The potential of metabolomics, a systems approach to biochemical pathway analysis, to yield scientific and commercial benefits to healthcare and biotechnology enterprises is increasingly recognised.
If we have learned anything from scientific research in the last 20 years, it is that finding cures to complex diseases is difficult. Despite the promise of the genomic revolution, disease progression and patient outcomes are still not easily predicted by genetic factors alone.
The links between mitochondrial dysfunction and various diseases and pathological conditions are being increasingly revealed, such that mitochondrial analyses have gained renewed interest from both the academic research and drug discovery labs.
Metabolomics is distinct from genomics and proteomics in several significant respects. Where genes and proteins are unique to specific organisms, metabolites are ubiquitous throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Compared with proteomics and genomics, which quantify the building blocks and machinery of organisms, metabolomics provides information about the interaction between the more established ’omics and what has been termed as the ‘wild card’ of systems biology – the organism’s environment.