The identity of the entirety of carbohydrates in an organism is thus collectively referred to as the Glycome.
This area of research has to deal with an inherent level of complexity not seen in other areas of applied biology. Whereas genes have four building blocks and proteins have 20, the saccharides have a multitude of building blocks. Advances in glycomics are anticipated to be driven by improvements in molecular sequencing and bioinformatics which is the computational organization and processing of sequence data.
The following article on glycomics (http://glycomics.scripps.edu/sugarrush.pdf) appeared in New Scientist magazine on the 26th of October 2002.
It provides a broad insight into some of the exceptional challenges and tantalising opportunties posed by Glycomics, as seen from this early perspective.