Monday, July 25, 2016

Mission Critical -- Why Precision Medicine NEEDS proteomics!

I guess if you read into the image above it might seem like I'm implying something. I'm not. I just couldn't find a cool picture for "Mission Critical". This seemed much cooler!

What am I rambling about now? This cool opinion/review in Human Molecular Genetics. It is called "Mission Critical: The need for proteomics in the era of next-gen sequencing and precision medicine." YEAH!

Who is it written for? The HUGE genomics field and the users of this technology AND kinda for us. It is a great description paper of 1) Our technology 2) Their technology and 3) Why the interplay is critical.

It points out places where we can definitely interact -- such as mass cytometry (enriching and identifying cell populations by mass spec) -- as well as a few places where genomics techniques lack power that our instruments have.

Now...minor criticism of this nicely written paper might be that our current generation sensitivity and power might be downplayed a little. Sure, amplification based DNA/RNA techniques are super sensitive, but some next-gen techniques don't employ amplification. Compare where we are now in terms of the low copy-number proteins vs transcripts each respective field can identify and we're not far off -- and possibly ahead.

Wait, one more. You can tell the authors are coming from the genetics world in that the only times they mention modifications are when they discuss splice variants or single amino acid changes. You could argue that with the importance every study is showing regarding post-translational modifications in every disease we have looked at -- well, this is where mass specs are going to be indispensable in terms of precision medicine. Good luck PCR-amplifying that global shift toward deglycosylation!

Seriously, though. Well written paper with some good arguments for why our field needs to be considered in any initiatives toward precision medicine!

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