(A) Hypernetworks differ from traditional networks in that edges can connect more than two nodes. Nodes are represented by black circles, edges by colored lines and surfaces. This demonstration shows how one edge can connect (i) two nodes as a one-dimensional line, (ii) three nodes as a two-dimensional surface, and (iii) four nodes as a three-dimensional structure. Hypernetworks of ‘omic data can have edges shared between hundreds of nodes. (B) Hypernetwork diagram illustrating how a pair of nodes (a–h) can be connected by more than one edge. In this example, nodes e and d share two edges, as do b and d. (C) A hypernetwork plotted as a heat map can be used to investigate clustering of blood peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) transcripts, based on correlation to, for example, adipose tissue transcriptome. A central cluster, defined using hierarchical clustering, groups PBMC transcripts based on high numbers of shared edges (red square, n = 965). This approach was applied to define groups of PBMC transcripts with similar profiles when correlated against each other ‘omic layer. (D) Gene probe level overlaps between PBMC transcriptome clusters identified by hypernetwork shared with the other ‘omic data sets. PBMC transcriptomic changes are correlated with changes in miRNAome, adipose tissue transcriptome, and metabolome (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry overlaps combined); overlaps are common PBMC transcripts with correlation to the ‘omic data sets. Values in brackets represent the size of PBMC transcriptomic clusters drawn from all differentially expressed PBMC transcripts (n = 4426, p<0.05). Data demonstrates a fundamental relationship in glucocorticoid response between PBMC and adipose tissue (965 genes) and reinforces the presence of common pathways in these two independent tissues.