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Metabolomics comes of age?

According to a recent article in your magazine, "Metabolomics is the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind.

George Preti(preti@pobox.upenn.edu)
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According to a recent article in your magazine, "Metabolomics is the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind. The field is relatively new, but the basic concept is not: Physicians have long understood that metabolites can reveal pathology."1

I agree that it is a relatively new field – if 30-something is new in technology these days – but it's more aptly considered rediscovered and renamed. The techniques of metabolic profiling, currently called metabolomics, were developed in the late 1960s. To support the practice of "orthomolecular medicine," Linus Pauling and his colleagues23 hypothesized that by chromatographically profiling the constituents in a body fluid, one could predict or diagnose the onset of disease and/or make refinements in nutrition to achieve optimum health.4 Since many are now 'omics-driven, that hypothesis was bound to be rediscovered.

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