Friday 25 November 2011
Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites. Specifically, metabolomics is the "systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind", the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles.
Thus, while mRNA gene expression data and proteomic analyses do not tell the whole story of what might be happening in a cell, metabolic profiling can give an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of that cell.
One of the challenges of systems biology and functional genomics is to integrate proteomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic information to give a more complete picture of living organisms.