorder/disease gene associations”

I’ve yet to delve more deeply into the article, but I will. The list of articles that cite this paper (scroll to the bottom of that PNAS link) is also very fascinating and I think I’ve got a few weeks of reading ahead of me. A recent paper in Nature used a ‘network’ approach to identify three genes previously unidentified in association with obesity.

I tried to see if there is a database yet of the “diseasome,” but have come up empty-handed. There was a ‘diseasome.net’ site, but it looked more like a google-ad honeypot than a real site (even the ‘about’ page had nothing on it yet). But you know and I both know the database is coming if it isn’t already here, it’s only a matter of time. I’ll be keeping a look out.