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OMICS. 2006 Summer;10(2):127-37.

Concept of sample in OMICS technology.

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School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.


Fundamental biological processes can now be studied by applying the full range of OMICS technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and beyond) to the same biological sample. Clearly, it would be desirable if the concept of sample were shared among these technologies, especially as up until the time a biological sample is prepared for use in a specific OMICS assay, its description is inherently technology independent. Sharing a common informatic representation would encourage data sharing (rather than data replication), thereby reducing redundant data capture and the potential for error. This would result in a significant degree of harmonization across different OMICS data standardization activities, a task that is critical if we are to integrate data from these different data sources. Here, we review the current concept of sample in OMICS technologies as it is being dealt with by different OMICS standardization initiatives and discuss the special role that the newly formed Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) might have to play in this domain.

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