Tapping the Metabolome for Answers: A State-of-the-Art Approach
We provide a basic overview of metabolomics and a brief explanation as to why it has become such a key science in systems biology. If metabolomics is to provide the same degree of in-depth coverage of metabolism (i.e. the metabolome) that current DNA sequencers provide with high fidelity and cost-effectiveness, it is critical that it be composed of certain technological and informatics features. We'll also describe recent examples of how metabolomics has led to important breakthroughs in diagnostics and life science research.
- Understand the essential features of metabolomics and why it is key to life science research
- Understand how metabolomics technologies are diverse in approach, but some are scalable and on par with today’s most modern DNA sequencers
- Understand why technology approaches are critical for meaningful metabolomics results and achievement of overall research goals
There are a number of critical features that metabolomics technology must harbor for it to achieve a similar purpose as mature -omics technologies (e.g. DNA sequencers) in terms of depth of coverage and data quality. These minimally include:
1. Based on an authenticated chemical library
2. Make IDs through a combination of accurate mass, retention index and fragmentation
3. Eliminate noise from the data
4. Identify novel metabolites
5. Have robust QC process from sample preparation through statistical analysis
6. Provide a mechanism to abstract information/interpret the data
Elaborating on the details around each of these points is beyond the scope of this series, but should serve as a primer for beginning the discussion with a partner for metabolomic work.
Brante Sampey, Ph.D., former Sr. Study Director, US Pharma/Biotech, Metabolon, Inc.
Dr. Sampey specializes in obesity, metabolic disease and cancer metabolism. His projects encompass target discovery, drug mechanism and biomarker identification. He has been an accomplished contributor in driving several application areas for Metabolon’s metabolic profiling technology. Chief among these are the application of metabolomics in biomarker discovery and the strategic development of diagnostics.
Duration: 49 minutes