Ken Drury, Ph.D., Editor
Now, I would like to ask all of you to take a moment and place the two fore-fingers of each hand to your respective temples, close your eyes, and begin to hummm “Oooooomics”. Shortly thereafter, you will have an amazing experience. You will see, in your minds eye, a slowly rotating double helix segment of DNA taking form in three dimensional space and time. This is the power of the newly applied “Oooooomics”, and we will see in this issue of The Clinical Embryologist exactly how the new omics are impacting the ART laboratory.
Omics has taken over the entire concept of modern molecular biology. Take for instance “Genomics”. Roughly, it conveys the concept of “everything about the genome”. There are many other ‘omics that have also come to prominence: Proteomics, Secretomics, Metabolomics, Transcriptomics. These are only a few of the over 100 defined omics that can be found on the website “Alphabetically ordered list of omes and omics” .
My personal favorite is “nonsensomics”. I’m sure the reader will also find an omics of choice. But, I wonder, whatever happened to protein biochemistry?
There are two land mark articles presented in the current journal that bring the omics alive and relevant in helping embryologists determine the potential viability of embryos cultured in-vitro. The correlation of these assessments with positive outcomes is particularly impressive and provides encouragement for further studies to refine and simplify their use in the clinical laboratory environment.
Firstly, we have an overview of the recent studies presented by Drs. Mandy Katz-Jaffe and David Gardner of the Center of Reproductive Medicine in Englewood Colorado. They have been utilizing Time of Flight Mass Spectroscopy (TOF-MS) to identify secreted products from spent culture medium following embryo culture. Correlation of these products with positive outcomes could allow the selection of the most competent embryos for transfer and reduce the number of embryos required to produce healthy offspring.
Dr. Levant Keskintepe and colleagues from the Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Las Vegas, and ReproCure LLC, Las Vegas, NV are presenting data from their studies on the evaluation and selection of embryos based on soluble sHLA-G expression and embryo morphology. Again, these criteria of viability may represent valuable tools for use in selecting the “real” best embryos for transfer.
On a different note, I would like to introduce the reader to a new addition to The Clinical Embryologist. “The Stat Chat” column will be a series of “fun” statistics by Dr. Norman Dubin, Lab Director of the Center for A.R.T. at Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD and statistical consultant for investigators throughout the Medstar Health System. Dr. Dubin will present statistically relevant information in a style that will enhance our appreciation and understanding of how to view and utilize statistical relationships. I hope the reader will benefit from this important statistical knowledge which is meant to assist in reviewing articles and deciphering data presented by the ART community. It should also be of use when conducting your own experimental design and data analysis.
Lastly, don’t miss your favorite meetings coming up in the near future referenced in Meetings for the Embryologist and, by the way, pay attention to the products being advertised in this Journal. They make it possible for you to enjoy these issues free of charge.