The promise of single-cell sequencing

Individual cells of the same phenotype are commonly viewed as identical functional units of a tissue or organ. However, the deep sequencing of DNA and RNA from single cells suggests a more complex ecology of heterogeneous cell states that together produce emergent system-level function. Continuing development of high-content, real-time, multimodal single-cell measurement technologies will lead to the ultimate goal of understanding the function of an individual cell in the context of its microenvironment.

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Figure 1: A diversity of individual cell states revealed by single-cell sequencing.

Katie Vicari


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Correspondence to James Eberwine.

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Competing interests

The aRNA procedure has been patented by the US PTO (#5,514,545, 5,723,290, 5,958,688 and 6,291,170) and the TIPeR procedure has a patent application pending in Pennsylvania. J.-Y.S. and J.K. are also co-inventors on the pending TIPeR patent.

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Eberwine, J., Sul, J., Bartfai, T. et al. The promise of single-cell sequencing. Nat Methods 11, 25–27 (2014).

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