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’Ome Sweet ’Ome

Science builds on genomics foundations.

Since the publication of the first complete genome of a living organism in 1995, the genome zoo has been filling up rapidly. It started with bugs—influenza and Escherichia coli—then progressed to creepy-crawlies like the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans and the Drosophila fruit fly. The full human genome was published in mid-2003. Mice, rats, dogs, chickens, sea squirts, mosquitoes, opossums, and more than 100 microbes have followed. Most major crops have at least partial genomes sequenced; even the famed Chardonnay grape can boast its own sequencing project.

The cataloguing continues. In fact, rather than abating, the field has generated four novel trends—community genomics, epigenetics, insect genomics, and kinases—that are sure to have people chanting “-ome.”

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