Integrative Omics and the Population of Singapore

Life sciences research has been enabled by the rise of “omics,” which look at various parts of cells and organisms.  In simple terms, genomics studies DNA.  Transcriptomics studies mRNA.  Proteomics studies proteins.  Metabolomics studies cellular processes.

Researchers in Singapore used “Integrative Omics” to study its population.  They employed a combination of genomics, transcriptomics and lipidomics (a subset of metabolomics) to measure more than 2.5 million genetic variants as well as clinical, lifestyle and dietary variables.  Lipidomics equipment included an Agilent LC, QQQ MS, Zorbax column and MassHunter software.  Transcriptomics equipment included an Agilent Bioanalyzer system.

Singapore’s three main ethnic communities include Chinese, Malays, and Indians.  The study was able to trace these communities’ ancestors respectively to southern Han Chinese, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Tamil Indians from south India.

Additionally, the iOmics discovered that the Chinese community was the most biologically homogeneous, while the Indian community was the most biologically heterogeneous.

The scientists hope that further iOmics research will help guide the development of institutional and governmental healthcare policies; including health services, health systems research, lifestyle and nutritional profiles.

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