Genomes and phenomes

Via Jonathan Eisen, NSF is using a wiki to get input on genomes and phenomes

BIO seeks community input on Genomes-Phenomes research frontiersJohn Wingfield, Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), is pleased to announce the posting of a Wiki to seek community input on the grand challenge of understanding the complex relationship between genomes and phenomes.  The Wiki is intended to facilitate discussion among researchers in diverse disciplines that intersect with biology, such as computation, mathematics, engineering, physics, and chemistry.The Wiki format encourages open communication, captures new viewpoints, and promotes free exchange of ideas about the bottlenecks that impede progress on the genomes-phenomes grand challenge and approaches or strategies to overcome these challenges. Information provided through the Wiki will help inform BIO’s future research investments and activities relevant to understanding genomes-phenomes relationships.To provide comments, ask questions and view input from and interact with other community members, first-time users should sign up for an account via this link:Sign-up.  Once registered, users will be directed to the main page of the NSF Wiki to accept the terms and conditions before proceeding.  Additional guidance and subsequent visits can be accessed via this link: Genomes-Phenomes Wiki.Community members should feel free to forward notice of this to anyone they think might be interested in contributing to the discussion. Questions regarding the Wiki should be sent to

I agree withthat phenome is a #badomics term but not with this:

How exactly is this different from “phenotype”?

Phenotype is singular.  Phenomes, for lack of a better term, are collections of all phenotypes. Part of what makes it a #badomics term, IMO, is that the good omics terms like genome, transcriptome and proteome describe sets where completeness makes sense. Phenotypes, as observable manifestations of genotypes in environments, depend on the capabilities of the observer. New technology can create new phenotypes. While new technology can improve our ability to detect genes or transcripts or proteins, they did not come into existence by virtue of our being able to see them.

Incidentally, I’m wondering why I didn’t get the email. Perhaps it’s because I don’t currently have an NSF grant. However, I’ve reviewed for NSF a lot, I participated in the NSF-funded Phenotype Research Coordination Network workshop in Arizona earlier this year. And I work on the NIH-funded Ontology for Microbial Phenotypes. We have to get OMP into better shape and publish for our renewal application this summer, but we’ve talked about it at Biocurator meetings.