Moreover, this novel combined system is a powerful tool for clinical research in disease screening and patient stratification, with the potential to discover new small molecule diagnostic markers, or panels of metaboliic markers. Whereas genomics and proteomics have received a lot of attention in recent years, the realization that small molecules play an equally important role in the chemistry of biological systems has led to a growing field called metabonomics. The metabolic profile represents a snapshot of ongoing biological processes,. which has opened the door for the mining of metabolic profiles for biomarkers. The presence of a metabolite, a panel of metabolites, or of a certain ratio of metabolites, can be an indication of a particular disease. This creates opportunities for early detection, ideally before the physical symptoms of a disease can be observed. Metabolic analysis is also a key process in drug development in order to get early pre-clinical indications of efficacy and toxicity. It can be used to detect the presence of drug metabolites, which may be surrogate markers of efficacy, and it can also detect the presence of certain compounds indicative of, for example, liver toxicity. It is critical for drug development applications to detect toxicity in the earliest stages of lead compound development, prior to expensive and time-consuming clinical trials.