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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Badomics words and the power and peril of the ome-meme

Jonathan A Eisen

Author Affiliations

Genome Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

DOE Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA, USA

GigaScience 2012, 1:6  doi:10.1186/2047-217X-1-6

Published: 12 July 2012

Abstract

Languages and cultures, like organisms, are constantly evolving. Words, like genes, can come and go–spreading around or going extinct. Here I discuss the spread of one small subset of words that are meant to convey “comprehensiveness” in some way: the “omes” and other words derived from “genome” or “genomics.” I focus on a bad aspect of this spread the use of what I refer to as “badomics” words. I discuss why these should be considered bad and how to distinguish badomics words from good ones.

Keywords:
Genomics; Language; Memes; Omics; Badomics; Genome; Ome-ome; Language parasites