DragonflyIssuesInEvolution13 Wiki

Image Credit: National Human Genome Research Institute

I came across this term while working on my IEV paper.

What exactly does the term transcriptome mean? According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, “The genome is made up of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a long, winding molecule that contains the instructions needed to build and maintain cells. For these instructions to be carried out, DNA must be transcribed into corresponding molecules of ribonucleic acid (RNA), referred to as transcripts. A transcriptome is a collection of all the transcripts present in a given cell.” 

The function of most genes is not yet known. A search of a transcriptome database can give researchers a list of all the tissues in which a gene is expressed, providing clues to its possible function. This could be useful in research of cacver cells. For example, if the transcriptome database shows a gene's expression levels are dramatically higher in cancer cells than in healthy cells, it is possible that the unknown gene may play a role in cell growth.