Until recently there were two tags relating to metabolism — one the original portmanteau ‘metabolism’ tag (that I realize has been discussed before) and the second a more specific category ‘fat metabolism’. In composing two questions recently I added a third specific category — ‘nucleotide metabolism’.

As one of my interests is in metabolism I was concerned that these were the only categories, and was unhappy that the summary of the metabolism tag gave the implication that it was equivalent to energy metabolism:

The set of biochemical reactions that sustain life by directly or indirectly affecting energy expenditure and/or storage, as well as the complete regulation of those reactions and the enzymes that catalyze them; including, hormonal, cell-signaling, and substrate level regulation.

I propose to make two general changes, but before doing so describe them here so that they the mods who have to approve them know what I am up to, and they and others can suggest modifications if necessary. What I propose is to:

  1. Edit the summary of the ‘metabolism’ tag to remove the implication that it relates to energy. This will not affect previous users of the tag as the area it embraces will be expanded, rather than contracted. I suggest something along the following lines:

Metabolism is the set of defined biochemical transformations occuring within the cells of living organisms.

This is mainly drawn from Wikipedia, with modifications influenced by Berg et al.. I have dropped the stuff about regulation because I do not think it necessary to include it, and someone might even think this belongs to a specific category of ‘metabolic regulation’.

  1. I propose to introduce four new categories (based on part of the Kegg classification), one of which (‘lipid metabolism’) is intended to replace the more restricted ‘fat metabolism’. These will give the following sub-categories:




Nucleotide-metabolism (already present)


In addition, should this very non-biochemical list ever venture so far, ‘secondary metabolism’ could be added.

Does this suggestion seem reasonable?

  • $\begingroup$ I like standardization, so it seems reasonable to me. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Apr 13 '17 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @canadianer — Yes, I noticed you'd been tidying things up. Looking through the list, there would seem to be plenty still to do ;-) $\endgroup$
    – David
    Apr 13 '17 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yes. I wish there was a way to retag without bumping questions, though. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Apr 13 '17 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ @canadianer — Ahrrrg! I see what you mean. I've just created an energy-metabolism tag and was updating the tags on some questions. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Apr 13 '17 at 16:29

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