BioPerspectives

Mar 8, 2007

Mining the Human Metabolome

  • The human metabolome is considered the chemical equivalent of the human genome. In January a team led by David Wishart, Ph.D., at the University of Alberta, announced the completion of the first draft of the human metabolome. As the project leader for the $7.5 million Human Metabolome project, Dr. Wishart's group essentially created a database that includes 2500 metabolites, 1500 drugs, and 3500 food compounds. All play crucial roles in the metabolic process.

    During this week's GENcast, Dr. Wishart discusses the relationship between the human metabolome and the human genome. He also explains why he considers metabolites the canaries of the genome and why he believes the completion of the human metabolome will have a more immediate impact on medicine and healthcare than the completion of the human genome. Dr. Wishart goes on to talk about how our understanding of the human metabolome will help doctors better diagnose and treat various diseases.

    If you are in new drug discovery or clinical development, this podcast is an essential listen.

    After listening, return to the blog and give your thoughts on the following question:

    Why (or why not) do you think that completing the human metabolome will have a more immediate impact on medicine and healthcare than the completion of the human genome?