Multi-omic Microsampling

Researchers at Stanford Medicine have shown they can measure thousands of molecules from a single drop of blood. Here’s to hoping doctor’s appointments in the coming years are less stressful.

Instead of focusing on any single protein, metabolite or inflammatory marker, the growing field of “omics” research takes a broader, systems-biology approach: analyzing the whole spectrum of proteins (the proteome), fats (the lipidome) or the by-products of metabolism (the metabolome). Although recent advances have made this data analysis more robust and efficient, the real-world usefulness of multi-omics research has been limited by the difficulties of sample collection, among other challenges. To measure someone’s response to a food or medication, many samples in a short time span may be needed; currently, sampling requires traveling to a clinic for an intravenous blood draw of 10 to 50 milliliters.

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