imOmics - Introduction
imOmics is the study of quantitative dynamic ionic/molecular fluxes of living organisms responding to physiological stresses, developmental changes, genetic manipulations, and the like. Unlike other omics data, imOmics fluxes have both magnitude (picomoles/cm2/s) and direction information of the ions/molecules transportation across membranes from living organs, tissues, single cells and even collected organelle in real time, in situ and in artificial conditions close to their living conditions as much as possible.
Simultaneous dual-measurements of ions and/or molecules in terms of ion-ion, ion-molecule and molecule-molecule combinations ensures that NMT (Non-invasive Micro-test Technique) is a suitable technology to obtain reliable information which connect the physiological functions with genetic background and developmental changes as well as either biotic or abiotic stimuli.
Although the imOmics throughput and analysis are still relatively low and high comparing to other omics, it has demonstrated that it has a great potential to be an indispensable tool to make the linkages between physiological functions in different developmental and physiological processes and the gene networks controlling them.
More collaborative works need to be done to:
1) Enhance the throughput and lower the cost;
2) Measure more species of ions and molecules;
3) Integrate with both bioinformatics and genetic tools to construct a map of functional networks of living organisms.