The advent of single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) technology has finally allowed scientists to analyze unstable RNA material in individual cells. In one notable study, Arnold Kriegstein and his colleagues carried out single-cell RNA-seq on distinct cell types from the brains of 15 individuals with autism spectrum disorder and 16 unaffected individuals. In another study, Manolis Kellis and Li-Huei Tsai and their colleagues used the same technique to analyze the brains of 48 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Both studies found that dysregulation of specific groups of genes within specific groups of cells were connected with pathogenesis.
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Stower, H. Single-cell insights into neurology. Nat Med 25, 1799 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0686-x