The Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do-Omics award.

I am the proud recipient of a “Worst New Omics Word Award” from Jonathan Eisen, who blogs at Tree of Life. Usually these go to actual ‘omics words (so far: diseasome, ethomics, and museomics). It seems he thinks “omnigenomics” to describe the study of genome sizes (i.e., all components of the genome) in all organisms (omnis = all) is in the same category. People really should not be adding prefixes to “genomics”, according to Dr. Eisen. Right?…

Eisen JA and Fraser CM. Phylogenomics: intersection of evolution and genomics. Science 2003 Jun 13; 300(5626) 1706-7.

Eisen JA. Gastrogenomics1. Nature 2001 Jan 25; 409(6819) 463, 465-6

Eisen JA. Environmental shotgun sequencing: its potential and challenges for studying the hidden world of microbes. PLoS Biol 2007 Mar; 5(3) e82.

“A review I wrote on methods for characterizing uncultured microbes, focusing on the lead in to metagenomics.”

1 Hey, it could have been a lot worse (“colonomics”?).

3 comments to The Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do-Omics award.

  • Jonathan Eisen

    Hee hee hee. However, I scooped you on this in a way – as in my first postings and other comments about the award I give, I did confess to coining my own omics word and discussed that I did not care.

    As an aside — I last coined an omics word in 1997 with phylogenomics. At the time there were actually very few. So I think I am perfectly within my rights to criticize some of the new words as, well, the new ones are like hopping on a bandwagon for a sports team.


  • T Ryan Gregory

    So, what you're saying is YOU are one of the people who started this???


  • Jonathan Eisen

    Exactly. Which is of course why I want people to stop. Like Edmund Hilary decrying the overclimbing of Everest. Like the USA telling Brazil to not cut down their forests. Like …


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