• Przemysław M. PłonkaEmail author


EPR spectroscopy and imaging remain still a branch of physical sciences, while its application to biology and medicine is wide and valuable. The EPR-measureable species create in biological systems important and well-defined pool, unique on the background of metabolomes and metallomes. At the same time, they seem to be these constituents of the system, which make it deserving to be called “alive”. I propose to coin the phrase “the paramagnetome” to name this pool and to replace the common, descriptive name of “biologically and medically-oriented EPR/ESR spectroscopy” with “paramagnetomics”, per analogiam to other “-omes” and “-omics”. A short characteristic of these two newly defined terms is proposed, which makes the paramagnetomics closely related to other branches of the systems biology. Relations to the problems of genomics and the central problems of molecular genetics, genetic information, as well as biological evolution are also discussed. The position of EPR spectroscopy and a special role that it plays in defining and understanding the phenomenon of life seem to accomplish the long expected establishing the paramagnetomics and research on paramagnetomes as a branch of biology.


Biophysics Definition of life EPR ESR Evolution Free radicals Functional genomics Genetic information Metabolome Metallome Paramagnetic centres Paramagnetome 



I would like to recall the memory of two excellent scientists from Kraków, who actually created the topic and the subject of this chapter: Professor Stanisław J. Łukiewicz (1927–2005) and Professor Aleksander Koj (1935–2016). Professor Łukiewicz established “The Kraków School of Biophysics”, but I particularly appreciate his monographic course entitled “The electron phenomena in living systems and the ways of their investigations” which I attended in 1985/1986 and which actually in detail outlined and designed paramagnetomics. Professor Koj, a famous Polish biochemist, and a Rector of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, was a supporter of systemic approach in modern biology, fascinated by functional genomics—with the term itself and the genomic approach to biochemistry. He had always encouraged me to head crosswise the standard pathways of thinking in biology and to look for new qualities in the process of “making the science”. I would like to express my particular gratitude to all the students of mine (some of whom being now professors) who have always inspired me to do so and who invited me to their conference in 2017 [172]. In particular, I must acknowledge Dr. Sebastian Pintscher, who in 2010 carried out under my supervision the EPR measurements exhibited in Fig. 9.3 and let me publish the spectra under my name.

The Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology of Jagiellonian University is a partner of the Leading National Research Centre (KNOW) supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The paper was partially supported from this fund (PMP, grant KNOW 35p/10/2015).

Conflict of Interest I have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and BiotechnologyJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland

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