OMICS refers to a field of biological sciences including genomics (studying DNA), transcriptomics (RNA), proteomics (proteins) and metabolomics (metabolites). Omics encompasses powerful tools that are rapidly transforming our understanding of disease. To celebrate how the omics disciplines are making a significant impact on equine veterinary medicine, the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) is giving free access to a Virtual Issue of recent articles covering genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
The virtual issue has been co-ordinated by EVJ’s Associate Editors Mandy Peffers and Pablo Murcia, with guest editors Carrie Finno, James Anderson and Macarena Sanz.
The editors emphasise the importance of promoting open science to advance the field of equine research. To this end, an editorial on ‘Open Research – What is it, and how can Equine Veterinary Journal’s authors engage with Open Research initiatives?’ has been included in the collection and written by Mandy Peffers and Leah Webster, Senior Journals Publishing Manager, Wiley.
Carrie Finno has contributed a comprehensive editorial in support of the nine EVJ articles demonstrating how genomic and transcriptomic approaches have been used to investigate equine diseases.
She concludes: “While equine genomics and transcriptomics continue to evolve, improvements in the annotation of the equine genome will undoubtedly accelerate the rate of discovery. With the need for large sample sizes of well-phenotyped horses to study the most complex diseases, equine genomics and transcriptomics research will likely become increasingly collaborative, similar to the current status of human genomics initiatives. Aligned with this collaborative effort is the strong need for publicly available genomic and transcriptomic data that are accessible to all researchers.”
“The relationship between microbiota, health and disease in humans has been investigated for years, but similar studies in horses have only been recently published,” says Macarena Sanz, whose editorial navigates five articles on this topic.
She concludes: “Although equine microbiomics is in its infancy, new studies will provide an exciting insight into the nature of the equine microbiome and its potential role in the development of disease. Knowledge of the microbiome is key to advancing prophylactic, diagnostic and therapeutic options and to better understanding the pathophysiology of equine conditions.”
James Anderson prefaces five papers on advances made in equine medicine within the disciplines of proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics (a subset of metabolomics). He concludes: “Omics technologies have enhanced our knowledge of the molecular world and provided fascinating insight into the composition and functions of these components across a range of different animal species. Particularly for equine science and medicine they have increased our understanding of molecular changes in disease and informed the development of diagnostic tests. Although still in its infancy within equine veterinary science, this field looks likely to have a significant impact in the coming years.”
Mandy Peffers, Associate Editor of the EVJ said: “It is exciting to see how the equine veterinary sector is now keeping pace with human medicine in the omics revolution. As we continue to advance, there will be more tools at our disposal for the diagnosis and treatment of equine disease.”
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