10 ’Omics You Need To Know

Confused by the proliferation of ‘omics but don’t want to be left behind? Fret not, Asian Scientist Magazine has got you covered with our handy explainer on the hottest ‘omics around.


Credit: Libertas Academica/Flickr/CC
Credit: Libertas Academica/Flickr/CC

Material studied: DNA modifications
Methods used: Chromatin immunoprecipitation, high-resolution melt analysis

Similar to signposting, our DNA is reversibly ‘marked’ by enzymes. These epigenetic modifications, as they are called, also affect the histone proteins around which DNA is wound. By limiting or permitting access to DNA, these changes can ‘switch on or off’ gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence.

Using a combination of biochemical and sequencing techniques, we can map and understand the functions of epigenetic modifications on a genome-wide scale. This could shed light on epigenetic changes that lead to disease—switching off genes that limit cell growth, for example, may result in cancer.

Shuzhen received a PhD degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA, where she studied the immune response of mosquito vectors to dengue virus.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist