Human Metabolomics

Metabolites can serve as a metabolic disease biomarker. An detection of such biomarkers plays a significant role in the study of biochemical reaction and signaling networks. Metabolic profiling, metabolomic and metabonomic studies mainly involve the multicomponent analysis of biological fluids, tissue and cell extracts using NMR spectroscopy and/or mass spectrometry (MS). Metabolic profiling (metabolomics/metabonomics) is the measurement in biological systems of the complement of low-molecular-weight metabolites and their intermediates that reflects the dynamic response to genetic modification and physiological, pathophysiological, and/or developmental stimuli. The current developments in metabolomics and metabolic profiling technologies have led to the discovery of several new metabolic biomarkers. The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) is currently the most complete and comprehensive curated collection of human metabolite and human metabolism data in the world. It contains records for more than 2180 endogenous metabolites with information gathered from thousands of books, journal articles and electronic databases. In addition to its comprehensive literature-derived data, the HMDB also contains an extensive collection of experimental metabolite concentration data compiled from hundreds of mass spectra (MS) and Nuclear Magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomic analyses performed on urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples. The HMDB is designed to address the broad needs of biochemists, clinical chemists, physicians, medical geneticists, nutritionists and members of the metabolomics community

The Human Metabolome Project is a $7.5 million Genome Canada funded project launched in January 2005. The purpose of the project is to facilitate metabolomics research through several objectives to improve disease identification, prognosis and monitoring; provide insight into drug metabolism and toxicology; provide a linkage between the human metabolome and the human genome; and to develop software tools for metabolomics.

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