What the effome?

NSF BIO Sent around an email today that had many recipients asking "WTF?" Apparently there is a new initiative being put together that is aiming to look at the connection between genomes and the observable traits of organisms. Cool, I'm down with that. But, um, what are we calling this?

BIO seeks community input on Genomes-Phenomes research frontiers

John Wingfield, Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), is pleased to announce the posting of a Wiki to seek community input on the grand challenge of understanding the complex relationship between genomes and phenomes. The Wiki is intended to facilitate discussion among researchers in diverse disciplines that intersect with biology, such as computation, mathematics, engineering, physics, and chemistry.

The Wiki format encourages open communication, captures new viewpoints, and promotes free exchange of ideas about the bottlenecks that impede progress on the genomes-phenomes grand challenge and approaches or strategies to overcome these challenges. Information provided through the Wiki will help inform BIO's future research investments and activities relevant to understanding genomes-phenomes relationships.

To provide comments, ask questions and view input from and interact with other community members, first-time users should sign up for an account via this link: Sign-up. Once registered, users will be directed to the main page of the NSF Wiki to accept the terms and conditions before proceeding. Additional guidance and subsequent visits can be accessed via this link: Genomes-Phenomes Wiki.

Community members should feel free to forward notice of this to anyone they think might be interested in contributing to the discussion. Questions regarding the Wiki should be sent to bio-gen-phen@nsf.gov.

"Phenomes", eh? Jonathan Eisen has already pointed out that this is just another example of Bad Omics, and there were plenty on twitter who were busting out the side-eye on this one.

But what is the point of making up terms that are hard to define and don't convey any information? Would it really have been less "paradigm shifting" to make the program about connecting the genome and phenotypic variation? People would have actually understood what that meant, so there's that....

I'm excited to see this being considered and I think there's a huge amount of potential here, but let's use real words when trying to communicate ideas, m'kay?

2 responses so far

  • becca says:

    "What the effome" is the single best phrase to sum up the omics problem. Where would you like your internets delivered?

  • Michelle Elekonich says:

    Don't let your response to the verbiage stop you from engaging the wikki- it will influence upcoming initiatives. Make yourself heard!

Leave a Reply